Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

My belated thoughts to Friday's Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Despite artistic director David Atkins' claim to deal with the individual, of course, 'bigger is better' still reigned, and really appropriately so: it's certainly expected. Donald Sutherland's narration was a bit "observatory star show-esque" but seemed to work nonetheless. I also liked that there was an intro, break with the Parade of Nations, then it went into the stage show (highlighted by the polar bear 'puppet'). The spectacle part had a garishness, that thankfully started with a much more subtle sequence (the runner in the 'electronic' fields [to "Both Sides Now"]). Good star wattage with the performers. Another unfavorable comparison: the Native-American section at the start and the poet at the end seemed a little "theme park" to me. Unfortunately caldron blunder may be the ceremonies lasting memory. On the whole a worthy follow-up to the Summer Olympics... although it will be many years before Li Ning's run across the top of the Bird's Nest in China is beaten for "single-most breathtaking opening ceremonies' moment."

On the death of the Georgian luger and NBC's coverage... I thought they handled it as best they could. I think I say this because I didn't feel the need to run to CNN or You Tube to be satisfied with the full story. [But: I do think saying "lugers" should be somehow avoided (I always here "losers" when it's spoken).]

I particularly liked NBC's facts-about-Canada section at the start (introduced by Tom Brokaw), and their package on the lengthy torch relay (45,000 kilometers).

In terms of the advertising, I liked all of McDonald's ads (such as the one where the parents grab the Happy meal back and forth away from each other so they can give it to their kid themselves), but hated the MARRIAGE REF promos... show looks terrible and the promos are just annoying: celebs tell middle Americans who's "right" in an argument because they are celebs and therefore have all the answers.

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