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It is estimated that the average person 15 or older watches 2.8 hours of television a day! Watching TV is the most common leisure activity, and is done much more frequently than even socializing with friends. Although the amount of time often wasted lounging around, watching television, and being anything but productive is enough to make some people cringe, television is without a doubt an important part of society. Whether it functions to provide urgent information, such as weather warnings and Amber alerts, or just to provide simple pleasure, it is a vital machine in a heavily technology-dependent society, and is not going to go away any time soon. But with hundreds upon thousands of television shows aired every day, how do we name the best one? What criteria do we use to judge it? Although it is near impossible for me to acknowledge every TV show in existence, one television series that comes to mind is Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The series follows a family of outlandish, self-proclaimed “rednecks” and their energetic and lovable youngest member, seven-yearold Alana, who goes by Honey Boo Boo. In terms of entertainment and values I believe that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is the best show on television because of the humor, the content and modest attitudes of the Honey Boo Boo’s family, and their respectable family values. The simple humor of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is the first thing which might attract one’s attention to the show. Much of the humor comes from Honey Boo Boo herself, who loves to talk and is not afraid to speak her mind. I recall one episode, where the family was sitting on a couch together, and the mother, June, was speaking to the camera. All were sitting, that is, except for little Honey Boo Boo, who was standing up and flailing her arms backwards and forwards over her head. Suddenly she interrupted her mother with, “Mama, look. I’m making up a song in my head and I’m dancing to it!” To top it off, the family remained completely stoic, like this was a normal occurrence. The hilarious and
unique comment and “dancing” had my brother, my mom, and I in stitches. Every now and then, something comes up in a conversation that reminds us of this scene, and we once again burst out in laughter at the mention of it, or at each other’s admittedly bad reenactments. In addition, the rest of Honey Boo Boo’s family adds to the show with their odd comments and quirky ways. They go to the “Redneck Games” together, which is an annual local event with activities such as bobbing for pigs’ feet (instead of apples) and jumping into mud pits. June is an avid “couponer”, who saves and organizes coupons and buys items in bulk to get them remarkably cheap, and Honey Boo Boo’s favorite thing to do is compete in beauty pageants. Put all of their quirky personalities and unique activities together, and you get the side-splitting humor of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Another thing that makes the show great is the fact that the family doesn’t care what anybody thinks of them. They recognize the fact that they’re different and they accept and embrace it. In one episode, they bring in an etiquette teacher to help refine Honey Boo Boo’s manners for her pageants, and her sister Pumpkin joins them as well. However, neither of the girls enjoy the lessons at all, and they make it very clear that they don’t want to change. They like the way they are, bad manners and all, and don’t want to change just to please someone else. Even twelve-year-old Pumpkin, who is at an age where appearance and popularity is made out to be a number-one priority, says, “I don’t care what people think. If you don’t like me, you don’t like me.” While it may not sound like words of great wisdom, it portrays a perspective that many people wish society would simply embrace. Don’t change who you are just because judgmental people pressure you to. In one interview, when the interviewer brought up claims that their family was “classless”, June replied, “In life there is going to be criticism. There is people who love us and people who hate us…it’s a part of life every day…we are who we are.” Even with all the criticism the family receives, I think that there is a lesson to be learned from the family that people don’t necessarily realize unless they look deeper. This is a family who has their priorities straight. They may come off as different and “classless” to some people, but they put their love for each
other and who they truly are first, and what people think of them last. Say what you like about them, but they’ve earned some respect from me, bobbing for pigs’ feet and diving in mud and all. Going hand in hand with their priorities, I love Here Comes Honey Boo Boo because the family really is a true family. They do everything together, and have fun doing it. The first season of the show took place entirely during the summer. My last summer consisted of cross country, fastpitch, and driver’s ed, and for my brother it was all football. My oldest siblings were at school, and my parents worked during the day, so we didn’t spend a ton of time as a family. It’s nobody’s fault, and I was happy and content, but we just didn’t have the time. Honey Boo Boo’s family, however, seems to spend all of their time together, and I love that about them. Whether they’re going to the Redneck Games, spending the day at the water park, or having fun at home. Not to mention, they have fun with whatever they’re doing, and long as they’re together. In one episode, they made what they called a “redneck slip n’ slide”. They took a tarp, spread it out on the grass, poured baby oil on it, and then held a hose over it to keep it wet. Then, they took turns diving and sliding across it. Sure, it wasn’t as big or fancy as a regular Slip N’ Slide, but they made the best of it and had fun doing it together. I can’t remember the last time my family did something as creative and fun like that together, so this family earns my respect once again. June, in the same interview I mentioned in the previous paragraph, stated, “We are loving, and I love being around my family, so that’s all that matters.” Once again, society might learn a thing or two from the family it has simply pointed a finger and laughed at. They genuinely love and enjoy being around each other, and truly embody what it means to be a family. Their admirable family dynamics, along with their humorous antics and comfort with who they are, goes to show how Honey Boo Boo’s family makes their show the best one on television. Sure, one might enjoy the humor and drama in a reality show like Keeping up with the Kardashians, but such a show simply adds to the wealth of a family of arrogant, superficial people. Or, one might be more
inclined towards something more intellectual or practical, like a news show, but where is the entertainment and light-hearted humor that so many look for in television? Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is an entertaining television show which does not derive its humor or entertainment value from the pain of others, or from aimless drama. Instead, we enjoy the humor of the innocent and adorable comments of young Honey Boo Boo, and the antics of her perfectly happy family. It is entertainment involving both laughter and a lesson in family values, and that makes for a good, hearty television show. As far as being the best show on television, I use Honey Boo Boo’s own words lovingly when I say, “you better redneckognize!”