Books & Review | Cole Garner Hill
Updated: Oct 24, 2012 12:05 PM EDT

honey boo boo

Some viewers think Honey Boo Boo's TV show exploits and mocks small-town people, and perpetuates offensive stereotypes of life in the South. We, however, think it's hilarious. (Photo : Reuters)

How did seven-year-old beauty queen "Honey Boo Boo Child" spend her fall break? Like most second graders, she flew to Hollywood for her very own media blitz. The star of TLC's breakout reality show, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child," hit California with "Mama" June Shannon for the three-day weekend every child dreams of: endless primping and sitting still for press interviews.

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While the TV show has become a verified phenomenon since its August premiere, this looks to be the real fruition of that fame. With appearances on "Dr. Drew," "TMZ," "Access Hollywood," and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the weekend was Honey Boo Boo Child's -- real name Alana - first real taste of the "reality" she hath wrought. True to form, Alana sassified them all like a glitter-specked wrecking ball full of chicken nuggets. Bless her heart.

"Is it difficult to be on TV?" Dr. Drew asked Alana on his show of the same name, to which Honey Boo Boo responded with closed eyes and a fake snore.

"Is there something exciting you'd like to talk about?" Dr. Drew added, attempting to pry anything out of the pint-sized star. But nothing would move Honey Boo Boo. She was clearly bored and exhausted by the amount of attention. Alana only got closer to the doctor's face, keeping her eyes closed and continuing to snore at him, sassily, in response.

"Do you like being on TV?" Dr. Drew asked.

June coaxed Alana to get her to answer.

"No!" Alana screamed.

Dr. Drew asked her why, and Alana responded "Because fans come up to me, and I hate it."

"Yeah, right," says June.

"I do!" said Alana.

In an appearance Oct. 15 on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," things went about as well. Alana clearly apathetic to most of the interview, was more interested in making faces at herself in cameras off stage than answering grown ups' questions. She did reveal that she endorses "Marack Obama" for President, though before clamming up entirely.

In response to the family's critics, matriarch June let everyone know that she's doing the reality show for the right reasons. "It's all about my kids," she said. "I don't want 10 years down the road, Alana or any of the kids to be thinking like, 'Oh my God, I have nothing to show for it.' "

With a response from the President himself, Alana can definitely claim a hallowed place in American pop-culture now."We're getting to the point where people are making up their minds. Just the other day, Honey Boo Boo endorsed me, so that's a big relief," President Obama said at a recent charity dinner.

Even detractor Kris Jenner seems to have come around. According to Star magazine, Jenner has been trying to get in contact with Mama June to discuss some business moves even though she was overheard calling Mama June classless.

An insider told the magazine that, "Kris realized that they could be a gold mine. The Thompsons don't really have any professional representation outside of TLC, and Kris thinks she can get them some serious endorsements and more money from the network. They're getting a fraction of what Kate Gosselin got."

Since premiering in August, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," which follows the life of former "Toddles & Tiaras" star Alana Thompson and her family -- mother "Mama," 33, father Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, 40, and sisters Anna "Chickadee" Shannon, 17, Jessica "Chubbs" Shannon, 15, and Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon, 12 - has become a nationwide sensation with more than 2.1 million viewers tuning into its Sept. 13 episode. The show even topped all individual cable and network broadcasts of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 19 with a 1.3 rating with adults 18-49.

"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child" has become such a hit for TLC the network ordered more "HOLLA-day" episodes, a second season, and tripled the families salary. After reportedly only earning between $5,000 and $7,000 per episode for their series, the Honey Boo Boo Child family will now reportedly pull in between $15,000 and $20,000 an episode.

But don't expect the family to pull up stakes just yet. The Shannon-Thompson clan will be living in their railroad adjacent home for a long time to come. "They've thought about moving, but the problem is that TLC has them locked under contract to keep their lifestyle - and that means they have to stay put," explained a source to the Enquirer.

"'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' has become a pop culture phenomenon," said Amy Winter, general manager of TLC, in a statement. "What you see is what you get and we are excited to share even more of Alana and her family's unbridled hilarity, sincerity and love with our viewers."

June has also reportedly avoided signing with an agent because she's reportedly afraid it will require her to spend time away from the Boo Boo clan.

The "HOLLA-day" episodes documenting Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with the family will begin airing in January. Season two of the series will also begin filming in Jan. 2013.

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