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Here Comes Honey Boo Boo: Hilarious Guilty Pleasure or the Worst Thing Ever?

Honey Boo Boo, TLC TLC

Depending on who you ask, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is either the best summer TV around (sorry Olympics!), or a clear indication that the Apocalypse is nigh. Maybe DVR the next episode, and then stock up on bottled water, just in case?

The first two episodes of  TLC's new reality spinoff premiered last night, starring 6-year-old former Toddlers & Tiaras Alana Thompson and her Georgia family–dad Sugar Bear, mom June and big sisters Pumpkin, Chickadee and Chubbs. We saw them visit the local Redneck Games, where they enjoyed such fun pastimes as bobbing for pigs' feet and mud belly-flop diving. Fun! Er...Right?

The reaction has been anything but mild.

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TV critics have called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo everything from "a horror story posing as reality television" to an "exploitative mess" to a show "about seemingly dumb people who are in fact quite smart" and "charmingly self-aware."

Even celebrity couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton had polarizing views, with the missus tweeting this morning: "And TLC wins again with another show I am hooked on:) a dolla makes me holla honey boo boo!" Blake followed up with: "Just watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo... And now here comes runny doo doo..."

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And of course, as with its predecessor Toddlers & Tiaras, you can't help but wonder what kind of damage this spinoff will do on the young, impressionable 6-year-old star. But Honey's mom has no regrets.  

"People are going to talk, good and bad, and it is what it is," she tells CNN. "My family, we enjoy what we've done and I would do it again."

She adds: "If people actually sit down and talk with me and my family or talk with Alana, you'll see that Alana thoroughly enjoys doing what she does, and that we're not ignorant people like everybody says."

What do you say: Is Honey Boo Boo hilarious and harmless TV fare? Or horrifying and tasteless TV?

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