Honey Boo Boo's second season doesn't stink

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Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo)
  • TLC/Chris Fraticelli
  • Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo)
In his lovely, lengthy essay on misunderstood TLC reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Sam Worley prognosticated that "fart" would be among the aromas featured in the "watch-and-sniff" second-season premiere. (A six-scent scratch-and-sniff card came tucked inside the latest issues of both

People and Us Weekly—I won't even pretend I don't like having an excuse to buy Us Weekly.) Worley's was a reasonable prediction for a number of reasons. Or, rather, one reason: The family from whence Honey Boo Boo (I'm talking about seven-year-old Alana Thompson) came is a family full of farters. In fact, in the first half of the two-episode premiere, an entire segment is devoted to the whole gang teaching a professional wrestler to cup a fart and throw it at his opponent.

For better or worse (but c'mon, probably worse), Honey Boo Boo's second season, much like its first, doesn't have much in the way of "plot" or "action." But a lot of what we do see taking place onscreen involves the actual, physical production of foul odors, whether it's skinning and cleaning roadkill or playing "guess the breath" by blowing in each other's faces. Just like John Waters's Polyester—which had corresponding Odorama cards that featured flatulence, dirty shoes, and model airplane glue—Honey Boo Boo was essentially made to be watched with olfactory accompaniment. (If Honey Boo Boo is akin to Waters's early work, sadly that means matriarch Mama June is Divine.)

Alas, and despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, TLC doesn't want to offend its audience quite as much as Waters did his. The scratch-and-sniff card featured no farts, no roadkill, no baby vomit, not even the cologne that patriarch Sugar Bear got for his birthday, which probably smelled worse than roadkill doused in baby vomit. Instead we get baby powder, roasting wild pig, butter. The most offensive scratch-scent was train exhaust, which smelled remarkably like the go-cart exhaust scratch-scent. I imagine a TLC exec saying, "Farts? Even we're not that gross." Sure they are.

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