Honey Boo Boo Has Hometown Fans And Critics

KATE BRUMBACK

MCINTYRE, Ga. (AP) â¿¿ The reality show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" has been a ratings winner in recent weeks, capitalizing on redneck stereotypes and the oversized personality of a 6-year-old beauty pageant regular. But some who live nearby are concerned about the way their quiet pocket of central Georgia is being portrayed on the TLC series.

The show centers around Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, her mother June Shannon and their family. The round-cheeked second-grader, who previously appeared on the TLC show "Toddlers & Tiaras," has a penchant for outrageous catchphrases â¿¿ "A dolla makes me holla!" and "You better redneckognize!" â¿¿ that have gone viral and raised some eyebrows.

As the show attracts large audiences â¿¿ even holding its own against top speakers in its Wednesday night time slot at both political conventions â¿¿ it has also drawn strong reactions. Some say it exploits and mocks small-town people and perpetuates offensive stereotypes of life in the South, while others say the series shows a loving family that doesn't let outside opinions bother them.

In an interview with The Associated Press this week, Alana said filming the show was fun because she got to do things she doesn't always get to do, like going to a water park. Her mother said the family has enjoyed doing the show and believes the way it's edited portrays their unscripted life fairly and accurately.

"This is who she is," Shannon said as her daughter interrupted her with silly jokes and giggles. "This is her everyday life. She's got her own little personality, especially like when the cameras come on and when she's got attention."

Alana, who turned 7 late last month after filming ended, was friendly and playful, though a bit distracted, during her second national media interview of the day. Like so many kids her age, she likes to be the center of attention, and when she said or did something funny, she'd look around to gauge the reaction of those around her. She whined to her mother about not wanting to go to school, but finally headed out the door to join her classmates in a tan dress and strappy silver sandals with little heels.

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