The Bees of Honey
Critical reaction to the series has been mixed, with some characterizing the show as "offensive," "outrageous," and "exploitative," and others calling it "must-see TV." The A.V. Club called the first episode a "horror story posing as a reality television program," with others worrying about potential child exploitation. James Poniewozik mostly praised the show, but criticized the producers for "the way that the show seems to assume that those viewers will look at this family and the world." A reviewer for Forbes criticized TLC as trying to "portray Alana's family as a horde of lice-picking, lard-eating, nose-thumbing hooligans south of the Mason–Dixon line," stating that "it falls flat, because there’s no true dysfunction here, save for the beauty pageant stuff." The Guardian also criticized the attempt to portray the Thompsons as people to "point and snicker at," saying, "none of the women or girls who participate in the show seems to hate themselves for their poverty, their weight, their less-than-urbane lifestyle, or the ways in which they diverge from the socially-acceptable beauty standard." The Hollywood Reporter pronounced the show "horrifying" explaining, "You know this show is exploitation. TLC knows it. Maybe even Mama and HBB know it, deep down in their rotund bodies. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a car crash, and everybody rubber-necks at a car crash, right? It’s human nature. Yes, except that if you play that card, you also have to realize that human nature comes with the capacity to draw a line, to hold fast against the dehumanization and incremental tearing down of the social fabric, even if this never-ending onslaught of reality television suggests that’s a losing effort. You can say no to visual exploitation. You can say no to TLC. And you can say no to Honey Boo Boo Child. Somebody has to." June Shannon herself has been criticized for her daughter's diet, which includes "Go Go Juice," a mixture of Red...
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