When creative geniuses with big hearts have a lot of time on their hands, incredible things can happen.
Like many of you, back in March I noticed a tweet from actor/director John Krasinski that was unusually cheerful for the frightening period our nation had just entered. Covid-19 had begun to spread at an alarming rate, and quarantines were started. People were scared and the news media was having a field day fueling our fire. But Krasinski asked us to send him some good news.
Positive stories flooded social media and they were fun to read. But we had no idea what Krasinski had up his sleeve until a mere four days later when he released this awesome surprise.
Almost overnight, Krasinski launched a YouTube channel entitled “Some Good News.” He put together a collection of feel-good stories sent in from far and wide after wondering for years why there isn’t a show all about good news (same John, same — hence this blog.) Krasinski anchors the good news from the desk in his home office in a makeshift setup that made us feel like he was talking right to us. He encouraged us to keep looking for the good in the world, and made us both laugh and cry. Did anybody watch? Well. . . .
The response was amazing. And just like that, Some Good News became a hit web series. Over the next seven weeks, Krasinski and his team tackled the undoubtedly formidable task of virtually putting together the world’s most uplifting stories into an impressive, family-friendly news show that actually doesn’t bring us down or require us to cover our children’s eyes and ears (seriously, my 5 year old son Jack is now a superfan, which prompted him to draw the beautiful artwork at the top of this page!) Week after week, John has entertained us as well as kept our spirits up. He’s surprised us with great questions, special themes, and incredible guests that made us feel like we were invited to the coolest dinner party at John and Emily’s house.
This weekend, Some Good News will air its 8th episode and has told us that they’re taking a break. While I’m sure John and his team need a break from all the work SGN involves, the public has already been asking Krasinski to keep SGN going after this Sunday’s episode.
We hope he does return and continues to make SGN the unifying part of our culture it has become. But in the meantime, Krasinski has asked us to share what the show has meant to us. So I put together a little trip down SGN memory lane to highlight my ten favorite things about Krasinski’s smile-worthy project.
- 10. The DIY setup. Fans of John Krasinski are used to seeing him in Thee Office but not in his home office.
The DIY nature of Some Good News is a large part of its charm factor. The logo drawn by Krasinski’s young daughters, sunlight peeking in the “newsroom” windows, and the often barefoot host proudly donning jammie pants with his suit jacket — it’s all comforting and relatable to the rest of us doing everything from our homes these days too.
- 9. GlobeGate. Speaking of amateur appeal, the opening credits of SGN features a spinning globe, which obviously symbolizes the good news being highlighted from around the world. But an astronomical scandal erupted on social media when science teachers and intergalactic nitpickers were compelled to correct our humble host for spinning the globe in the wrong direction (even after our NASA astronauts themselves appeared on SGN from space and didn’t mention it.) John handled it like a pro — he drew attention to the critics, poked some good fun at it, and didn’t change a darn thing.
- 8. John freaking out at Emily Blunt taking over his desk. You could say Krasinski feels some ownership over his SGN gig! When he caught his lovely wife Emily Blunt in the anchor chair trying to steal his identity (and his thunder,) the hilarious look of horror on John’s face was relatable to every other quarantined American who wants their families to lay off their stuff. “What the HECK! Em, what are you DOING?!”
- 7. The weather according to Ryan Reynolds. Celebrity guest meteorologists and reporters have been a regular occurrence on Some Good News, and have contributed to the humor and relatability of this awesome show. While all the surprise celebrity appearances have been fun, I personally don’t think anyone can top Ryan Reynolds’ confused, exhausted-father weather report. Other guest correspondents included Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, and Robert DeNiro. Too bad Krasinski doesn’t have any connections.
- 6. That’s “Pastor John” now, thank you. There’s almost nothing Krasinski won’t do in the name of Good News. Before episode 7, John actually became an ordained minister in order to virtually officiate the legal marriage of an engaged couple who are huge fans of The Office. (Wanna get married? Right now? On camera? No presh.) He pulled out all the stops by virtually gathering the couple’s family. . .and then throwing in a few familiar faces to party at the virtual reception — the cast of The Office! Good Lord, the lengths Krasinski will go to spread good news! (Now let’s talk about the parameters of that ordination, because I’ve got a kid who needs to make his First Communion in a couple years and I’m all for a way out of Sunday school.)
- 5. ‘Let it Go…’ let that Frozen toy mic go! After being so moved by all the teenagers missing out on prom, Krasinski decided to virtually throw an epic national prom with guests no senior class president could obtain. His inability to contain his excitement was just adorable; you could just picture him geeking out as he ordered all those Prom 2020 decorations on Amazon. At one point, John used his kids’ Frozen toy microphone for his big mic-drop moment. Let’s hope he didn’t break it or Dad’s in trouble.
- 4. The good that came from good news. A remarkable result of John’s show has been the awareness SGN spreads about increasing positivity and helping those in need. An example of this was when Pepsi donated $3million to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, prompting Krasinski’s logo-drawing daughters to color a sweet Pepsi poster. Shortly after, Pepsi put that image on a shirt and will donate 100% of tee-shirt sales to the fund also. SGN has made goodness contagious, and that’s one kind of contagion we’re all for.
- 3. John being starstruck by his own guests. Never one to let quarantine damper any celebrations, Professor Krasinski officially threw the world an unofficial graduation ceremony, complete with some very impressive commencement speakers. I don’t know what I enjoyed more during SGN Graduation — the amazing guests or John’s awe-struck expression as each one appeared on the screen. It was almost too much for our happy host when the esteemed guests began sharing pearls of wisdom that blew Krasinski’s mind and inspired us all. It’s not everyday that any of us gets impromptu life advice from the likes of Oprah, Malala, and Steven Spielberg. (Again though, too bad Krasinski’s Rolodex is so weak.)
- 2. The true stars of the show are just like you and me. The coolest thing about SGN is that it hasn’t been about people and things that are unattainable to most of us. It’s about all of us, and the universality of love which connects us all to each other. SGN has brought us human connection at a time when so many of us are craving it, and it has done so in a way that transcends race, class, gender, or income. From casual Zoom meetings between world-famous celebrities and everyday people, to the living room musicians whose performances closed each show, SGN shone a spotlight on regular folks from every walk of life. We shared the emotions that John clearly felt as he interviewed inspiring everyday heroes or reported good news stories. And we’re pretty sure we saw our humble host well up a couple times.
- 1. People’s response to Some Good News. Perhaps more importantly than the distraction and entertainment SGN has given us, the love people have for the show has led to a positivity ripple effect. Social media is flooded with good news, strangers are celebrating each other’s victories, and we are all looking for the good that is always present in our world.
Thanks for showing us the way, John. But boy do we hope you’ll come back for more. Now that would be Some Good News.