I'm sitting in my living room doing something that's a little hard to explain: I am watching the new season of "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo." If you've missed this pop-culture phenomenon, it's a reality show about a small-town Georgia family with what people could only kindly describe as "country ways."
Headed by matriarch June and her live-in boyfriend Mike "Sugar Bear," the show focuses largely on their daughter Alana "Honey Boo Boo," who caught the attention of reality-show producers when she was a tots' beauty pageant contestant in a different reality show.
I discovered the show last summer during an interview with Food Network star Paula Deen. I was with Deen at her Savannah home and she was telling me about her summer and all the fun things she'd been doing -- painting, shell crafts, chasing chickens in her yard -- and she mentioned that she and her husband, Michael Groover, were hooked on reality shows. Among them, "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." I have to admit, I hadn't seen the show and had only vaguely heard of it.
After Deen's vivid description -- and encouragement -- I knew I had to watch it. I don't know anyone quite like June and her brood and I honestly find them to be messy, gassy, ill-mannered people. But I do like that whoever they are, whatever they are ... they are comfortable in their own skin. They don't clean themselves up for the camera, they just are who they are and that's what you see on the show. You don't see this kind of honesty with too many people these days, in my opinion.
So tonight June's gone blond and they're all getting ready for Halloween and trying to face their fears (June's afraid of mayonnaise.) I didn't need to know that Alana thinks mayo tastes like vanilla ice cream or that June urinated in the town's fall corn maze. Yet here I am, 30 minutes into a one-hour show, and I have no intention of turning the channel.