Sure, cable network TLC might be exploiting a little girl and her family on its new hit show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday nights. But, please, don’t feel sorry for 7-year-old Alana Thompson or her self-proclaimed “redneck” folk.
Here’s an opportunity for the rural Georgia family.
Audiences love “Honey Boo Boo Child,” as Alana’s mother calls her. I look at Alana and see a modern-day Shirley Temple — a much less innocent child, as any child today would be compared to the “Curly Top” star of black-and-white films. Like Temple, Alana has incredible stage presence, literally. When she is not filming her hit reality TV show, she is sashaying across stage at child pageants and often winning.
No doubt the “Toddlers & Tiaras” star got her own spinoff because of her funniness. It’s not just what she says but how she says it. A lot of what comes out of her mouth is nonsensical babble sometimes spoken in funny accents and often with some physical comedy. Consistently getting laughs is a lot to pull off for anyone, let alone a little girl with no training.
Who knows what a reality TV future brings, but if her innate talents are nurtured, maybe she will do something with the money she and her family are earning. It is said to be a mere $40,000 for this first 10-episode season — which is just $59 higher than the annual median household income in her hometown of McIntyre, Ga., which has a population of 650.
Even with all the put-down hillbilly trappings depicted around her, Alana comes off as a very bright child. Maybe she will be able to navigate the strange world she has found herself in and, with the loving family she seems to have, build a future most people in her hometown couldn’t even dream of.