I’m as powerless as anyone to look away from “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” TLC’s new reality series about Alana Thompson, a 6-year-old kiddie pageant contestant from rural Georgia, and the boisterous clan what done gave birth to her.
Precocious, atrocious! She’s a Shirley Temple for this ceaseless Great Recession!
The show, premiering with two episodes Wednesday night, is a horrifying and yet strangely sweet glimpse at American life as it is lived by a particular style of Americans that television finds increasingly irresistible, and yet: “We are not rednecks,” claim the family’s older daughters, even as they prepare to spend their day at a redneck pride festival that features bobbing for pigs’ feet, mudhole belly-flop contests and overweight women clad in Confederate-flag bikinis.
This is a show about seemingly dumb people who are in fact quite smart, starting with Alana (a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo) herself, whom fans of the network’s popular “Toddlers & Tiaras” have already met. Alana was an overnight hit when she first appeared on the show in January; with this spinoff, TLC is simply admitting that they — and we — are captivated by Honey Boo Boo. Just point the camera at her and let it roll.