Random Observations on the Opening Ceremonies

I like the visual of the nations' flags on the mini Glastonbury Tor.
I like the visual of the nations’ flags on the mini Glastonbury Tor.

I half-watched the first of the Opening Ceremony online at the office today – I have two monitors, so it’s easy enough to do while still getting work done – but I decided to watch at home tonight to see what I had missed, and to see how it looked in HD. (My laptop monitor of work is… well, low-def will suffice, but it’s something less than that.) About an hour in, I realized I had nothing for a blog post tonight and decided I’d share some of my random observations. I tweeted some of these, so if you follow me there, I apologize in advance for the duplication – and for quitting at some point before the ceremony actually ends. Because really, this is gonna go on forever.

  • The pastoral scene reminds me more of Hobbiton than old-timey England.
  • “Danny Boy” as the musical selection for Northern Ireland? Really? Ugh!
  • I loved the forging of the Olympic rings during the “Industrial Revolution” sequence – it was cool looking as well as beautiful.
  • When I was at work, I didn’t realize at first that the James Bond sequence was part of the show. I thought it was a commercial – but then realized the BBC feed didn’t have commercials. (Not a big Bond fan, obvs.)
  • The dancing nurses were adorable. Apparently it is possible to love socialized medicine.
  • The “Chariots of Fire” theme always reminds me of my 11th birthday, the first time I ever saw three movies in one day – one of which was Chariots, which I did not understand. In the 30 years since, I’ve never watched it again.
  • I don’t love Mr. Bean. Never have. There. I said it.
  • I do, however, love that there’s an entire sequence that’s an appreciation for the creation of the web. Thanks, Tim, indeed!
  • David Beckham. On a boat. Need I say more?
  • Why is Ryan Seacrest part of the Olympics? Is there any way we can make him not be, like immediately?
  • How do people not cry when they’re the flag bearer for their country? Maybe I’m a total ninny, but I would be absolutely overcome, if it were me.
  • “Denmark is the most competitive non-Asian nation in badminton.” Just an example of the weird-ass trivia they come up with for the parade of nations.
  • The parade was up to Kenya before I noticed that there was a tiny map that popped up next to the name of the country each time a new one entered. And by “noticed” I mean my sister pointed it out to me.
  • This is the first Olympics where every nation has a woman representing it, which is pretty awesome.

One thing I thought about throughout – what if these were DC’s Olympics? We were of the finalists during the selection process, and while I’m pretty relieved we didn’t get them in a lot of ways, I can’t help but wonder what our opening ceremonies would have looked – and sounded – like. I have a mental image of hundreds of people banging out a go-go beat on bucket drums, but somehow suspect the ceremony would have ended up more “Washington” and less “DC.” Which would be such a shame.

Who else watched? What did you think?

6 thoughts on “Random Observations on the Opening Ceremonies

  1. Eileen July 27, 2012 / 11:11 pm

    The US team just entered. I don’t care that the uniforms were made in China* but I care that they’re hideously ugly and the women are wearing French flags as scarves. WTH?

    * and I don’t care because, hello!!!, did no one know/ask/figure out along the way that Ralph Lauren manufactures in China?? If not, then the USOC is in much worse shape than I thought.

  2. Common Loon July 28, 2012 / 12:11 am

    I noticed the map in the corner right away, only b/c I purchased an interactive globe / flag / stats contraption for the kids just for tonight, and fortunately that map was flashed so quickly that they could still use it w/o “cheating.” Yes, country ID is a bit of a competition here.

  3. sprite July 28, 2012 / 12:49 am

    The ring forging/flying in forced me to quote Lord of the Rings.

    I don’t like Mr. Bean either, but this part didn’t bother me so much. Kind of reminded me of his role in Four Weddings & a Funeral.

    I liked the kid lit bit and the doctors dancing.

    I was unaware of the nation of Comoros, which marched in, but elicited no commentary from the talking heads, so I was forced to look them up on my own. Of course, at first I couldn’t recall their name and thought it was Camorra, which turns out to be a Neapolitan mob family. Different.

    I liked the opening film montage and the live open. Actually, in general, I liked the whole thing. Go Brits!

  4. Mom July 28, 2012 / 10:15 am

    Loved the rings, too! Totally agree on frumpy American outfits. Of all the designers we have to chose from, WHY HIM?? Otherwise, ceremony so grandiose. When is the one-ups-man-ship gonna stop???

  5. maryann July 28, 2012 / 7:37 pm

    I really enjoyed the whole extravaganza; some parts more than others. The Queen sequence was such fun; they say she has a great sense of humor; so-why didn’t she smile the rest of the night?!

    American “costumes” were ridiculous, regardless of where they were made. Better luck next time.

    I loved the whole idea of the British timeline. I wish I could see a slo-mo of the pastoral scene being dismantled and the Industrial Revolution being built. And the National Healthcare thing – they celebrate it while we can’t agree on taking care of our own. Sad.

    I love Sir Paul and I don’t expect him to sound like he used to. But I just didn’t get the whole Hey Jude thing for a finale. Tell me what I’m missing.

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