‘Honey Boo Boo’ phenomenon takes America by storm

(Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel)
Thompson, 6, gained her family a spin-off show entitled ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.’

Not many people know Alana Thompson by her real name. Dustin Hinkle, a junior political science major at Maryville College, said that the “name sounds familiar.” However, once presented with Thompson’s nickname, “Honey Boo Boo,” Hinkle said he immediately knew.

Thompson became a worldwide celebrity overnight, after her brief appearance on TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” went viral on YouTube. During her debut, she provided the world with various catch phrases, like “a dolla make me holla, ‘honey boo boo.’” Thompson, 6, gained her family a spin-off show entitled “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”

It has received a lot of attention over the summer and into the early part of September. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” follows Thompson’s crazy life in the pageant world, as well as highlighting her family’s self-proclaimed “redneck” lifestyle.

To give you a view of how non-typical this family is, let’s just say that their show requires more subtitles then the Passion of the Christ did for speech interpretation.” The Shannon-Thompson family’s antics, which include adopting a pig named Glitzy and riveting world of extreme couponing, have captured America’s attention in both a positive and negative way.

Retired grandmother of 6 and 81 year old, Christine Cox, tried to watch the show on a few occasions based on her grandson’s recommendation. She was “appalled” by the family’s behavior.

“I simply can’t believe there are people out there that live that way,” Cox said. Cox also said she felt that the family is trying to capitalize on their child’s stint of fame is just an effort for the family to gain money.

TLC is talking with the Shannon- Thompson family over a second season, to which the family is seeking a pay increase in order to proceed with production. They are seeking at least $10,000 per episode, which is more than twice the amount of $4,000 they received per episode in the first season.

Hinkle provides a unique outlook on Thompson’s role in the situation.

“The image she gives is how I feel America is today. Children get what they want. They are used as a tool for steady cash flow,” Hinkle said. Hinkle gave the family and the show credit for keeping Thompson’s “wild and free spirited” nature intact. He also brought up a possible contributing factor in what may be causing Thompson’s unique nature: the infamous “go-go juice.”

During Thompson’s stint on “Toddlers and Tiaras,” her mother, June Thompson, gave her a drink to help get her ready for her pageant performance. June Thompson revealed to “Good Morning America” that the drink was composed of Red Bull and Mountain Dew, with as much caffeine as two cups of coffee. As a result, various child advocacy groups have expressed negative views towards the amount caffeine the mother was giving her 6-year-old daughter.

“Entertainment Weekly” reported that “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” beat out coverage of the Republican National Convention in ratings. Yes, America has indeed become so interested in the show to the point where they would rather watch a half-hour reality show instead of gaining information about a presidential candidate. There are many opinionated YouTube comments on videos regarding “Honey Boo Boo.”

“Thompson appears to be having fun, and how that is captivating to see because she is hilarious to watch,” one You-Tuber said. However, others reflect how the hilarity is only caused by the absurdity of it all. They find the Shannon- Thompsons to be a “laughing stock with no purpose.” Regardless, people are watching the video, which makes the sensation even more popular by contributing to the show’s millions of views that have already been counted. Every view spreads “Honey Boo Boo Child” around, garnering more and more attention for the Shannon- Thompson family.

Either way, the Shannon-Thompson’s 15 minutes of fame looks like it has evolved into a second season. With the level of fandom for “Honey Boo Boo” in America, love her or hate her, the kid is here to stay.

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