A personality as big as Honey Boo Boo's can't be confined to just the United States. The little hillbilly beauty queen is going international. TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is on its way to Eastern Europe, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, and Latin America. In Poland, it's already #3. This is very good news for the family, but perhaps not so great for the rest of us.
I love that it means more cash for Boo Boo’s bank account. Mama has said she sets everything they earn in a trust for her. That will undoubtedly come in handy when she's too old for the pageant circuit. But now that the show's crossing into other countries, I worry about how her hijinks may reflect on the rest of us.
I personally think Honey Boo Boo is hilarious. Yes, her family is crass, but beneath all the redneck shenanigans is a very loving group. The most important lessons from the show -- be yourself, be kind, be proud, be confident -- are often overshadowed by the sporadic farting, unappetizing meals (Sketti, anyone?), and crazy behavior. International viewers may not be able to look past it either. Already producers worry much may get lost in translation. Many of the countries plan to use subtitles and voiceovers, but I wonder how phrases like "A dolla make me holla" and "You better redneckognize" will actually translate?
It's weird to think that while we import Downton Abbey, other continents are airing our most low-brow television shows. You go to Venice or Hong Kong and they don't have any idea who celebrated newsman Charlie Rose is, but everyone knows Snooki and The Situation. It's kind of sad and more than a little embarrassing. Of course I understand why our reality stars are so popular abroad -- these people will do anything in front of the camera. Isn't that why we love it too? But my fear is that some viewers will make broad generalizations about American behavior based on what they see on TV. And I think we all know these shows don't reflect anything near "reality" for most of us.
What do you think international viewers will think of Honey Boo Boo?
Image via TLC