honey boo booLord have mercy, Honey Boo Boo Child is back and she's brought her whole family with her. You may recall (with a shudder) Alana Thompson, the go-go-juice-fuled youngster from the reality kiddie pageant series Toddlers and Tiaras. She and her mama were so compelling -- from a purely anthropological perspective, of course -- that TLC decided to give the whole family its own series. Hence their new show, Honey Boo Bo.

It's all about the Thompson family and their grotesque redneck ways. The end.

Okay, my editor would like me to write a little more than that, but I'm almost at a loss. I guess what has me worried most about this show isn't watching a family literally roll around in mud (don't we all do that?) -- it's what being the 6-year-old National Spokesperson for American Rednecks is going to do to Alana when she grows up.

We all know what we're supposed to do when (if?) we watch the show. We're supposed to gasp, disgusted by what we see. What pigs! (Literally, there is a pig on the show.) These people are so GROSS. Thank goodness I myself am only two-thirds as trashy as those people! When I fart that loudly, it's in private, and I wallow in an appropriate amount of shame when I do so. I would never! And so on.

But who cares about the adult viewers. We will be all right if we indulge in a little schadenfreude now and then, a few laughs at the clowns' antics. What about Honey Boo Boo? Does she really know what she's signing up for? Because her role on this show just reminds me of what pageant parents always say about exploiting their kids: But she WANTS to do this!

I'm sure Honey Boo Boo just loves bein' on the tee vee. Her kinfolk love it just bunches, too. But what is this going to do to her psyche in the long run? I don't think ANY kids should be on reality television, let alone a show like this.

There are a few paths child stars can follow. There's the Olsen Twins route: Weird, but at least their parents saved the money so they could go to college. And there's the Lindsay Lohan route: Train wreck. I worry that Alana is going the LiLo way, and that's a hard thing to put on a little girl who has no inner resources to rely on but high fructose corn syrup. See ya in the tragic tabloids in 20 years, Honey Boo Boo.

Do you think it's healthy for Alana to appear on a show like this?

 

Image via TLC