steffanie rivers

Steffanie Rivers

*First it was “Toddlers and Tiaras” a reality TV show about pint-size pageant contestants.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, somebody at the TLC network decided to give the most outrageous tiara tot and her family their own show.

It’s like when TV news crews show up in the neighborhood and interview people walking around outside wearing hair curlers with missing teeth: They have to know this is not the best representative, but its lights, camera, action nevertheless.

Apparently TLC – previously known as The Learning Channel – is teaching viewers that ratings are more important than quality programming. That’s what I’ve concluded after seeing video promos of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child,” the name of their latest reality TV show offering. I can’t bring myself to watch a full episode. I only can watch in small servings. The show is named after the pudgy six-year old who has a pet pig, eats cheese puffs for breakfast and swigs something she calls “go-go juice” to boost her mood during pageant events. All this is done under the watchful eye of her mother. Let’s just say the family resemblance is apparent.

Every family member has a nickname, they feed Mountain Dew to a one-month old infant, they bob for pig’s feet instead of apples, but they don’t seem to value books or visits to the library. Honey Boo Boo, whose birth name is Alana Thompson, probably has more pageant trophies than she knows how to count, but she proudly proclaims that “a dollar makes me holler!” It’s another trait she picked up from her mother whose nickname is the coupon queen. Their home looks like a mini Sam’s Wholesale. Nobody needs that much toilet tissue and deodorant except a convenient store!

If you ever wondered how rural White America lives, this is the show for you. The trouble is, I don’t think this family realizes that people are laughing at them – not with them and I don’t think they care either way. Possibly after a few episodes Honey Boo Boo’s parents will realize any self-esteem boost she gets from pageant competition could be destroyed when she looks back at her “reality” a few years from now. They better redneck-cognize before it’s too late.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking requests to [email protected].