I think Toddlers in Tiaras is a travesty. And one need look no further than Honey Boo Boo's sister, Pumpkin, to see how utterly unappealing a complete lack of decorum is.
But, if I'm being totally honest, I think this show is kind of sweet. The mom (June) is a little misguided but she spends a lot of time with her kids and they do seem to have a defining family culture and be part of their community and have friends. When they couldn't get that Pack-n-Play together for Glitzy I thought it was sweet that Sugar Bear put it together when he got home. Of course, getting the pig was a terrible idea and it's not going to work out but you expect that. You expect the crazy redneck schtick. You expect the burping.
I did not expect to be so intrigued by Honey Boo Boo (Alana) herself. She's spunky, funny, quirky, and interesting. I really like her. Like I said before, those girls need to learn some manners because what's cute (ish) at 6 quickly becomes horrendous by age 12 (at least). Pumpkin is gross and Alana is definitely headed along the same path, but maybe June will try a little harder with Alana while the cameras are rolling. The oldest daughter is pregnant at 17 (OF COURSE), but to me it just highlights the cycle of poverty and teen pregnancy in the south. June got pregnant when she was 15. There is so much tragedy embedded in this show that it's hard to be a flat-out hater. I find it actually kind of poignant. I also think reviewers of this show who simply focus on how obese June is have no better manners than Pumpkin.
A train passes closely by their house every episode. It's kind of funny like, can you believe a train went by! These guys are such rednecks! But then you realize that girls who get pregnant at 15 may not end up with their pick of non-train track dream houses. June seems to be making the best of her situation. Sugar Bear drives a nice truck. So I don't know what to make of the show exactly. Am I sad because TLC is exploiting this family or am I happy that this family found a way to make some money?
I don't watch any of the real housewives and I could barely take one season of The Bachelor. I expected to feel that way about Honey Boo Boo. But I find myself feeling a lot of compassion for June--poor deformed-foot, perpetually sneezing June. She really thinks pageants will be Alana's route to success. Maybe she's right.
One thing I'm looking forward to for Honey Boo Boo's family is the TLC trajectory of fame. It starts with teeth whitening. (I'm sure we're all pretty anxious for that to happen.) Then they get better clothes and start getting offers to visit miscellaneous local aquariums and theme parks a la John and Kate + 8 and The Duggars. I'm happy for them to start getting these opportunities. It doesn't really bode well, since they apparently spend discretionary income on teacup piggies and matching costumes, but I'm interested to see what happens. I'd like to see Honey Boo Boo not get pregnant in the next few years. I'd also like to see her win a Supreme Title. I really hope that for her.