'Honey Boo Boo' Is Back... And Definitely Not Changed by Fame

Notoriety hasn't gotten to this self-proclaimed "redneck" family, who star in the second season of their reality series, premiering tonight

When Here Comes Honey Boo Boo returns for its second season on Wednesday (TLC, 9 p.m. ET), it arrives with a new Watch 'N' Sniff gimmick. But as for any other big changes since Season 1, well, that's about it. 

Anyone remember what happened when that other TLC reality show about a big family got really, really popular? Jon and Kate Plus Eight quickly evolved: In later seasons, there was a new McMansion for the family, and a posh new look for Kate. By all accounts, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo could have followed the same trajectory. According to TMZ, the network has raised their salary from $5,000 and $7,000 an episode at the beginning of the series to "somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 an episode." But the extra cash hasn't changed the family's priorities. 

For one thing, a bigger house was apparently in the offing, too. "We're told TLC even offered to help the family find a somewhat larger, more secure home, but June refused," said TMZ. "She said she wanted to stay in the house because she makes a big deal over Christmas -- decorating the house for the community. June is heavily involved in her town." Thus Season 2 takes place in and around their same little house with the beat-up furniture and the one bathroom. 

As for Mama June's appearance, she's lost some weight, but not intentionally. "I haven't done any surgeries … no diet pills … never went to the gym, but with the show I've been more active," she said in February. "They have me running around and going different places … I guess it's paying off." Aside from some arguably exploitative attempts to give her a makeover (Anderson Cooper's integrity has seen better days than this one), Mama June is still Mama June. 

"Since the success of last season, the only change in her appearance is a better dye job, though her roots are already growing in," says Slate. 

And not that we'd expect the family to suddenly start dining at The Plaza, but "these first two half-hours exhibit no evidence the family’s life has changed in any way thanks to its new-found fame," says Variety. This has elicited a rare compliment from the usually-snarky TMZ: "Gotta say ... the family feels like the real deal." Watch a sneak peek at Season 2 here:

Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.

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