'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo': 3 Reasons We Just Can't Get Enough (VIDEO)

Here Comes Honey Boo BooThe number of people making jokes about Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC's reality show about a self-proclaimed "redneck" family and their Toddlers and Tiaras daughter, is probably matched only by the number of folks who secretly watch every single freaking episode. That would be nearly three million viewers, by the way -- more people tuned in to Honey Boo Boo earlier this month than the coverage of the Republican National Convention. Empty chair, or Sugar Bear? America has spoken!

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has been such a runaway hit, TLC made the no-brainer decision to order more episodes of Alana Thompson and her oddball family. Not only will there be more Boo Boo to go around, but the network says we can look forward to three "HOLLAday" specials, featuring the gang celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. (Oooh, will they serve roadkill??)

What IS it about this particular reality show that makes it so popular? I have some theories:


People like to feel superior. If ever you've second-guessed your parenting skills, you can probably take solace in the fact that you don't feed your kid "go go juice" -- a seemingly lethal mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull that Alana chugged on an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras. This was after having downed 15 bags of Pixy Stix, mind you. Plus, the Boo Boo family lives on coupon-purchased junk food and regularly harvests dead animals from the side of the road. Some of the more organic gluten-free Whole Foods fans in America may be watching this show out of sheer horror.

People like to mock. It's easy to make fun of the Honey Boo Boo family -- in fact, TLC seems to encourage it by providing subtitles, as though their Southern accents make them incoherent. Alana's mom was a teenage mother who has a pregnant teen daughter of her own, and her four children each have a different father. They regularly fart, sneeze, and burp on camera, between various "redneck" activities (such as participating in the actual Redneck Games). Their house appears to have been built all of three feet from a railroad track. Joel McHale of The Soup regularly refers to overweight June as "the Human Thumb," or "HT" for short.

People are genuinely entertained. This is my favorite theory, because it's why I watch the show. I honestly like this silly, down-to-earth family. I like that they seem to have real affection for each other, and that they don't give a roadkill rat's butt what other people think about them. If the joke is on them, this family appears to be on it -- particularly little Alana, whose head-wagging sass seems custom-designed for maximum entertainment value.

TLC's general manager obvious has a stake in the family's success, but I think she put it nicely:

What you see is what you get, and we are excited to share even more of their unbridled hilarity, sincerity, and love with our viewers.

Yup. It's nice to unplug in front of a show that isn't trying to sell a beauty ideal or a luxury lifestyle -- it's just lighthearted fun, with pigs and mud and some honest, no-kidding family values. As Alana said once, "Mama says pretty comes in all different sizes. My size is cute."

Come on, when's the last time you heard a Kardashian saying that?

Do you watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? If so, why?

Image via TLC

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