Does America love train wrecks?
As a grandparent, I absolutely love it when Kara, my stepdaughter brings my 3 year old granddaughter Elli over for a visit. Such was the case on Wednesday night. My wife Lori made a delicious supper and the supper table talk was superb, catching up with Kara and laughing at the cute things Elli would say. Elli reminds me of my daughter Erin, who is in med school and just got married this summer.
Kara has a penchant for reality TV programming. She tried to introduce us in the past to Flava Flav's "Flavor Of Love" and Brett Michael's "Rock Of Love," two really off-the-wall dating shows. Once was enough, thank you. However, nothing could have prepared me for Kara's latest show, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" on TLC.
Honey Boo Boo is a 6 year old chubby pageant queen named Alana Thompson and lives in McIntyre, GA, population 700. She lives with her Mom (June) and Dad (Sugar Bear, whose real name is Mike). Her sisters Pumpkin, Chubbs and Chickadee (who is 17 and pregnant). June had her first child when she was 15 and spends her days "extreme couponing". Mike works as a chalk miner.
June seems to spend very little time rehearsing for pageants with Boo Boo. Instead, farting and belching seems to be the norm, with their pet pig Glitzy defecating on the dinner table to the delight of the entire family. However, Wednesday night it was sadly decided that Glitzy had to find another home and to cheer the family up, they all went "mud boggin" on their ATVs. Watching Mike show off on his ATV made me think of this joke: "What's the last thing a redneck says before he dies? Hey everybody watch this!" Mike narrowly missed severe injury or death when he rolled his ATV and just missed having it roll on top of his head! Christmas in July was a hoot with the family setting up Christmas inflatables on the lawn and Mike dressing as Santa in Georgia's 100+ degree heat. The neighbor kids all came over to sit on Santa's lap and Honey Boo Boo asked for an iPhone. She and the other kids really had no idea her Dad played Santa.
The show is rich in it's own language. Honey Boo Boo said before the pageant which she was so ill-prepared to win, "I want to win mo-nay!" "Let's redneckonize it!" After the pageant, she was quoted as saying "I rocked my daisy duke!" "I showed my belly to the judges. They don't recognize a good thing when they see it!" June was quoted as saying "Those girls are crazy if they think they're going to beat my Honey Boo Boo child!"
Make no mistake. The show is widely popular. Miranda Lambert loves it, saying "A dollah makes me hollah Honey Boo Boo!" Her husband Blake Shelton can't stand the show.
It seems sad that a network would exploit a poor family and a stereotype under the guise of entertainment. However, people are watching. Waiting for the next train wreck. They'll be drawn to the program like moths to a flame. I just hope nobody gets burned.