This is part five of a nine-part entertainment review series by The Easterner. Emily Driskel, author of this article, is a reporter for The Easterner. Her opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Easterner, its staff or Eastern Washington University.
Lately the world seems to be turning upside down. The news conveys the deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increased unemployment rates, extreme weather hazards and cancelled graduations. Scrolling through social media during the current pandemic can be overwhelming with the latest news of COVID-19 posted everywhere.
John Krasinski, who starred as Jim Halpert in the famous TV show “The Office,” noticed the overwhelming effects of quarantine and decided to create a show dedicated to sharing good news. He shared a tweet on March 25, asking Twitter to send some heart warming stories his way in order to share these happy messages to the rest of the world. He refers to the show as SGN and is glad to hear how individuals have stayed positive in this difficult time.
In the first episode, Krasinski recognizes the global health care community and the hard work of the nurses and doctors who continue to put their lives on the line. He shows videos of people cheering from apartment buildings, applauding those who are caring for COVID-19 patients. When this first episode was filmed, it was the 15th anniversary of “The Office.” Krasinski had a virtual call with Steve Carell who played Michael Scott, and they reminisced about their favorite episodes of filming together. He ends this episode with a video of Coco, a 15-year-old survivor of cancer, and her friends lining up in her neighborhood to congratulate her on her recovery.
Krasinski begins episode 2 by encouraging individuals to promote good news. In this episode, he provides a Zoom surprise for Aubrey, a young girl who could not see Hamilton due to the importance of social distancing. Not only did he provide her with a trip to New York to watch Hamilton after quarantine, but the Hamilton cast joined the call to sing her favorite song live on Zoom. Being a Hamilton fan myself, it was a heartwarming experience to watch Aubrey’s excited expressions as she listened to the performers sing.
Episode 3 includes examples of brave men and women on the front lines of COVID-19 and patients who have fully recovered from the virus. Since many people across the world are missing sports, Krasinski shared fun videos of some kids hitting balls to each other. He mentioned that he misses baseball himself. He then decided to acknowledge a few health care workers at the Beth Deaconess Hospital, and David Ortiz, a former baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, made an appearance on the virtual call to surprise the workers. The health care workers also got to make a trip to Fenway Park and make the first pitch as well as run the bases.
In the fourth episode, Krasinski set up prom for 2020 graduates who did not get to participate in person with their classmates. He was inspired by Marli Odgers and her dad who celebrated prom at their home. Many people tuned in to Krasinski’s prom virtually. He called Rainn Wilson, who starred as Dwight from The Office. Chance the Rapper, the Jonas Brothers, Marli and her dad as well as Billie Eilish also decided to participate in virtual prom. It was a cool video to watch as Krasinski set up his office space with glow sticks, disco balls and even wore a tux to make this experience special for high school students.
Episode 5 focused on restaurant cultures and individuals’ recipes. Many restaurants have been going out of their way to support their communities by providing meals for those who are in need. Guy Fieri has set up a relief plan for restaurant workers who are out of work due to the pandemic and has raised millions of dollars. Calling this episode the SGN Potluck, Krasinski chose a few recipes and invited the chefs of those recipes on the show. He invited television stars Stanley Tucci, Martha Stewart, David Chang and a few others to cook the recipes online, producing some very tasty-looking dishes.
The most recent episode focused on the SGN graduation of high schoolers, college graduates and even a few kindergartners. Krasinski set up banners in his office as well as wore a cap and gown to a virtual graduation. He began the ceremony with a video of a combination of class speakers from various states. A few students were able to ask a question to these inspirational people: Steven Spielberg, Malala, Oprah Winfrey and Jon Stewart. These individuals were able to answer a few questions for future graduates and give some advice. Krasinski ended the ceremony by congratulating these graduates on their hard work.
These episodes provide encouragement within quarantine by the positive things individuals have been doing. This show highlights that within these trying times, many people have chosen to encourage each other and stay positive. This show can be found on Youtube.
Krasinski ends with a positive quote at the end of the SGN Graduation episode.
“I’m John Krasinski, reminding you that no matter how hard things get, there is always good in the world,” said Krasinski.