Yesterday I pondered the question of whether Breaking Bad is the best TV show ever. Today I’m going in a very different direction… Have you seen Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? I’d never even heard of this show until Jess mentioned it to me the other night. It plays on TLC (more on that later!) and is a spin-off of Toddlers & Tiaras, a reality show about very young girls in beauty pageants, and their crazy mothers who need their heads examined. Apparently one of the families from the original Toddlers & Tiaras was so interesting that TLC decided to give them their own show. And they say quality television is hard to find.
After about 10 minutes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, I had to turn it off. If you had asked me how I felt at the time, I would have said that it was an uncomfortable mixture of disgust, anger, and sadness. Here is a family so completely different from anything I’ve ever known… I was initially in shock by what I saw. Was it entertaining? Not at all. Jess had warned me that it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You don’t want to watch, but you can’t pull your eyes away. You have to see what happens next. But I couldn’t do it. I felt sad for the little girl (Honey Boo Boo, by the way) who is too young to realize that she doesn’t have a hope in hell of ever winning one of these pageants and is simply on TV because people are laughing at her and her family. I was angry with the mother for exploiting her family… and worse, disgusted with TLC and the current culture of “lowest common denominator” when it comes to what gets on TV and what doesn’t. How many GOOD television shows have been axed because they cost too much to produce and/or didn’t achieve the instant audience demanded by TV executives? And then this filth is allowed to air? Disgusting.
I can’t cast blame solely at TLC. Every network does it. And why the hell not? Nearly 3 million people tuned in to watch Episode 4. What does that tell you?
One last thing… TLC… I used to believe that TLC stood for The Learning Channel. What are people learning from this? It’s part of the Discovery network, which is generally some pretty decent programming. But when I look at the current line-up on TLC I see titles like Long Island Medium, 19 Kids and Counting, and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding…
Can someone please tell me what we’re supposed to be learning from this?
Makes me miss Breaking Bad even more…