Saturday, July 28, 2012

Opening Ceremonies - London Olympics

The FP Gal and I watched the opening ceremonies last night and I wanted to get some thoughts down.
  • The time difference thing was very strange.  Before it had even started we both read some leaks and spoilers.  We both heard that it was very strange.  There were a couple of weird moments but for the most part it didn't strike me as that strange.  
  • The whole first segment was amazing from a technical standpoint.  I'm referring to the 'agricultural' segment where people milled around and did farm-y type things.  The switch-over to the industrial revolution was quite a bit of work.  Amazing.  (Note, I'm not saying that it made for good TV...)
  • The forging of the ring was very impressive too.  And when it rose up and joined the other rings?  That was the one time that I really, really wished I could be in the stadium watching it all live.  
  • The high point of the whole ceremony was certainly the pairing of the Queen with James Bond.  Their arrival by helicopter was inspired.  I loved every bit about that.
  • I also loved Rowan Atkinson.  At first.  Then it went on a bit too long.  
  • Ok, the bit celebrating the NHS is probably best described as 'strange'.  If Chicago hosts the 2024 games, I'm guessing they won't do a section on the greatness that is, well, any given government agency.  
  • I liked the idea of mixing the bedtime stories but I didn't think it went far enough.  We got a cross section of various villains but the only hero we got was Mary Poppins.  This was one of the areas that I thought the narrative got away from them.
  • The next bit was the long story celebrating a) the internet and b) British pop music from the 60's on.  Did it work?  Eh.  I would have been disappointed without some kind of tribute to recent English music.  And a nod to the inventor of the web was a nice nod.  Out of place, mind you, but nice.
  • NBC cut a bit before the parade and frankly they made a terrible choice.  The full story is here.  There was a part of the program dedicated to the terrorism victims of 7/7 and terrorism victims in general.  NBC opted to give us some stupid interview between Michael Phelps and Ryan Seacrest.  They deserve to get a lot of heat over this.
  • The broadcast kept saying that the parade of nations was the quickest they had ever seen.  It looked like they used the time zones to their advantage and clipped the heck out of it.  (Frankly I fast forwarded through most of this bit.)
  • The final torch was amazing.  As each nation came in they were escorted by a young girl carrying a small pot, or funnel.  All of these were placed in an area in the center of the athletes.  A handful of them were lit and fire was spread to the rest.  Then they rose up and formed a giant torch.  Very, very cool.
  • And then some Paul McCartney.  The FP Gal enjoyed him but then she would.  I simply can't stand 'Hey Jude' so I'm not the right one to talk about his performance.  
I really liked parts of it but only had one 'oooooh' moment (with the final torch).  Now, if it was up to me...  You know what, this is already a long post.  I'll put that one up tomorrow.


Sarita said...

I did mention that if I see a bunch of people hanging on each other and singing "Hey Jude" I expect them to be drunk.

I Love Barbershop said...

Very well put, Peder!