It's hard to say sometimes where "reality" ends and reality begins on Honey Boo Boo. Does the Thompson family actually hold eating contests on a regular basis? Would Mama June have taken all her girls bra shopping without the prodding of TLC? Would she have agreed, for that matter, to a commitment ceremony were it not for the requirements of this season's main storyline? I'm not trying to throw cold water on a show (and family) I bizarrely have affection for, but it's hard to watch the wackiness sometimes and not consider the active editing taking place just offscreen. Then again -- today's reality TV standards are so skewed that the whole fact vs. fiction debate may just be pointless. Nothing we watch is "reality," at least in the sense that it's raw, untampered-with footage we're seeing. Everything's a story, crafted as much by the participants/characters as it is the producers trying to fit what they shoot into a narrative. So whether Mama June and Sugar Bear's season finale wedding is or isn't authentic, in the truest sense, is sort of beside the point. They got married. That happened.
…And what a wedding it was! If you were worried that the Thompsons wouldn't make CAMO the main element of their outfits and wedding aesthetic in general, you had nothing to worry about. Camo vests for the gentlemen, a camo cake (designed by Mama's sister). And then, camo-iest of all, Mama's wedding dress. Did you take a look at that thing up there? Even playing Big Buck Hunter for 1000 straight hours, Vera Wang could never come up with a dress so backwoods fresh, so Wal-Mart sporting section chique (sp). Does Hunting & Fishing magazine have a September fashion issue? There's your cover girl, now and forever.
Whatever "cold feet" of Mama's TLC tried to tease all season fell through, likely stress-pooped out of Mama entirely, because the ceremony itself went off without a hitch. In slow motion we were treated to each one of the girls -- Pumpkin first, flower girl Alana last -- sauntering down the aisle, just owning it. And then finally, finally the lady of the hour made her way out the front door. Not even a predictably marble-mouthed officiant ("I will walk by your size") or Shugie's off-putting TEARS OF SHEER JOY could derail this train of love, which of course also had to compete with a real train driving past.
The food: troughs of baked beans, cornbread, ribs, pig parts, and collared greens, washed down with prison wine served in mason jar goblets. "Thems is y'alls to keep!" screamed Pumpkin, in a helpful moment. Hard to say who exactly was in attendance at this thing, considering we didn't meet anyone outside of the 4-wheeling Pastor Dan, but everyone looked like they were having a good time. Hell, the Thompsons booked a water slide AND an ice cream truck -- if that's not a perfect wedding combo, I don't know what is.
In perhaps the best line of this season, and maybe the run of the entire show, the officiant gave us our newly married couple. "It is my pleasure to announce: Mr. and Mrs. Bear." Now, we all already knew we were watching a human-enacted version of the Country Bear Jamboree…but it's nice to hear out loud, too.
I'm not sure I can wait the three weeks it will take them to churn out the next batch of episodes!