A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality/comedy hybrid focuses on a model/former beauty queen who wears tight, revealing clothing (most of it sporting high-end labels) and sometimes behaves in flirtatious and sexually provocative ways. The series both comments on and reinforces sexist stereotypes about women, their looks, and their professional capabilities. There's also some fairly mild language (of the "hell" and "ass" variety) and social drinking.
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What's the story?
Poking fun at the modern media's emphasis on infotainment -- as opposed to real news -- when it comes to TV broadcasts, ANCHORWOMAN captures a real-life news experiment: putting a model and former WWE diva in the anchor chair. This "comedy/reality hybrid" (as described by Fox) follows erstwhile Miss New York Lauren Jones as she heads to a mid-market TV station in Tyler, Texas, to deliver the news -- even though she has no journalistic experience. Naturally, her presence disturbs the real journalists at the station, especially reigning anchor Annalisa Petralia, who asks her boss if putting a swimsuit model next to her onscreen means that people will think of her as a swimsuit model, too.
Is it any good?
Ethical/journalistic issues like the aforementioned challenge Jones and her new co-workers, as well as Tyler's residents, some of whom feel insulted by the decision to further dumb down their news. In the midst of the controversy, Jones is hilarious as she tries to learn the ropes quickly, reverting to her tried-and-true winks and air kisses when signing off, only to be chastised by the news director, who's trying to salvage his dignity.
How much of Anchorwoman is scripted and how much is real remains a mystery. So while much of the reaction to Jones' presence is legitimate, the dialogue and truly hilarious moments are likely the mastermind of a writer. And, in a sort of post-modern twist, what seems like a commentary on the squalid state of TV journalism actually is an example of the squalid state of TV journalism.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about news and journalism. How has the way news is delivered changed over the last several years? What are teens' impressions of the current state of news and journalism? When people express their disappointment with the news media, do you think they mean TV news or all types of news, from print to radio to online? Do you expect TV anchors to be real journalists? Does this show alter or reinforce your feelings about the news?