TThe world is full of bad news right now. Between the writing and publication of this, the number of people infected with the Coronavirus is set to increase by huge amounts. The healthcare system is facing unprecedented strain, people are dying alone without the comfort of loved ones, the economy is in shambles, unemployment is at an all-time high, and certainly most of those reading this article are staying home. for weeks. We are immersed in the bad news this pandemic has brought us, reminding ourselves daily of our fragility, our mortality, and how little control we have over so much we took for granted just a short time ago.
Adding to the disarmament of our daily lives is the bewildering lag between our external reality and our entertainment reality. The life depicted on our screens does not match what is happening around us and in our news streams. This disconnect, however, is slowly being bridged by people creating and creating art and cultural works in isolation during our quarantine period. These works are later posted online, largely crude and only rudimentarily edited, even those produced by celebrities.
One such piece of culture that has sprung up recently is a YouTube show by actor John Krasinski (by The office AND Jack Ryan fame) called Some good news. This show is, Krasinski says in the pilot episode, something he’s been thinking about for a long time. That is to say, because there is no news program dedicated exclusively to Well news? Stuck at home like the rest of us, he decided to use his time to turn that idea into reality. Krasinski posted a call to Twitter on March 25 asking people to respond with, well, some good news!
Because she’s a celebrity with over two million followers, responses have come pouring in. He then edited a portion of those responses into segments of a news-style show he shot himself, in his home, with a hand-drawn, colorful sign hanging behind him (his daughters did it, he tells us). through the camera). During the show, he flicks back and forth between two cameras to give the feel of newsroom cuts, and zooms in on appearances by famous friends and « regular » people with good news to share, people he’s connected with via his call to Good news.
Thave an idea for Some good news it may seem trivial, especially in a time when everything is so terrible in the world, when over a million people around the world are infected with a new virus and tens of thousands of people are dying. But Krasinski’s idea for a good news show is just what we need at a time like this. Some good news it’s not forced cheer, it’s not the YouTube equivalent of « smile, honey! » or « Why so serious? » It doesn’t take away the solemnity from what’s happening in the world around us, nor does Krasinski, in it, ask his viewers to put aside their fear, anger, or sadness for cheap smiles and perfunctory laughs. There’s no shortage of cute animal videos on the internet, if that’s what you’re after, and people will always create silly memes and gifs to distract you from the barrage of death and destruction on your screens. That’s not what Krasinski is doing Some good news. Rather, it aims to inform its audience about the real positive things emerging from this crisis: from cities around the world encouraging their healthcare workers, to companies transforming their manufacturing services into medical manufacturing, to personal stories of love and triumph despite social distancing requirements. The show itself, in form, content, style and function, has an inherent goodness. It’s simple, honest, joyful and true.
Bringing good news does not mean showing a lack of gravitas for what is happening in the world. Though Krasinski is silly at times and shares silly content at times, the show’s ethos fits the tone of our global pandemic. Because what’s going on AND so earnest, Krasinski finds light in the dark to give us hope. Some good news it is a cure of that hope, and this is something much needed right now.
Best of all, inside Some good newsKrasinski uses the privilege he has as a celebrity to do what most of us could never hope to do in our isolation. Not only does he have the ability to reach a large audience with his show and his message, but he uses the connections he has to go one step further than just delivering good news: he matches good news with good deeds. . In episode two, he gives a young fan of Hamilton with tickets to NYC to see her canceled show (whenever this pandemic is over), and then rounds up Lin Manuel Miranda and the original cast members for a Zoom call to serenade her with her favorite song.
Because what is happening is so serious, Krasinski finds light in the darkness to give us hope. Some good news it is a cure of that hope, and this is something much needed right now.
These types of gestures are no small thing, especially not now, and particularly when done for children. Acts of kindness, signs of humility, mercy towards the weak, manifestations of joy: these are the memories we want our children to form during the months of the pandemic too. They will remember fear, isolation, illness, uncertainty, disappointments and sadness. Encouraging light through hopeful cures does not lessen the gravity of this historic moment, but rather helps us all to have a stronger resolve to fight for life.
John Krasinski sees, as he says on the show, that « no matter how hard life gets, there is always good in the world. » What is Krasinsky doing here Some good news it’s the kind of work that will prove vital the longer these months of isolation drag on. We’re not just fighting the virus itself; we are fighting despair.
In the epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, Frodo must destroy the Ring of Power to defeat the Dark Lord Sauron. But the road is too difficult for him, and he almost gives up on taking the Ring to Mordor when he loses hope. Frodo, however, has Sam as a companion, and Sam’s defining quality is « unquenchable hope ». When Frodo asks Sam what they are holding on to, Sam says, “That there is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for. » The good inside Our worth holding on to and worth fighting for. Thank you, John Krasinski, for being a Sam to us as we shelter in place. Your show is also good news.