Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

January 16, 2014

Traditions

By Steve Woodhosue
Editor

---- — There’s a tradition my niece, Brittney, and I have, and that tradition is watching stupid movies together.

We’ve done this for as long as I can remember. We laugh our tails off at these movies.

Tuesday night, we ventured out to watch “Anchorman 2” with Will Ferrell as the anchorman, Ron Burgundy. We loved the first one and knew, as soon as we heard the film was being made, that we would have to see the sequel together. It just would not have been right for either of us to see this movie without the other or with someone else. This is our thing.

I’m happy to report that we did, indeed, laugh ourselves silly. When we first arrived, the auditorium was empty. We kind of hoped it would stay that way, as we can get kind of loud. Sure enough, there were about seven other people in the room by the time it started, but they didn’t say anything to us when we got silly. Chances are, when they left, they were thinking we were a couple of oddballs. Neither Brittney nor I really care about that, though.

I love my time with Brittney, stupid movies, and combining the two. As a bonus, in this case, while being hilarious, I loved the film’s commentary on the deterioration of news content and what saturation of the market has done.

I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, so if you want to see it and want to start fresh, stop reading now.

Ron Burgundy and his team are recruited to work at the launch of a 24-hour cable news channel in 1980. It was a new thing back then and a ridiculous idea to most people. Ron is forced into the graveyard shift and to best a new rival, he decides to focus his portion of the news day on crap. Car chases, celebrity gossip and other nonsense that is unnecessary for any news outlet to discuss.

This pays off in the ratings and soon, all news outlets are running this soft, pointless “news.” Basically, the state of all media, especially television news, today.

Ferrell co-wrote this story and, as I said, the film is stupidly hilarious, but I like the undertones of why this direction news has taken is bad. He did it just right, as he made sure the film was funny and entertaining, without obnoxiously hitting anyone over the head with a political or social agenda. He sums up the problems with the saturation and deterioration of the televised news product quite eloquently in a speech by his character.

So, in the end, I suggest seeing this movie, but not if you don’t like stupidity and implausibility. If you just want to laugh and have a good time, it works. But be sure it’s with someone you care about, and will be just as silly with you.

Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.