Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Here Comes Honey Who?

I was channel surfing the other day and finally happened upon the TV show that everyone's been talking about: Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo. In the interests of keeping up with pop culture I figured I should at least watch an episode so that I can speak on it with knowledgeable distain. When realization dawned that this was not a Saturday Night Live sketch but indeed the actual show, I began wondering if white folks are as horrified by Honey Boo Boo as black folks were by The Flavor of Love. Honey would break the loving resolve of even Uncle Ruckus. 


Full disclosure, I'm not a big fan of reality TV but for a very brief moment I was totally wrapped up in America's Best Dance Crew (ABDC), but who wouldn't be? In the main though, TV shows that follow people's day-to-day humdrum, yet artificially dramatized lives do not interest me. I'm busy living my own life and thankful that the cameras aren't on me 24/7.

t seems as if most reality shows have the same entertainment value as cruising by and watching the aftermath of a car accident. It gives you that feeling of,
"Oh this is horrible, but I'm so glad it's not me." Watching makes us feel safe and superior.
But if adults decide to put themselves under the harsh and unforgiving glare of a reality TV show, fine. But allowing a kid to do it is another matter. I understand that some of our best and finest performers are children. But for every one of them there are thousands who are thrust into the limelight by parents turned pimps simply looking for a paycheck.  

At the end of the episode that I lucked into, Ms. Boo was sitting outside in a lawn chair presumably for her closing comments, when she suddenly and violently sneezed. Her hand shot to her face but not fast enough to conceal the twin-rivers of mucus that jet-streamed, full throttle out of her nostrils.

Yeah, that's funny on its face, pun intended. But what wasn't so humorous was that as the snot kept running, so did the cameras. No one made a move to give this child a tissue. Not a cameraman, not a director, not an AD, not a production assistant, not an intern, nobody. That moment went way beyond mere Schadenfreude and rose to pure meanness.

You can’t script contempt that palpable.

Even more disturbing, no one in her family was there to help her either. You know the adults in her life who are supposed to be looking out for her. My mom would have yelled
“Cut!” and marched onto the set with some Kleenex.

Now I know in the long run, Honey Boo Boo and company will be just fine. There will be plenty of reality show opportunities for her:
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Celebrity Fit Club, 16 and Pregnant. But a show like Here Comes Honey Boo begs the question: “Where is Child Protective Services when you need it?" And in the spirit of Bernie Mac I ask, “When did we start eating our young, America?” Maybe Honey Boo Boo is just the appetizer.

Thanks for reading The Urban Erma. You can subscribe to the blogcast (yes, I made up this word) FREE on iTunes. And, in case you were wondering, in addition to blogging I am also an amazing stand-up comedian. I do "Thinking Cap Comedy." Basically, if comedy were music, I'd be Jazz. Want to see a show? Check out my schedule at @

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