Love them or hate them, the Shannon Thompson family has catapulted to international stardom for nothing more than being their normal, everyday selves. Sure, the majority of people think that their normal, everyday selves are unhealthy and a bit gross, but nonetheless, they truly seem to love and accept one another.
Now the crew from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is facing some sad news, but something tells me the family is going to pull through it even stronger. Sugar Bear's brother and Alana Thompson's beloved Uncle Poodle, Lee Thompson, has just announced that he is HIV positive. In an interview Poodle explains that he wants to use his diagnosis as a platform to put an end to bullying.
I'm going to be totally honest, which seems to be my theme with these Here Comes Honey Boo Boo posts. Here's the deal, one hundred percent of the time when I'm writing, it's because I love to express my opinions through the written word. Eighty percent of the time I'm snarking, it's because I find humor in such crass sarcasm, and seventy-five percent of the time I'm watching these shows, I'm watching because I'm deeply enthralled…not just on the level of reality television, but as if I'm a sociologist with the stars, the viewers, the blog commenters, and Andy Cohen all as my study materials.
If I had to create a Venn diagram with each circle encompassing writing, snark, and a genuine affinity for programming (respectively), I can only guarantee that one show would make it to the center of that triad on a consistent basis. That series is, of course, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. If you take the viewers, the haters, and the family, you have such a study in socioeconomic groups, family dynamics, gender stereotypes, childhood obesity, charity, pigs as pets…the list is infinite. Alana Thompson and her family are literally taking pop culture by storm.
I am likely to get skewered as this post continues, but I owe y'all the thanks for my thick skin. Maybe it's because I'm from the South (and no, I have never seen a family like the Shannon-Thompsons on a regular, non-televised basis), or maybe it's because I spent a lot of time teaching in the public school system where I met my fair share of Alanas who didn't have the support at home, but I look at this family and see something special. Call me uneducated (you'd be wrong), call me lacking in taste (let's call it a draw), or call me high on a fried chicken binge (I should be so lucky), but I adore this crew. If you've never watched it because you're disgusted, I can't blame you one second. I think only my teaching background (there are things with those children you can't un-see!) afforded me the luxury of not gagging during the majority of the season. However, before you jump to judgment having never viewed anything more than a forklift foot promo commercial, I implore you to read on about Mike "Sugarbear" Thompson's (you know, Alana's dad with the dip and constant subtitles) homosexual younger brother. Without further ado, I present to you a Poodle retrospective.