Ever wonder how Glitzy the Pig would get on in Britain?
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo recently debuted there to unsurprising critical snark. The series, about seven-year-old aspiring beauty queen Alana and her freewheeling middle Georgia family, "disssassified" the Independent, who rebuked the "declasse" clan's grammar and perceived dental hygiene, christening The Learning Channel (TLC) where the show appears a "feed-pipe for low-brow reality swill."
The vitriol echoed much of what was flung at the show by America's television opiners when it debuted here last year. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is "transparently heinous" and "soul-scarring" and "dehumanizing," some groused. It is "incremental tearing down of the social fabric," not to mention "salacious, exploitative and celebratory of violent, abusive and predatory behavior."
Given all that, out of the TV shows to send to the mother country, surely this one could be skipped? I'd argue just the opposite: This is exactly the kind of cultural product America should be exporting.
Yes, the way producers construct the show implores its audience to laugh and cringe at the Thompson/Shannon family's life: hoarding toiletries, renaming foods with fewer syllables (spaghetti = sketti), and mud bathing at the annual Redneck Games. Mama June, Alana, and her three older sisters, Chubs, Pumpkin and Chickadee, reside in a small house beside railroad tracks where they clip coupons, rehearse pageant routines and occasionally voyage to Macon, the "big city"—where I grew up—to shop and dine. Cameras fixate on shooting the women from unflattering angles; sound effects repeatedly magnify their farts and burps.