2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Spoilers and Review
Olympics, Summer, Rumors

Olympics Opening Ceremony Spoilers and Review: River Dance and Glee had a baby that pukes British celebrities

7/27/12 in Olympics, Summer   |   JoeKukura   |   488 respect

Blog Photo - 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Spoilers and ReviewThe London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony featuring Paul McCartney just finished at nearly 1 a.m. Saturday morning London time. The big opening night show will be broadcast in the U.S. Friday night on NBC at 7:30 p.m., regardless of your time zone. The BBC broadcast has concluded, though, and we've got shameless and guaranteed-accurate spoilers listed for you U.S. viewers below.

Most importantly -- Paul McCartney doesn't play until three hours and forty minutes into the damned thing. He kicked off with "Golden Slumbers" and then played "Hey Jude" -- looking awful at age 70, but still sounding phenomenal. Arctic Monkeys warmed up for him -- they played the Beatles' "Come Together" without bringing out Sir Paul! The cauldron was lit at 12:36 a.m. Saturday morning London time, as part of a nearly four-hour show overall. And this was on the BBC's commercial-free broadcast. No way to know how NBC will cut components of the show and add commercials, but you figure they'll keep the same general order of events.

Know why they hold the Olympics only once every for years? Because that's how long it takes for you to forget how lengthy and awful the Opening and Closing ceremonies really are, and then become intrigued by the prospect of watching them again. Film director Danny Boyle's Olympics Opening Ceremony show is a bafflingly cheesy and over-dramatic retelling of British history in musical theater format with some seriously "Lord of the Rings"-looking props and sets.

The overblown "musical history of Britain" part of the show takes up the first full hour and twenty minutes. The theatrics feature plenty of cameos from British celebrities, the highlight of which is Mr. Bean playing in the London Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Bean is a synthesizer player who can only only play one note over and over -- just like Linda McCartney when she was in Paul McCartney and Wings!

Blog Photo - 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Spoilers and ReviewThere is a terribly unfunny gag with Daniel Craig where they make it look like Queen Elizabeth parachutes from a helicopter with James Bond. That should be funny, but they execute it poorly because they make no attempt to make it look like the Queen really did just parachute. It's not that hard to do a stunt gag  with a fake Queen Elizabeth -- have none of these people seen "The Naked Gun"?

You get some awesome special effects, like giant industrial smokestacks growing out of nowhere and a steel melter shooting fireworks that turn into the Olympic rings. The National Anthem is sung by the Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children, who will make you cry or almost-cry.

The Parade of Nations begins roughly an hour and twenty minutes into this thing, and it takes FOREVER. Nations come out alphabetically (except Britain, who get to go last). The athletes are very, very attractive, but boy are some of their outfits demeaning and stereotypical. Team USA walked the Parade of Nations in stuck-up Ralph Lauren yacht club gear that so beautifully represents everything that the world hates about America.

With the whole entire show taking almost four hours, with so much bombast and so little compelling entertainment, you have to wonder -- why didn't they just have the Stones come out and play?
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7/31/12   |   ML31   |   3671 respect

Here is yet another vote for enjoying the parade of nations. 

Now first...  I don't watch the Today Show so I didn't know anything about Merideth Viera.    But after listening to her inane chatter during the opening ceremonies I have concluded she is an idiot.  I don't think she said one thing that didn't elicit the response, "shut up you moron." 

Fortunately she vanished in favor of Bob Costas for the Parade of Nations.  He was the complete opposite of Viera in every way.  When he spoke, it was interesting.  When he made a wisecrack, it was clever.

Next, NBC dropped the ball yet again.  There is one lone advantage to tape delaying the ceremonies.  And NBC didn't take advantage of it.  If it's delayed you can take breaks and NOT SKIP ANYTHING!!!   This thing was delayed (depending on where you live in the continental US) 4-7 hours!  Commercials can be cut in at nearly any time and when returning the broadcast can pick up right where it left off.  I did not like that we got a recap of sometimes 5 nations marching in after a commercial break.

To end on a positive note...  I will give NBC kuddos for at least making all the events available live via on line streaming.  It can be choppy, nearly every event has no announcers and I really hate watching TV on my laptop or phone (would much rather watch on TV) but at least it's available and a step in the right direction.

7/28/12   |   Debi_L   |   11785 respect

I haven't seen the opening ceremonies, but the people I've talked to who did have said that it isn't so much the entertainment value of the festivities, but rather the emotion of them.  Of course Paul McCartney would be featured.  And honestly, he is 70 years old, I would rather he look 70 than resemble Joan Rivers.  His voice is still incredible.  

The Parade of Nations truly makes up for any lack in the entertainment portion, in my opinion.

7/28/12   |   marcus_nyce   |   26950 respect

Parade of Nations is always great, but the rest of it was kinda 'meh' at best. And why didn't NBC show the memorial part for those who could not be at these games? Phelps interview instead? Tape delay sucks.

7/28/12   |   Smokesfan   |   3435 respect

The wife and I enjoyed the opening ceremonies. The Parade of Nations is always our favorite.

7/28/12   |   ohwell_   |   16326 respect

7/28/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

The Olympics are to inspiring.  All those nations of the world come together to compete and to CELEBRATE the joy  of the games.  Setting aside these old notions of derision some old politicians have created to keep us apart.  The joy of the games. is the close proximity to all and they see we are all just people.  I am on a creation high.  The best of the world all competing.  I can hear John Lennon singing "All we are saying ... is give Peace a chance!!!!!  All We are saying ... is give peace a chance!!!!... Imagine all the people ...living life in peace... Youuuuuu may say I'm a dreamer ...but I'm not the only one...

7/28/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

I don't care what anyone says, the Parade of Nations is my favorite part of the Opening Ceremonies.

7/27/12   |   ryanmbecker   |   1 respect

There was much talk as to whether the opening ceremonies can even comes close to the Beijing spectacular.  Even the Brit organizers admitted that they couldn't match it but they promised a few surprises.  So far it's pretty bad, and in fact, cringingly bad.  The show opens with REAL doctors and nurses dancing a jive-inspired routine dressed in 19th century costumes.  OMG, I couldn't watch.   What kind of dumbass organizer thought of making the the ceremonies a Public Service Announcement for their National Health Service???   And it wasn't even subtle ... the roving hospital beds spelled out NHS!     The doctors -- some of whom look to be in their 60s -- are supposed to represent the best of British health care, but the scene reminds me of an insane ayslum.  It's so so so bad that 3 of the people watching the ceremonues decided to take bathroom breaks in the middle of the performance.  And one person is barely awake.

Matt Lauer hit the nail right on the head as they went to commercial break, "I don't know if that was cute or creepy."   It was creepy, Matt, it was damn creepy...

Now they are ruining Vanglels' iconic theme from Chariots of Fire, with slapstick from Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean).  The beach jogging parody is not only unfunny, it is irritating.  The ceremonies is a mess.  In fact, writing this email is more fun than watching it.

Sure you can't match the grandeur and majesty of Beijing, but there is no excuse for this.  You can go "pop" and not look like an improvised mess, i.e. the 2000 Sydney Olympics.