Oh, Ron Burgundy, where have you been? How I’ve missed your Hindenburg-like bravado, your charming naiveté, your complete lack of graft, and your unflappable emotional authenticity. I would say the world needs more people like you, but God help us if the world had more people like you.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues comes to us with as much unabashed silliness as its predecessor and just a touch more current, topical relevance. In this installment, Ron is on the outs with his wife, Veronica, and, to win her back, takes a job on the very first twenty-four hour news channel. Along the way, he reassembles his news team, helms the most hilarious and calamitous cross-country road trip of all time, and unwittingly kickstarts the info-tainment that currently passes for news in this country. Anchorman 2 is wonderful.
I do truly admire Ron Burgundy’s genuine innocence. He expects the best in every circumstance. Yes, that means he is prone to reveling in his rich mahogany and leather-bound books (that he probably hasn’t read), but he also expects the best from others and from the world. He believes that people are good and that they will be good to each other. Our cynical world could use a few more Ron Burgundies.
On the other hand, he so wholeheartedly expects good from others and from the world, he is blindsided when anyone double crosses him or uses his innocence against him. He lacks wisdom, quite clearly, and his lack of wisdom leads him into making some poor decisions. If it wasn’t for his friends, family, and faithful companion Baxter – Never forget Baxter, Friend of the Bears! – Ron wouldn’t be able to find his way out of the predicaments he gets himself into because of his child-like innocence and arrogance.
Of course, Ron’s friends need him too. His faith in them inspires them to be something better than what they would otherwise become. He gets them to lighten up and enjoy life a little. He even manages to bring one of them back from the dead, sorta. Ron’s optimism coupled with his indelible confidence in his own and others’ abilities has the ability to right all wrongs, reconcile all differences, and make the world a more wonderful place.
Because ultimately and obviously, Ron Burgundy’s story is a comedy, not a tragedy, so though things might go dark for a while, everything is going to work out in the end. There are powers at play here that are bent toward good, so if Ron leans a little too heavily in the direction of naive optimism, at least he’s leaning in the right direction. And when it all works out, to his credit, he’ll be the last to say “I told you so,” because he’ll never have imagined anyone could ever expect things to turn out any other way.