I have to admit there are some Reality TV series I find irresistible (my current favorite is Love It Or List It) while there are many I simply stay away from.
No doubt about it I'll surely be watching the latest entry the Canadian made Extreme Collectors which premieres Monday September 2 at 9 p.m. on Slice.
I really enjoyed chatting up host Andrew Zegers on the phone after I watched the first episode.
He's very much at ease in front of the TV camera because of his years as the on-air appraiser for Antiques Road Show Canada.
I also know he was a partner in the Flamboro Antique Show which is one of Canada's biggest and best outdoors shows.
"Finding just the right guests as the most important part," Zegers says. "We wanted to concentrate on devoted collectors and not simply the ultra rich. We will have celebrities too --Corbin Bernsen is in the first episode. But for the most part these are people who are animated by their passion."
Zegers scoured collectors sites and magazines and then his team had to determine if the subjects were just right for TV.
One thing this show is not: an upscale version of Hoarders.
"In the first half hour you'll see a guy with a passion for kids toys and the meticulous care he displays his collection. Everything is laid out in an order and those fortunate to view it will wonder at his care and concern."
There's also a lady who has a hat collection --Zegers comes visiting with a hat expert who is amazed at some of the rare pieces any reputable museum would want to own.
"She has hat boxes nobody else has from the Victorian era. there's a real reverence there for her collection and the display is everything --it's guaranteed to strike awe into the viewer."
Zegers also visits with Bernsen who in a separate wing of his home has well over 8,000 show globes.
"We talk about what started him, what keeps him going. Again everything is so neatly displayed because he's so proud of his acquisitions. And he also asks me if I can figure out which one is the most expensive."
At the end of each segment Zegers gives an appraisal of the collection under investigation. I'm honor bound as a TV critic not to reveal the astounding prices here.
Tune to see which Bernsen piece Zegers predicts is the most costly --and see if he's right on or not.
In today's TV world most of the subjects are very savvy about appearing on the tub --plus they are there to talk about their passion and it's a fantastic platform for them to explain their life's work.
"Every collection is calculated," Zegers says. "The collections reflect the spirit of the collector. You just have to love their stories, the dedication."
In upcoming episodes Penny Marshall shows off her sports memorabilia while a Houdini collector shows off a multimillion dollar collection.
Mentalist Mysterion in Toronto shows off an action figures collection while a Chatham collector shows off his Fifties diner complete with vintage cars and gas pumps.
How about the beer can collection in Philadelphia numbering 83,000 items and still growing stronger?
"We've just grazed the surface," Zegers laughs. And by the way if he is related to actor Kevin Zegers it's only very distantly.
A first run of 13 episodes has been ordered by Architect Films (Deck Wars).
"More please" is my initial reaction.
EXTREME COLLECTORS PREMIERES ON SLICE MONDAY SEPT. 2 AT 9 P.M.
MY RATING: ***1/2.