By Crystal Earl
First, the Covid-19 outbreak wreaked havoc all over the world. As a result, families have suffered job losses and wage cuts, loved ones have been hospitalized or have passed away at higher rates, school has been moved online, people have been separated from their friends, and important events have been postponed or cancelled. Then, the world erupted in protests and looting after the murder of George Floyd. For the past two months, our lives have been flipped upside-down. At times, we have found ourselves looking for any bit of proof that there is still hope for the world, only to be left feeling even more scared and discouraged than we were before.
For this reason, actor John Krasinski made it his goal to find and share as much positivity as he could through the creation of his feel-good quarantine YouTube series, “Some Good News” (SGN). From the comfort of his home, Krasinksi wrote and produced a total of eight SGN episodes, the first of which premiered on March 29.
Much like the title suggests, SGN is all about sharing good news, and Krasinski accomplished this by reaching out to his audience on social media and asking them about the little bit of good that was occurring in their lives. In each episode, Krasinski featured tons of his favorite responses as well as special guest appearances, whether it was through an interview, a weather broadcast, or a musical performance. On occasion, Krasinski would bring some of his audience members face to face with their favorite actors, singers, athletes, and idols through a zoom call. He even managed an online SGN prom and graduation for the graduating class of 2020 in which Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and many other celebrities made an appearance and answered questions. In this way, Krasinski not only delivered the good news, but also created it.
However, although Krasinski was successful in bringing the world some good news, the end of the first season did not seem to end on that same note. This past week, Krasinski took to Twitter to announce that Some Good News just sold to ViacomCBS after a massive bidding war among major networks. This decision, which Krasinski hailed as being the best way to bring “many more people” to watch the series, was quickly met with criticism from fans and viewers, who alleged that Krasinski had sold out and argued against the airing of SGN on a network.
Where I find my biggest issue, though, isn’t necessarily with SGN transitioning to the big screen but more so with the fact that Krasinski will no longer be hosting. While the plethora of positivity and good news featured in every episode is a big reason the show took off, Krasinski played an equally important role in his delivery of the news. He brought a sense of community and family to his audience.
Whether it was because of the SGN poster his daughters made that hung in the background or the globe that he spun as part of the intro, Krasinski never failed to make each episode feel homey and personal. As a father of young children, Krasinski displayed a personal side of himself in his broadcasting by making trivial dad jokes or wearing funny pants that never matched his shirt. His authenticity brought to the audience a level of trust and companionship.
My fear is that these hospitable feelings will get lost as SGN transitions to a larger audience and comes under new direction. While Krasinski will still be a part of the show as an executive producer, I think a new and unfamiliar host will cause the series to lose the very traits that make SGN so unique. Even for those who aren’t fans of “The Office,” “Jack Ryan,” or “A Quiet Place,” Krasinski was still a familiar name and face; people knew who he was and appreciated what he did. When Krasinski steps down from his hosting duties, I feel that SGN’s new host will have to regain the audience’s trust and make a real effort to foster feelings of intimacy and confidence with the audience.
And while this is possible to rebuild, throwing a stranger into the mix will inevitably take a toll on the show’s ability to effectively deliver good news and the audience’s ability to wholeheartedly receive it.