September 18, 2012


Honey Boo-Boo is the worst thing in the history of television and I know this without having ever watched it.

Look at the premise. A - how to say this delicately - unconventional, backwoods family lives vicariously through their obnoxious pageant-winning daughter and hilarity ensues. Except it doesn't. It's pathetic. It's what's wrong with America. Sure, there's a lot of other shit wrong with the country too but this doesn't help. The family in its entirety looks to be barely above the poverty line, they eat roadkill, and my four year old with his slightly flawed speech is far more articulate than any adult in the show. Yet this isn't entirely their fault. Someone saw them and said we can make a buck off these people. The Learning Channel, to be exact. And they've squeezed it into a lineup that sports overbearing pageant moms, midget doctors, hoarders, strange sex addicts, and the occasional cupcake show. Since when did learning become a synonym for freakshow?

Honey Boo-Boo is offensive. It's tragic. She's not all that adorable - the premise of the show! - but even this marginally cute phase - this phase where she can be cute by being so grotesquely stereotypical - will only last so long. And what's ahead of her after her parents finally fuck her up beyond repair, the camera lights are off and she's just a kid trying to be normal with no idea what normal is like? Unless this is a strong, capable kid (and I try not to underestimate the awesomeness of kids), the road in front is paved with trailer parks and meth. And if any introspection is applied to her life down the road, the question what the fuck did my parents do to me?

Have we seriously sunk this low? That this is what passes as entertainment?

This makes me mad. Can you tell?

Posted by Chris at September 18, 2012 7:23 AM

The commercials alone were enough to turn me off. Friends of ours have a 6 yr old that watches it. She is starting to act just like her, and it's a terrible thing to say about a child, but I could wring her little neck...OMG...spent 20 minutes with them Saturday night...that will be the LAST time. Hubby watched last night to see what the hoopla was..he lasted 3 minutes. Like T&T..I just don't understand it.

Posted by: Roberta at September 18, 2012 8:09 AM

It's disgusting and even more disgustig are the people that watch this drivel! The Learning Channel is a mockery of what it used to be. Can you imagine people from other countries getting a glimpse of this Honey Boo Boo show? They must think all Americans are fat, dumb boorish, uneducated, sloths. hmmm...The producers of this show are taking advantage of this family who are being paid $4000/episode (as reported on my local radio). And they are hoarders! You know all that money is going to be spent on stocking up on cheeze balls and mountain dew. The family borders on child abuse- they feel the little girl her "gogo juice" (mountain dew and red bull??) before pageants to get her all hyped up, they have no redeeming qualities...

Posted by: Lisa at September 18, 2012 8:12 AM

I won't lie: I'd seen HBB on Toddlers and Tiaras, something I watch only in passing, and I was intrigued by her new show. But after only one episode, I couldn't stomach any more. I didn't think the show was funny or cute or entertaining; I thought everything about it was gross.

Posted by: Emily at September 18, 2012 8:20 AM

I feel the same way about all the kardashian and real housewives show-just on the other end of the spectrum of gross!

Posted by: amyd at September 18, 2012 8:30 AM

I've seen it. One show and I will never get that 22 minutes back.

Posted by: crookedeyebrow at September 18, 2012 8:42 AM

The thing is, the people at TLC aren't morons. They won't put on shows that don't have an audience, so a lot of the blame has to go to the people who watch this stuff. That being said, TLC long ago stopped being The Learning Channel, and switched to We'll Exploit Anyone For A Buck Channel, but WEAFAB doesn't display as well on billboards.

Posted by: J at September 18, 2012 9:06 AM

I forget who said it originally, but there's a theory that you can track the rise and fall of a culture by its idols. When building up, people admire the military. At the height of a people, artists, thinkers, philosophers and poets are venerated. And finally, when in decline, people send their finite attentions to celebrities. With this stuff, I think the networks have actually discovered the next level of decline--a sort of voyeuristic, sensationalist, schadenfreude. It wouldn't be so distressing if (as has been alluded to) it clearly has an audience that is large enough to warrant its existence. This is what people *want*. I tell you, the end is nigh. It's really rather depressing. I cut the cord a decade ago to spare myself this stuff. Of course, that does little to rectify the problem. Meh.

