As Anchorman 2, the long-awaited sequel to 2004's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, hits theaters, it's worth pointing out Will Ferrell's fake newscaster is not just wildly entertaining but hugely instructive in our media-soaked age.
Here are three reasons why Anchorman 2 is already the most important movie of the year.
1. It Foregrounds Media Cliches and Pat Formulas.
When Ron Burgundy and team create ridiculous, over-the-top news features such as "Rip the Lid Off It!," it's impossible to ever take a special report or interruption for breaking news uncritically ever again.
2. It (de)humanizes the Production of "News."
By calling attention to the actual production process of "news" and the often-considerable limitations of the people who make media, the Anchorman franchise underscores that news is invented, not discovered.
3. It Eviscerates the Media'a Hero Complex
For these reasons and more – and especially at a time when even venerable media outlets such as 60 Minutes is effectively firing correspondents for inaccurate reports and blatantly sucking up to power – Anchorman 2 and its predecessor should be required viewing for everyone who takes media literacy seriously.
About two minutes. Produced by Todd Krainin. Written and hosted by Nick Gillespie.
Scroll below for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.
Related video: The Newsroom's Will McAvoy vs. Anchorman's Ron Burgundy.