I didn’t want to watch it. I didn’t. I had heard the rumors and had seen promos for Honey Boo Boo, but was adamant that this was not something I was going to subject myself to. I was determined to save my snarky self from what was sure to be an hour of slack jawed viewing. It’s been two weeks since the premiere of Honey Boo Boo, and I relented out of sheer morbid[ly obese] curiosity. So now, I’ll get into the horrifying details, and the impact I think this piece of entertainment has.
TLC, the same network that brings us Long Island Medium and My Strange Addiction, has rolled out a show entitled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. TLC does actually stand for The Learning Channel, but really TLC? Who are you trying to kid at this point; you have a show about people who eat toilet paper as an ‘addiction.’ Here Comes Honey Boo Boo stars six year old Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo Boo, who was a break out star from the show Toddlers and Tiaras, also by TLC. Alana ambled onto to the small screen and effectively stole the internet’s heart with her quirky sayings and sassy ‘only gets stage-time during the day, second string stripper’ delivery.
The show revolves around Alana and her family who live in McIntyre, Georgia. It’s bad enough that when I Google things about Georgia, it auto-finishes my questions with: “Where in Georgia can I…marry my cousin.” Now Georgians have to deal with this shame too? Anyway, to add to their charm the Thomson family has nicknames that they all go by. I’m praying these were thought up by some sadistic producer, they go as follows:
- June: Mama (Ok this is not actually a nickname, TLC)
- Dad, I never caught his actual name: Sugar Bear (Huh? He’s a chalk miner not a pimp)
- Laryn 12: Pumpkin (Ok, not bad)
- Jessica 15: Chubbs (And we just nosedived.)
- Anna 17: Chickadee (I’m assuming this is also her stage name)
I suppose the premise of the show was to follow the Thompson family around as they prepare Alana for her upcoming beauty pageants. However, clearly the real point of HCHBB is to showcase the Thompsons in all of their rednecky glory. It is a 2012 version of the old travelling medicine shows, complete with freaks, storytelling, and I’m sure, a flea circus of their own.
Cringe worthy moments I barely got through:
The Etiquette Coach: Honey Boo boo and Pumpkin both had an etiquette lesson after Alana had received feedback from pageant judges that she needed to be more refined. I’m not totally on the side of the woman who was the etiquette coach, because she seemed like an elitist asshole, but I feel like the Thompson kids caused her to have some sort of breakdown. Throughout this segment you hear the coach say “Very good” in a hesitant I-don’t-know-what-else-to-say way after single thing that happens. It may be the editing, but I like to think that she just short-circuited and kept defaulting to that particular statement as a coping mechanism.
Bobbing for Pig’s Feet: Instead of apples, they used a Tupperware full of pig’s feet as part of a ‘celebration’ activity. Um, I’m not a vegetarian by any means. In fact, I have been looking up ways to make my own bacon infused vodka to make kick ass bloody marys with, but this was just….I can’t even…No amount of Pepto Bismol could ease my stomach if I was ever forced to do something like that.
Chickadee’s Sonogram: So there was a moment of science when the Thompsons went to go see a sonogram of 17 year old Chickadee’s baby. What should have been a sweet moment was just a weird amalgamation of questions and talking about biscuits (what the Thompsons call vaginas). Chickadee also asked the sonogram tech “What’s a[n] abdomen?” Can we make this a rule: If you don’t know which body part is your abdomen, you cannot have sex with other humans until you figure it out.
All and all, I think that TLC had more than enough fodder to create a total caricature of the Thompsons. It does appear that they are a functioning family unit that looks out for their own, but clearly that was not the point of the show. I would say that they are being exploited, but I get the feeling that June “Mama” Thompson is going into this with eyes open seeing only dollar signs. I hope whatever money they bring in betters their quality of life, but only time will tell.
This show did push me over the edge in terms of my disdain for TLC. Essentially, all of their shows are based around people who seemingly choose to live these totally ignorant lives. By giving these people television shows, it gives their incuriosity validity. Obliviousness for the world and other facets of life should not be treated as a cute personality quirk. Ideally, that type of lifestyle should be frowned upon, not get you a paycheck. In an increasingly global world, this type of mind set will eventually rear its ugly head and will take us all down. Honey Boo Boo is mind-numbing brain Novocain ya’ll.
Nothing illustrates this mentality more than child beauty pageants. It indoctrinates into little girls and boys that the way they look is of the utmost importance, far beyond any of their other features in terms of priority. Their looks must be up kept for strangers that create a panel of judges who don’t know them at all. Strangers that look like they would be in the news for befriending and then killing elderly people. And TLC keeps coming out with more and more shows about these pageantry freaks.
So you might be saying, what’s so bad about pageants? Is it really bad that little kids want to look nice? And also maybe, it’s just silly entertainment that we all like to watch.
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it.
This outlook and ignorance of the world makes it ok for people like this to be famous:
Yes, the Kardashians. Famous for being famous, and all of them are totally clueless to the world around them. There will be more of these people if this acceptance of idiocy continues.
What have you done TLC? .