The Rise of the “Honey Boo Boo”
What is a “Honey Boo Boo” exactly? Most people would first assume that it’s probably a phrase a child says after they fall and get a cut, but that’s not it. Is it an orangutan swooping from tree to tree in the rain forest? Is it a hot, new child’s toy on the market? Maybe a classier name for the women of the night? Unfortunately, the answer to all of those questions is “no.”
Honey Boo Boo, occasionally known as Alana Thompson, is a 7-year-old girl starring in her own reality show on TLC called “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Boo Boo is not alone in this fight to bring justice back to the typical, all-American family. Starring along with her is her mother June, father Mike, and sisters Anna, Jessica and Lauryn (respectively known as Mama June, Sugar Bear, Chickadee, Chubbs and Pumpkin). Yes, this regular, 21st century version of the Kennedys shares its every moment with America. Whether it is a weight loss contest, burping contest, worst breath contest or just another day of going to the annual redneck games, this family is taking the world by storm, one cut of the cheese at a time!
If this family sounds familiar, it’s not because it is your cousins from Muncie. It’s because they first appeared on TLC’s “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Even then this family had captivated the American audience with its antics.
The new show mainly revolves around Honey Boo Boo and her quest to become America’s Next Top Pageant Queen. Boo Boo is a very sassy little girl with the mouth of a G-rated trucker. Her only goal in life is to be the best pageant contestant this side of the Mississippi. Honey Bo Boo does have one exceptional quality though. The girl knows how to strut her stuff!
Her family is there and supports her every step along the way. Mama June is Boo Boo’s biggest fan and tries her hardest to give her daughter the best chances at winning a pageant. Mama is definitely rough around the edges and does not always have proper control of her bodily functions. She does support all three of her kids and gives her all to help them accomplish their dreams.
Boo Boo’s sisters never get jealous of their little sister and are always watching her with an encouraging eye. All three of the girls play a significant part in this show and make this family dynamic that more compelling. Sugar Bear quietly stays out of the way during pageant preparation but watches his daughter proudly during the pageant. Sugar Bear doesn’t say much, but when he does it is like poetry. For example, when Mama June slips on a short blonde wig in episode 6, he says, “It makes me feel a little frisky, and I kind of wanted to jump some bones.” It’s a regular Hallmark type of moment.
When not traveling from competition to competition, the family enjoys spending time with one another at home. Daily activities include sleeping until noon, eating, couponing at the market, eating, going to the garbage dump to shop, eating, feeding the pig, and did I mention eating? They are definitely not conventional in the sense of being mannerly or cultured, but they are conventional in the sense that they love each other and always put family first.
The show has been a ratings success for TLC and is averaging more than 3 million viewers per episode. It has become the No. 1 show in its time slot in the extremely important 18-49 demographic. This family has captivated the American television audience so much that the show beat the Republican Nation Convention in the ratings. It has yet to be determined if that shows a good quality of the American people, but it does speak volumes for what the people actually care about. This family may be irrelevant, crass and unrefined, but if you overlook that, you will see realness about them. They do not pretend to be what they are not, and each one is always true to his or her character. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is pure entertainment, and that is why people like watching it. No, it may not always be the most sophisticated show, and the family may not always be appealing, but two things can be promised from tuning in, and those are laughter and shock.
I urge people to watch this show with an open, clear mind and not go into it judgmentally. Do that and you will come away with a laugh, an appreciation of family, and ultimately you will thank God you don’t have Honey Boo Boo and her family living at home.