Posted by: Martin at September 18, 2012 10:57 AM

Totally and completely agree. It's sad.

Posted by: Holly at September 18, 2012 10:58 AM

About a week ago, I didn't know her name. I miss that innocence.

Posted by: alektra at September 18, 2012 11:39 AM

I gave it ten minutes a few weeks ago because I did not want to judge what I had not seen. Now I practically boycott TLC. Not only should child protective services keep their eyes on that family but TLC owes them something more than scraps from the ginormous revenue they are probably generating in free advertising and increased viewers. People: stop watching, please. Honey's parents are only part of the problem. You viewers, you are the other part.

Posted by: rebecca at September 18, 2012 12:02 PM

I'm so glad you saved me from saying it.

I haven't seen it either.

Posted by: Mel at September 18, 2012 2:38 PM

so funny you should mention this. until last night, i had never actually watched an episode, only seen the commercials and lamented the obvious no-turning-back decline of civilization. and then we were watching our DVR'd episode of saturday night live where they did a little skit making fun of it and don remembered that he'd seen it playing right then on The Loser Channel so we switched to it..... and went to bed so scarred for life. all i could say was "i just can't UN-SEE that." it really is that bad/sad/terrifying/disgusting/everything.

Posted by: kati at September 18, 2012 3:37 PM

Couldn't agree more. I've seen 2 clips and found it nauseating. I thought Toddlers & Tiaras was offensive. I had no idea that the concept could sink any lower.

Posted by: James Proffitt at September 18, 2012 4:33 PM

Cactus-Man, Normally you and I see things in the same light.

However, I will beg to disagree about this being the worst thing on television ever. I DO HOWEVER AGREE THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER DONE TO A CHILD ON TELEVISION, EVER.

Having been someone who has worked with emotionally, physically, sexually damaged children, for the better part of a decade, Alana is not the only child being damaged.

What does it say to the 2-3 other kids in the family(not sure how many there actually are, as I only caught one episode) who don't rank high enough to be deserving of Mama's attention? Trailer Parks and Meth are definitely in Alana's future but, I think heart disease $ or diabetes will do her in first, as sad as that is to say.

The only minutely redeeming feature of that show is the fact they emphasize Huggy Bear goes to work EVERY DAY.

As far as worst blight on television ever, I have to go with Jersey Shore. Not only because I am a native Rhode Islander but, because adults were sucked in deep enough by the show to over look the abhorrent behavior and complete lack of moral fiber of the cast.

I would hope if my kids were acting like complete and total jackwagons on television, someone would pull me aside and tell me this might not be the best move for them.

Sure, its a career move but, I don't think being famous/rich for being an uncultured cave person, should be something the teens & young adults of the world should aspire to.

Posted by: JJ at September 18, 2012 5:23 PM

I can't believe there's an audience out there who eats this stuff up. On the other hand, I confess to a fascination with Hoarders. I think I'm about over it though - they all look alike and staged.

Posted by: Ann Adams at September 18, 2012 6:58 PM

Two years ago my husband's ex-wife tried to feature my stepkids on her very own episode of The Fairy Jobmother while the kids were visiting her for the summer. When the producers found out that she didn't actually have primary custody they called my husband and badgered him relentlessly. They wanted him to agree to let them show the footage they'd already shot (under false information, I'm fairly sure- the ex has a fluid concept of truth). His answer was a resounding and horrified "No."

So yeah, I hear you. Not ok, not pretty, but mostly not good for anyone except TLC's bottom line. I hate that we've become a nation of unashamed train-wreck enthusiasts.

Posted by: Jess at September 18, 2012 7:21 PM

Uh. I was flipping through the channels and it happened to be on. Her fat mother was making spaghetti noodles topped with ketchup and melted butter just o. m. g. I made it until they all plopped down in the living room and started sucking noodles. Pathetic. I'm betting she turns into honey fatass.

Posted by: Kami at September 18, 2012 10:24 PM