Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Boo-Boo vs. Big Bang

Honey Boo-Boo:

Say hi to the family... But don't feed the animals.
This might just be the most culturally damaging show I have seen on television since... Well, ever really. Now I'm not talking about the late-night stuff I'm speaking about the prime-time realm of television's airwaves. As far as that section of the TV Guide is concerned, I've been around to see a decade and a half of television that I can remember watching and the only sort of pop-culture phenomenon that depicted even slightly negative family roles would be Roseanne... Let's face it the whole group was dysfunctional, or abusive, or ill-educated. The points I'm trying to make is that I've really only ever seen one show that 'lowered the bar' and maintained such a high level of public support. Now I'm not saying that Roseanne is down on the same level as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, just that it was something that could be seen as lowering the 'family standard'. Roseanne has one advantage in my mind that keeps its reputation above water for me though and that is the fact that the show is a sitcom, created for entertainment and that it does not portray an ACTUAL family in scenarios that are really taking place.

This is where Here Comes Honey Boo Boo loses the fight. The show is based around a real-life family (a spin-off from "Toddlers in Tiaras" for those readers who haven't seen the show) and it follows them around and documents their lives in the style of so many modern 'reality' television shows. Some say that the show's harmless but I'd like to point out just a couple of my problems with this family:
  • Diet:
    "Sketti", a spaghetti-type dish made up of noodles drenched in butter and ketchup.
    "Go-Go Juice", a mix of Red Bull and Mountain Dew fed to a seven year old to keep her energetic in pageants.
  • Health/Lifestyle:
    June, the mother. She weighs well over 300lbs but it's okay folks. To her, her weight makes her "sassy".
    Alana, "Honey Boo-Boo", this kid is beyond overweight, her habits and manners disgusting, and she's on the fast track to winding up either 230lbs or pregnant by 15 like her mother.
    Anna, pregnant at 17 and just as ignorant as every other family member.
To sum things up, there's not a single family value displayed by this show that I can get behind. Even their mask of 'we don't let what people say put us down' is really only their way of enabling the family to continue being just as obese, ignorant, and offensive as ever... Seriously what mother would feed her seven year old daughter Mountain Dew mixed with Red Bull? This show is nothing but poisonous filth and to all of the viewers who claim that they only watch it to make fun of the family... Think of the fact that you watching the show makes THEM money and wastes YOUR time. The next time you go to mock the idiots on the show, remember you're paying their bills.

[Note* I have not seen a single episode start to finish yet, and I do not intend to do so. The information I've gathered has been through acquaintances that watch the show or that I've found online.]

The Big Bang Theory:

"Raj", Sheldon, Penny, Leonard, Howard.
Yes I watch the show. Yes I'm a nerd and so, yes I could be considered biased here but I'd ask you to hear me out anyway.

This series, created by Chuck Lorre, depicts a group of friends as they pass through the worlds of academia, social stigma and Warcraft all while working at a university and living out of Pasadena, California. The core cast of players is as follows:
  • Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper: Socially inept genius with an eidetic memory and an IQ of 187.
  • Johnny Galecki as Dr. Leonard Hofstadter: Princeton graduate and experimental physicist, romantically linked to Penny and Pria Koothrappali.
  • Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz: Romantically inept aerospace engineer who marries Bernadette Rostenkowski. Designed the ISS's plumbing system... "Space Toilet".
  • Kunal Nayar as Dr. Rajesh Koothrappali: He might not be able to speak to women without alcohol or experimental pharmaceuticals but he's Howard's best friend and a particle astrophysicist originally from New Delhi.
  • Kaley Cuoco as "Penny": Aspiring actress and currently a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory. She has a great heart but is influenced much more by pop culture and societal 'norms' than the other lead cast members.
When you look at this cast (sparse as the bios are) you will see that four out of five of the leading cast members attended a post-secondary institution and that three out of those four have at least one doctorate. The humour is witty and based (mostly) in academia or in the 'nerdier' pastimes with some sexual innuendos to appeal to the adult and college crowd and the relationships are quirky in a "Friends" a la Monica and Chandler but rarely dysfunctional. The worst that this show can be accused of is showing characters who engage in premarital sex (which is more of a Religious-Right concern than a real problem) and who drink alcohol an act that hasn't been illegal for almost a century now. It's good, clean, intelligent fun and nothing more.


I wrote this because of two conversations that I've had these past 24 hours. One generally opposing the existence of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and one defending The Big Bang Theory when someone claimed that Honey Boo Boo had more to offer as a television show. I would like the reader to weigh-in on the issue now though and take it from my hands. I would love to hear what my readers think about each of these television shows.

Here's hoping that you comment on this post and...

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

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