Alix Kunkle: I'm not too old to remember when television was good

Alix Kunkle

I find it harder and harder to even fathom turning on the television when I get home each evening.

There's nothing to watch. 90 percent of it is all wasted air space.

Sure, there are television "shows" on. I use that term loosely, because I don't know how on earth anyone can classify shows such as "Jersey Shore" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" as actual television.

If you've got one of these shows on television, OK, that's bearable. But when every single major network starts putting this same type of show on television — a reality show where the only objective is for people to act like idiots — it dumbs down America.

It's to the point where I don't even see a need for paying for cable if it's not already included in my rent. Why pay $50 a month when I'm only going to watch one show a week?

I'm only 23. Sure, I never got to watch television in the 1970s and '80s, when MTV actually played music videos and everybody knew your name with "Cheers." But from what I understand, television was a heck of a lot better back then.

If I can't figure out what the show is exactly about, even after it's been out for a couple of episodes (or seasons), then it really shouldn't be on the air. For example, what is "Jersey Shore" about? I've still never figured this out. From what I understand, it's about a couple of spray-tan-aholics acting like idiots all hours of the day. I think the only one I saw involved one of them (probably Snooki) getting arrested for public drunkenness. That's a shining example of America.

"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"? I still haven't the slightest clue what that even is. The last I heard, someone was digging around in garbage cans and talking nonsenically about toilet paper. And that's how we want our 7-year-olds to act?

Heck, I feel dumber just talking about those shows.

I'm honestly not sure how people get entertainment out of these shows. It's not even close to reality. Ninety-nine percent of our "civilized" people do not act like this. We don't go around spoiling our 7-year-olds and letting them rummage around through trash, nor do the majority of us put on spray tan four times a day and not know a rock from a gumball.

And apparently the "success" of "Jersey Shore" has propelled Snooki and JWoww to get their own TV show. I can't imaging what kind of train wreck this is going to be. I'm thinking a disaster of Titanic proportions.

I just don't understand what makes these shows popular. I don't see anything attractive about these shows that I can't find on my own after the sun goes down. If this is what it takes to be a television star, I know quite a few people who could be millionaires right about now. Because they act pretty much like Snooki or some of those other clowns from "Jersey Shore," but they sure don't get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it.

If there's a reality show I'll watch, it's "Cops." That's actual reality. At least we can take something out of that. The only thing Honey Boo Boo teaches us is what not to watch on television.

Alix Kunkle is the news editor of the Leesville Daily Leader in Leesville, La. You can reach him at