Bye, Bye, ‘Boo Boo’

September 20, 2012

Amid the hoopla over new shows, let us pause to bid adieu to summer’s breakout hit: “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” (TLC; season finale 10 p.m. Wed.).

“Honey Boo Boo” is what 6-year-old Alana Thompson, above, calls herself. A chubby child with a cherubic face, she participates in pageants, likes it when people eat her boogers and utters phrases that must have been ghostwritten by Mark Twain: “My mama weighs the most in my family because she’s fat. Truth.”

Mama June is a fine quote machine herself: “Nobody can be proper and etiquettely all the time.”

I was prepared to dislike this show for exploiting a family’s redneck ways. But the Thompsons seem to be in on the joke, laughing at themselves as much as we laugh at them. And there is something really sweet about their family dynamic. When June announces that beloved pet pig Glitzy has to go because the family isn’t caring for him properly, Honey does not pitch a fit. She does not propose hiring a pig nanny with income from the show (reportedly in excess of $4,000 per episode). She wistfully bids Glitzy goodbye.

As Honey will miss her pig, I will miss her honest voice — although the show’s ratings surely augur a swift return.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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Amanda Abrams · September 20, 2012