What is real about Cake Boss? My Strange Addiction? 19 Kids and Counting? Only one guy makes cakes like that, only one deeply disturbed individual likes to eat toilet cleaner and only one deranged family has made a name for itself as the 7-Eleven hot dog machine of babies, just rolling out a new greasy one as soon as it's ready (though in fairness, I think they have two shows about those families now, because yay). But that's not relatable or real in any appreciable way. How many people have come out of your vagina? Have four basketball teams' worth of people come out of your vagina? Then you probably don't really feel the realness of that show. And that's why you rail against TLC. That's why when I see TLC programming I instinctively cringe and make a face like someone is holding out a cupcake with a pube on it. Nothing that happens on that channel takes place in a world we occupy.
Honey Boo Boo lives in the same world as you, as long as you've been to a Walmart, a NASCAR event, a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert or a trailer park. That's not meant to be insulting particularly. I mean it so is, but come on.
TLC wants you to be disgusted by Honey Boo Boo and her family the way you are by everyone on TLC, because the people who run TLC are assholes. They saw a hillbilly family and thought "Oh man, what a freak show, let's put them on TV!" like they do with all the innocent people turned freak shows they exploit, and then just tried to present it like an impartial documentary that holds a scene long enough to include a character farting or burping, but probably just by accident and not to make you think less of these hicks.