Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: The Reality Show Everyone Loves to Hate
What is it?
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is the latest in an interesting mix of reality shows on TV, and on The Learning Channel in particular. The show is a spin-off of Toddlers and Tiaras and focuses on seven-year-old beauty pageant contestant Alana (Honey Boo Boo) Thompson and her family from the small town of McIntyre, Georgia.
Family members include mom, June Shannon, who is 32 and has been with (but not married to) Alana's dad, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, 40, for eight years. Sugar Bear works in a nearby chalk mine and June stays home with the children. Anna "Chickadee" Shannon is a 17-year-old mom of baby Kaitlyn. The "baby daddy" is not in the picture. Jessica "Chubs" Shannon is fifteen and Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon is twelve. The older girls have different fathers who are also not in the picture.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo chronicles the life of the Thompson/Shannon family. Episodes have focused on preparing for Alana's pageants; their new pet pig, Glitzy; couponing and other ways to save and earn money for pageants and Anna's baby; participating in the Redneck Olympics; dieting and Anna's pregnancy.
The reality show has evoked a number of stong emotions from both repeat and one-time viewers. People seem to love it or hate it.
Votes Against . . .
A major bone of contention against the show is the exploitation of the children, especially Alana. Her exposure in beauty pageants encourages young girls to dress and act suggestively to gain attention.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is clearly vulgar and lacking in common decency. The whole family farts on camera whenever the need arises, they all swear and their language must be bleeped out, they play a game where one family member is blindfolded and must identify those who breathe on him/her, and intimate details of Anna's pregnancy are revealed on air. Much of their conversation is disgusting.
The family has no manners whatsover and reinforce the stereotype of redneck Southerners. They give the South a bad name.
Where is McIntyre, Georgia?
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo family home
Votes for . . .
The Thompson/Shannon family is nothing if not entertaining. People watch the show just to see what outrageous thing they will do next. Of course, that is part of the allure of reality TV.
June and Mike and the children all appear happy and healthy. They are self-confident and not afraid to be themselves. I don't think they are in the least pretentious. While a little shabby-looking, the family looks relatively clean and the home looks clean, as well.
Their struggles to save money are that of many families today. June loves to coupon, they have a lemonade stand to raise money for baby Kaitlyn and play bingo in the hopes that they will win some extra cash for expenses. They are paid a modest amount for their TV show and I'm sure that money also helps out with the baby and pageant expenses.
The clan is definitely creative. With no money for decorations the kids roll the house with toilet paper for June and Mike's "anniversary." Their favorite meal is "sketti," which is ketchup and butter mixed and served over spaghetti.
McIntyre, Georgia has definitely been put on the map as a result of the show. Whether or not the other residents claim the family is another question entirely.
What do you think?
I must admit a peculiar fascination with the show. It is strangely compelling and I can't seem NOT to watch it. Others apparently feel similarly as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is doing very well in the ratings, even beating out both the Democratic and Republican convention coverage.
Check out the show yourself and determine where your feelings lie.
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