Reality TV strikes again: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

What do you get when you mix a little bit of 16 and Pregnant with Extreme Couponing, and add a whole lot of Toddlers and Tiaras?

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, of course!

After Alana “Honey Boo Boo Child” Thompson and her mother, June (aka “Mama”) appeared on Toddlers and Tiaras, TLC gave this crazy family a spinoff of their own. The Red Neck Games and their Go-Go Juice concoction made of Redbull and Mountain Dew kind of explains it all, doesn’t it? Watch the first few minutes of this clip to meet each member of Alana’s family.

The big question is… WHY? What does a show like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo say about the American culture? As Mama June on the show would say, it’s “redneck-ognize.” It’s no secret to the Thompson family that people are watching this show to ridicule; sometimes, they even play off the humor in making fun of themselves. They’re criticized, and the people who are watching this show from home are criticized as well.

It’s interesting, then, to see how researchers have compared this show to other waves of hillbilly-type programming in the past. During tough economic times, shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Hee Haw once surfaced. You could even go as far as to say that our own generation’s frenzy of trashy shows (however you may interpret that term) has exploded with the most recent dip in the economy.

The common thread? Whether you’ll admit it or not, these shows (Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, Jersey Shore, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo) make us feel better about ourselves. If not better, than at least comfortable. I think Michelle Dean of Slate.com said it best:  “These shows reassure us that our struggle is worth it, all economic evidence to the contrary — if only because we would never belly-flop into the mud on cable television.”

In all honesty though, what’s the harm? I’ve told you before and I’ll say it again – reality TV is purely for entertainment. I’m keeping up and I’m not ashamed to admit it. This doesn’t mean, however, that I’m ignorant to the issues in this year’s election. It floors me to hear people say that the twenty-something generation is out of touch with reality. Are we? And if so, are we really the first generation to be guilty of it? Research has proven differently.  Sure, it’s a tough economy, and it may be a rather careless society. But just because we get a laugh or two from watching Honey Boo Boo doesn’t mean we’re a bunch of young, ignorant assholes.

We’re the generation that was born as multi-taskers and we’re constantly plugged into the world around us. So when it all boils down, who’s to say that we’re not keeping up with both?

Comment below or send us a tweet if you agree!

~E

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3 Responses to Reality TV strikes again: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

  1. Brittany says:

    I couldn’t agree more!!!!

  2. msprof says:

    Great post! Let’s face it: we all have our guilty pleasures. Hipsters/intellectuals who rag on reality TV often watch trashy old flicks that are “cool” and “hip,” or they zone out in front of “The Wire” for fives hours straight. We all need to unwind! And, there’s certainly aspects of reality television worth investigating/analyzing, in regards to economy and class. While Honey Boo Boo’s fam is insane, they are also endearing at times. When we think of a beauty queen baby, our first idea is, “Uh, oh, another little girl obsessed with her looks, being pressured by her mother to look perfect!” This assumption would be false in regards to Honey Boo Boo. She is very confident and her mother does not seem to pressure her to look or act or feel different, which is positive! So, there are occasionally “good” parenting moments on an otherwise “bad” show. Thanks for the post!

  3. ErikaAnn says:

    That is such a great point! I love Honey Boo Boo’s confidence! Thanks for reading 🙂

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