Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has come under fire for a new reason every single day since it first premiered. Most recently, the Huffington Post reported that some of the people of McIntyre, Georgia, aren't so happy with the way TLC is portraying their town -- sure, the Shannons are crazy, but the b-roll of junkyard cars, stray animals and abandoned buildings are hurtful to the proud people of tiny Southern town. McIntyre's population is about 650 and nearly 40 percent of the families had an income that put them below the poverty level, according to the most recently Census survey, and, as citizen Carolyn Snead puts it, "I don't mind it, it's just that it doesn't give a good image for the county since it is a small county, and it's a really family-oriented county, and we are basically, you know, church goers down here, and a lot of the things they do ... we don't agree with it." I believe that when Snead says "they," she's talking about TLC -- and if that's the case, I agree with her.
The classism that TLC feels completely comfortable projecting has been over-the-top in Here Comes Honey Boo Boo... in last night's "Time for Sketti!", for example, there were many instances when I thought, "Why does this music have to be playing?" and "What's accomplished by showing that?" It's one thing when the family acts goofy together, but another when the editors constantly show June wheezing in her THs and playing banjo music every time a new townsperson is on camera. At times, TLC is motioning us to laugh at and look down on the Shannon family, which quickly becomes exploitive and downright gross. It's especially frustrating because these scenes are juxtaposed with Sugar Bear having a father-daughter day with Alana where they bond over arcade games and roller skating, which are actually really sweet, and honestly something that should be celebrated. I've heard people joke that this show is the destruction of the American family, but the Shannons are one of the strongest families I've seen on television (and the father isn't even biologically related to three of his daughters, to boot).
But enough about politics -- "Time for Sketti!" was full of unsettling and strange moments that were probably 20 percent because of slick editing and 80 percent unprovoked:
The girls get food from the local gas station's convenience store daily, and Pumpkin never wears shoes when she goes. Sometimes she'll be there for over an hour, and June has to call the store to get her to walk back home... about 100 feet away. (I've been reading a lot about the processed food industry lately, so this scene was just especially depressing to me.)
Alana wins an oversized inflatable hammer and proceeds to bonk herself on the face with it repetitively.
Alana calls her sister's vagina her "moon pie," Pumpkin again calls it her "biscuit" and the June tells her daughters that "A woman will ew on herself before she has a baby. And then her hemorrhoids will come out." (Frankly, this doesn't sound much better than the sex ed kids in New York have been getting.)
June burps in the middle of a TH and segment just kind of ends there, without her finishing her thought.
Alana says, "Birthin' babies are disgusting."
The family plays "Guess Whose Breath" which involves blindfolds and breathing into each other's faces.
Pumpkin describes her mother and sister's combined breaths as, "It smells like somebody ain't brushed their teeth in 25 years."
Anna literally laughs so hard that she pees herself, her pants and the couch when her sister ambushes her mother by putting a dog in her blindfolded face.
12-year-old Pumpkin doesn't know how to spell lemonade.
June's lemonade recipe is five pounds of sugar and two gallons of lemon juice.
The family is disappointed that no deer have been around to get hit by cars, with Alana complaining, "It's been a while since I done had road kill in my belly." (I'm going to get that tattooed on my neck ASAP.)
June makes spaghetti with butter and ketchup for her family. As you can imagine, there is a LOT of both in there.
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