In Defense of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

booboohead This show is stunning. I can’t… you just need to see it. I hate this, but I’m in a peculiar position. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is easily one of the worst things ever, but… it is so… ugh, this is going to be a weird entry. Okay, let me start from the beginning. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo stars, well, kinda Honey Boo Boo, but more Mama, although Chickadee is possibly just as important in some episodes… okay, the Thompson family. Hang on, I need oxygen… Let’s start small and obnoxiously precocious. Alana Thompson is Honey Boo Boo, aka Smoochie, aka Honey Boo Boo Child. She’s a Mountain Dew-fueled 6-year-old pageant princess and proud owner of a male pet pig, which she insists on dressing as a ballerina. Glitzty Pig “will be a pageant gay pig,” she exclaims while picking cheese puffs out of the carpet. June “Mama” Shannon is Honey Boo Boo’s mother. She’s… oh lord, I need to breathe…

Some pictures are worth thousands of words.

Some pictures are worth thousands of words.

Okay, I’ll approach this a different way. In the first episode, the family goes to the Redneck Games. Which is totally a real thing, yes. Mostly, the games consist of shirtless, toothless gentlemen performing “serenades” with their armpits and obese ladies “bobbin’ for pig’s feet” while clad in confederate flag regalia.

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This is their website. Click that link if you’re brave. Or this one for pictures.

This event brings out the best and worst of the Thompsons. The whole family scoffs at the other participants, jesting about their skimpy tankinis and rolls of flab. Yep, this family thoroughly exploded my inner irony meter. Mama summarized the event in one of the most perfect, pithy remarks I have ever heard. I’ve had dreams about it. Well, nightmares to be more astute. “All that vajiggle jaggle is not beautimous.” Hang on, I need to take a break.

In addition to inducing sarcasm-induced brain hemorrhages, Mama also buys pallets of potato chips at food auctions, “bakes” a mean plate of “sketti,” and never takes off her socks. You see, a forklift ran over her foot and disfigured it, so she feels… ashamed… and embarrassed… about that. And only that. Huh, my nose is bleeding. Okay, I need to move this along. The father Mike Thompson is known as “Sugar Bear.” He chews tobacco and once claimed he needed to shower because he “smelled like oyster stew.” ‘Nough said. Honey Boo Boo’s three half sisters (none of them have the same father) are “Chickadee,” “Chubbs,” and “Pumpkin.” Chickadee is pregnant on the show, but recently had her baby in real life. Oh, and the baby has three thumbs because of course it does.

honey

Chubbs and Pumpkin cause fearful recoil in their own ways, but I need to talk about why this show is redeemable. Oh good lord, how am I going to do this? Wait, did I mention that Chubbs and Mama are attempting to lose weight, and decide that increased farting will enhance their weight loss? The show is filled with that type of “good-intent-followed-by-misguided-failure,” and… it’s so beautiful, Okay, that’s it! Defense, here I come.

So I have a tendency toward a mean sense of humor. I enjoy when people embarrass themselves. That happens all the time on this show. People who should know better are flailing around in abject failure, and it is hilarious. And you think I’m talking about the Thompsons, don’t you? Ha ha, nope. Keep reading. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is the most pure reality television show I have ever seen. You get a real sense that the Thompsons act this way even when cameras are absent. I mean, the family made sausage links out of a deer in their garage. A roadkill deer. Honey Boo Boo played with the head. You simply cannot fake that.

I don’t support their lifestyle, but I can appreciate people who are that comfortable with themselves. I operate under certain social rules, but Honey Boo Boo can’t make it through dinner without belching her pageant songs. I’ve been a long time Wal-Mart people watcher, and therein lies similar beauty. I appreciate the people I watch becausethey make good stories. If anything, the sadder person in that scenario is me, the watcher. Watching denotes envy, so part of me is probably jealous of the Thompson naivety. If nothing else, they get paid to live as they always do. That is awesome and enviable.

Also, I would look great in that wig.

Also, I would look great in that wig.

So I appreciate the Thompson family, simply for their willingness to live as themselves and the quotes they generate. So where does the mean humor (at least the majority of it) come in? Well, look in the bottom right of that picture.

The people at TLC are absurdly pathetic, and it is hilarious. They are looking down on this family as some Petri dish of lesser life forms, not knowing that they are sadder than any given Thompson. They subtitle everything like we are watching some foreign film, pretending they want to communicate a message (although that did help immensely with quotations). TLC think they are good ones… you know, the people who brought you Extreme Couponing and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.
 

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is awful, don’t get me wrong. This family will only get more disconnected from societal norms as their popular brand of absurdity increases. They are not good people, and they are not good parents. I am not defending their choices, nor am I defending their lifestyle. I simply want to point out that the people monetizing and dehumanizing them are far more deserving of scorn.

‘Cause all that long-distance judgmentalism and exploitation is not beautimous.

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One thought on “In Defense of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

  1. Pingback: In Defense of Sony Pulling ‘The Interview’ | Pop Culture Courtroom

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