Olympics Opening Ceremony: the worst thing ever or not that bad?

I know this isn’t the most timely post or anything, but just know that it took me a full 24 hours to come to terms with just how awful the London Olympics Opening Ceremony was. It was TERRIBLE. Granted, it was never going to be like the Beijing Opening Ceremony which – can we agree on this? – set the gold standard for opening ceremonies, forever. No one expected London to live up to Beijing, and people were already making noise about opening ceremony director Danny Boyle not even wanting to compete with Beijing. But a dance tribute to the NHS? For real?

Basically, the first half of it was cringe-inducing and embarrassing. There was that cheap little fake hill, there was poor Kenneth Branagh reciting Shakespeare whilst dressed like Abraham Lincoln, there was Mr. Bean and that “bit” that went on far too long, there was the whole too-bright beds and the flying flock of Mary Poppins (“Mind the Poppins!” said Arrest Development fans) and the nightmarish “British villain pop-up” collection and that creepy giant baby. Even Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira were like, “Um… WTF?”

But it eventually got better. While the “love story” thing was dumb, I liked the tribute to British music, and I did like all of the hymns and such. Artic Monkey covering “Come Together” was a highlight. And this is what everyone was talking about – the Queen, the corgis and 007:

Queen Elizabeth’s Olympics Helicopter Jump with James Bond from MYNAME1229 on Vimeo.

Is it just me or is one of the corgis a fatty? Someone needs to put the Queen’s corgis on a diet!! Also: did it bother anyone else that James Bond didn’t bow to Her Majesty? And did it bother anyone else that the Queen looked like she really, really did not want to be there? Even her pink hair feathers looked bored. I would have loved a live feed of the Queen’s reaction shots to the worst parts of Danny Boyle’s “vision” for the Opening Ceremony. Still, he got James Bond and Liz in the same room together, so he gets some points for that.

What else did I like? Hm… David Beckham on the boat with the Olympic flame – that was nice. I liked the dude who took the flame through the tunnel with all of the construction workers who built the stadium – I thought that was a lovely moment. And that Olympic caldron is really cool – I liked it when it was a low “installation piece” thing with all of the leaves, but it looked amazing when the arms rose to form that tall caldron. Oh, and the fireworks were really well done – and you know why? There was British restraint! It wasn’t like “OMG FIREWORKS EVERYWHERE!” (which is what we do in America). I like that they saved the fireworks and really made them count. And then Paul McCartney sang “Hey Jude” and that was pretty cool. I give the whole thing two-and-a-half Flying Poppins out of five.

PS… Here’s the new teaser trailer for Skyfall, which aired shortly after the Queen and James Bond’s little thing. Because that wasn’t cross-promotional at all.

Photos courtesy of WENN, PCN.


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Olympics Opening Ceremony: the worst thing ever or not that bad?