Uh oh. I did it. I watched “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. But does it still count if I didn’t watch it on premier night, but DVR’ed it to watch later? For those of you who have been on vacation, tending the garden or otherwise just enjoying life this summer, Honey Boo Boo, aka Alana Thompson, is a precocious 6-year-old redneck pageant queen who first made her television debut in TLC’s “Toddlers and Tiaras” in January. Now, TLC has decided to showcase the family in a six part series to follow the family’s quest to get Alana the so-far elusive “Grand Supreme Title”. Of course we all know that if the show continues to bring in the viewers, the 6 part series will just be the tip of the iceberg, but I digress.
The show starts out with a classic American Gothic feel. The whole Thompson clan is lined up in front of the family home, the camera pans down to a picture-perfect family. Then, Momma farts. “Oh Momma!” hollers one of the teenagers in the family. All I can say is it’s a good thing TV doesn’t have smell-O-vision yet!
Here’s a warning for y’all before you watch. Don’t take this family seriously. It’s pretty darn obvious that they don’t take THEMSELVES seriously and they like to have a lot of fun. One thing I realized while watching the show: it is possible to find a family cringe-worthy and lovable at the same time. Who can’t find a family adorable when the Daddy’s nick name is Sugar Bear?
Alana may be touted as the star of the show, but her Momma June is a force to be reckoned with, all 308 pounds of her. Now you may asking me “How do you know, Ms Patty, that Momma Boo Boo is 308 pounds?” Well that’s because Momma Boo Boo weighed herself on camera. On camera, while 6 year old Alana sat on the commode and announced the weight of the various family members. “You’re too big for it to weigh you!” Alana shouts at one point. While Momma June assures the viewer that she embraces her “fatness”, she also laments that she would like to lose 100 pounds. In fact, the family discusses farting as a weigh-loss tool, all the while snacking on pork rinds and cheese balls. Just a few tv moments with Momma June and you know where Alana gets her sassy talk from!
The show certainly has a bounty of “They didn’t just show that, did they?” moments. The Momma in me doesn’t like to see a family getting up at noon then eating cheese puffs for breakfast. On the other hand, I have promised my own kids that we will have pie for breakfast the last day of summer vacation. As a woman, I am not impressed with the whole Pageant lifestyle, but again I can’t help but think of the time my young daughter got a glimpse of a promo for Toddlers and Tiaras and breathlessly said “I would love to play dress up like that”. Maybe it is all just dress up, and it’s the adults that put the dark spin on it.
The family also has a visit to the Redneck Games. I had to quote Momma June herself when my husband told me he had never heard of the Redneck Games. It’s kind of like the Olympics, “but with a lot of missing teeth and a lot of butt crack showing”. There was some pig feet bobbin’, mud belly floppin’, and a swim in the “redneck bathtub” – a river with a big sign saying the water had a large amount of bacteria which is harmful to humans. Yikes! From the safety of shore Honey Boo Boo shouted, “I hope you are all getting that flesh eating disease. I’ll laugh!” We also find out at the Redneck Games that a redneck hierarchy exists. Momma says “There are a lot of broke-down people out there”, referring to some of the folks at the games. “Please women, who are of a voluptuous size, put some clothes on. All that vajiggle-jaggle is not beautimous.” Wisdom and humor all wrapped into one, not to mention the creative use of the English language.
The second episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” seems to follow the Reality TV machine just a little too closely. The episode featured a visit from an etiquette teacher from Atlanta to teach the girls some proper table manners. I half expected Granny to come out of the kitchen with a pot of vittles, and for Ellie Mae pass it to Jethro with a pool cue at the fancy eatin’ table which was really meant for billiards. Oh Jed Clampett, I miss the innocent days of TV! Come to think of it, Alana’s catch phrase of “Honey Boo Boo Child ” is pretty much the “Whatcha talkin’ about Willis?” of the 21 century.
I do have to laugh at some of the reviews that are appearing all over the net. Some reviewers are acting as if they are commenting on a Jacques Cousteau documentary with a “observe the redneck in it’s natural habitat” feel to it. This isn’t Jacques Cousteau honey, it’s reality TV, our nation’s guilty pleasure. One also can’t help but wonder if the film crew didn’t sashay down from New York City in their Gucci shoes to film this family. There are several “watch the redneck wash her hair in the sink” kind of moments. Come on, who hasn’t washed their hair in a sink at least once in their lives? Do we really need to see Momma sneeze, in close shot, for 30 seconds (which is an eternity in TV editing time) during an interview, before cutting to the next scene? Come on Mr/Ms Editor, let Momma’s character shine through without unnecessary editing embellishments.
At the end of second show we see the sweet, non-ghetto-talking Alana fixin’ to sleep with her new pet, Glitzy. Glitzy is a teacup pig her Daddy bought to cheer her up after losing at a pageant. As Alana beds down with the pig she says “Night night, Glitzy”, then says sweetly to her Daddy, “Cut the light Sugar Bear!”
All I can say is stay sweet and stay real Thompson family, as you enter the wild wild world of Reality TV.
About the Author:
Patty is a busy Mom of 2 with a background in TV and Film production, and Information Technology. She is a champion of the underdog. She loves good food and to laugh out loud. She still hasn’t decided what she is going to be when she grows up. She’ll let you know when she does. You can reach her at Pattypie@imperfectwomen.com