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Commentary: You’d better ‘redneckognize’ TLC’s ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’

Courtesy of MCT

Unless someone is seriously hurt, I can’t help but laugh when I see them trip and fall. Maybe it’s mean, but I don’t care. I even laugh at myself when I eat it.

TLC’s new reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” is no exception to my cruel, impulsive laughter.

The show is a spinoff of TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras,” a reality show that focuses on children and their parents who are involved in the world of beauty pageants.

Alana Thompson, also known as “Honey Boo Boo,” “Honey Boo Boo Child” or “Smoochie,” is a 7-year-old trying to make it in the competitive pageant world. But she’s just a small part of what makes this train wreck of a show impossible to turn away from.

Set in McIntyre, Ga., a rural, quaint piece of southern Americana, the show films Honey Boo Boo’s family going through its adventurous daily grind. Each family member has a ridiculous nickname.

Patriarch June “Mama” Shannon tries to keep the family on track with her extreme couponing and manicures, pedicures and weight-loss plans for the whole family. No pedicures for “Mama” though because she suffers from a severe case of “forklift foot” and doesn’t want to remove her socks to expose her prior warehouse injury’s scars to anyone.

Then we have “Sugar Bear,” whose real name is Mike Thompson, who is Mama’s longtime boyfriend and Honey Boo Boo’s father. Luckily, everything Sugar Bear says is accompanied by closed-captioning because his southern drawl isn’t helped at all by his dip habit, which is painfully obvious from his chipmunk cheeks and black, crusty lip corners.

Honey Boo Boo’s three sisters are Lauryn “Pumpkin,” 12, Jessica “Chubbs,” 15, and Anna “Chickadee,” 17, who gave birth to daughter Kaitlyn on July 26. Pumpkin and Chubbs are central to the family’s strange dynamic. They enjoy farting and nose picking at the dinner table, enhancing the show’s humorous exploitation of a “poor southerner” stereotype by offering themselves up as laughing stocks, seemingly filmed for no other reason than to increase ratings.

Closed-captioning isn’t just for Sugar Bear, either. It’s used for everyone. After all, it would be hard to decipher anyone’s words while they “shop” at the department store which, in this case, just happens to be the local dump. Literally.

But there would be no show without the spunky, energetic Honey Boo Boo. She’s chunky, unrefined and not what you would expect from a pageant girl at any age. Without her, America wouldn’t have the opportunity to watch her family fall flat on its face on a weekly basis.

If sophomoric humor is for you, then tune into TLC Wednesdays at 10 p.m. As Honey Boo Boo would say, “You better redneckognize!”

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