Everyone has his own guilty pleasures when it comes to TV shows. I’m almost embarrassed to admit my latest: “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” on TLC. If ever a show exemplified the clichéd saying of “watching a train wreck” it would be this one.
It is difficult to explain what this reality show is about without sounding condescending since the family depicted in it fit negative stereotypes of poor white people in the south (in other words, rednecks, a term the family members embrace). What little narrative there is concerns a mother’s determination in having her 6-year-old daughter win beauty contests.
As for the attraction of the show . . . not that viewers see themselves as this family, rather that they are pleased they are not this family. It makes one wonder what other conceivable reality show concept can TV producers create.
And evidently I’m not alone in my inability to not watch the show. According to the Nielsen ratings, last week more people tuned in to “Honey Boo Boo” than did the Republican National Convention. What that says about America—I’ll let you decide.
BRIAN CROSBY is a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District and the author of Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher. He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.