By Abby Leidigh, Carlisle Area High School, Carlisle, PA
Who is louder than Abby Lee Miller from “Dance Moms,” crazier than the cast of “Jersey Shore,” and has more viewers than“South Park?” A seven-year old Southern Georgia belle known as Honey Boo Boo.
Filled with Southern living, beauty pageantry, and bobbing for pigs’ feet, TLC’s newest reality show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” is taking the television industry by storm. First aired in August 2012, the show began as a spin-off of the highly successful show, “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
TLC producers noticed that spunky, seven-year old Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson was pure entertainment when she competed onstage.
“‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ has become a pop culture phenomenon,” said Amy Winter, general manager of TLC, on the official television show website. “What you see is what you get and we are excited to share even more of Alana and her family’s unbridled hilarity, sincerity and love with our viewers.”
Even though the show began because of Alana’s pageantry, a typical episode highlights the southern Georgia family as they live an unconditional life through mud bathing, extreme couponing, and a pet pig named “Glitsy.”
The show averages approximately 2.3 million viewers every episode, and surprisingly, even topped the cable and network broadcasts of the Republican National Convention, according to statistics from the online entertainment news source, “The Hollywood Reporter.”
While students are split as to whether the show is sending a positive message, most viewers agree that “Honey Boo Boo” is both addicting and entertaining.
“I watched the original episode and recognized [Alana] from ‘Toddlers and Tiaras,’” said senior Kayleigh Kuykendall. “The lines from the show are hysterical and the family is extremely funny.”
Junior Maddy Lohr felt similarly. “The family is extremely weird and gross. They are a little strange. [Alana] acts like such a diva and is so sassy, but [the show] is so funny.”
The subject and message of the show have caused much controversy in the media. After all, burping, teen pregnancy, and “Southern hospitality” are not typically publicized on many television networks. Within the past month, shows such as SNL and South Park have created their own parody versions mocking the rural lifestyle of the Thompson family.
Some students feel that reality shows such as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” are no big deal because they demonstrate a different aspect of American life.
“The family is just being themselves and doing their own thing,” said Kuykendall. “I feel that there is a stereotypical aspect to [“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”], but the show is just pushing the aspect of being yourself.”
Senior Catie Krahling, who stopped watching the show because of its poor message to younger children, strongly disagreed.
“You want children to have a normal childhood as best as they can. I would want my children to realize that looks aren’t everything. [“Honey Boo Boo”] is advocating appearance over substance,” said Krahling.
Despite the tough critiques and divided opinions,“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” continues to entertain television audiences nationwide. Catch all new episodes of the show during TLC’s “HOLLAday” specials occurring around Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons.the original article from hsj.org, written by Abby Leidgh