opening ceremonies

bengardeningJuly 27, 2012

What did you think of it? I just watched a little bit of it and that was enough for me.

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Loved it...especially the taped James Bond scenario of the Queen's entrance!

She has earned the title of a "good sport".

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Loved Rowan Atkinson's adventures with Chariots of Fire.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:32PM
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I watched up until the Mary Poppins thing, then I switched channels and waited for the parade of nations. Who do you think is going to light the torch? Some say David Beckam, and I did see him in that boat with the torch, but he could pass it off to someone else.

The Queen? She looked so grouchy! ha. I saw on a travel forum I frequent where someone posted a photo of her picking her nails and looking bored as the British team paraded in. But I did think the James Bond intro was cute.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:35PM
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I just popped in for the parade of nations and final moments. Considering it was taped 5 hours ago They did a great job with the lights etc. I think nbc could have covered it a litle bit better IMHO Sir Paul looked good too

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:01AM
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we enjoyed it..the changes from pastoral to industral were amazing...missed sir john...

i didn't think qe2 looked grouchy but tired...can you imagine sitting there for 4 hours?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Loved it. Love the queen.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 2:26AM
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I've enjoyed it. I'm glad they've changed to have the olympics at every 2 years (altering between summer and winter olympics). It evens out better.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:09AM
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I'm a little surprised at the comments. It was truly the worst opening ceremony I've ever seen. Really--a commercial for their national health service? The puppets were very amatueurish-looking. We at least got a decent view of some of the stuff, but can you imagine paying over $3000 for a seat and trying to see what was happening down on the floor? It was all 'small' stuff that mostly wouldn't have played well to a stadium crowd. And I'd have been really sick (literally) to have paid that much for a ticket then having to sit there smelling sulfur--the smell would have made me physically ill.

I found the show boring, and totally inappropriate for the kind of venue it was being done in. And there were so many parts where I kept thinking, WHEN will they get to the nations. Loved the countries that designed their uniforms around their countries traditional garb. And I think Mexico took first place for most interesting outfits--they were so brilliantly spectacular

And I did love the design of the torch--it was stunning to watch it construct itself after being lit.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:47AM
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"I'm a little surprised at the comments. It was truly the worst opening ceremony I've ever seen.".........

I am so glad I am not the only one ,aside from family, who thought the same thing.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:31AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ntt...they've been holding the Olympics every two years for at least 80 years, with years off for wars and other events.

Azzalea, I could not agree with you more. This was a spectacle created by a director of films.......and it certainly looked it. I did enjoy the first several minutes very much, but do wonder how it appeared to the stadium audience. I found the choice of music a bit strange...not for the choices but the omissions. And if I have to listen the repeated mantra of 'Hey Jude ' one more time.....

It will be interesting when the critiques begin to roll in.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:44AM
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First of all Rhizo, they have NOT been holding the Olympics every 2 years for 80 years......where did you get that info? It used to be every 4 years with summer and winter the same year. It's only since 1994 or so that they have been happening every 2 years (summer one year, winter 2 years later, then summer 2 years later, etc.)

I thought the opening ceremonies were fantastic! What a production! Loved the tributes to so many British singers and writers through the songs and stories. It doesn't really surprise me that some Americans would not like it, especially the section about the hospital (which was NOT an ad for their health service, but rather a tribute to the famous children's hospital).

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:59AM
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I agree with Casey - in general, Americans just don't "get" many things that aren't produced in the USA or slanted to appeal to them.

British humour, for example, is quite often lost on Americans. It takes a certain level of mental sophistication to understand and appreciate it.

I thought the opening ceremony was lovely, and in fact, I teared up a time or two.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:08AM
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OK, we switched off within minutes, so I can't claim to have 'watched' it. We were disappointed from the get-go. Azzalea summed it up well: "Small". It didn't work given the scale of the event.

Those 'bits' could work well on a stage, in a theater, but this is a huge arena. The Circus knows how to entertain 'Big'. The Red Army knew how. As a chiled I was thrilled by the Railroad Fair in Chicago, set with a Lake Michigan backdrop.

I was expecting a *pagent*, not something sized for a cell phone screen.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Cholecat...we think alike.
I loved the whole thing.

I guess the nuances went over many heads.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:01AM
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I think the Queen looked tired, but I'm a great fan of hers--she is a classy lady.

The healthcare "commercial" was boring, IMO.

Overall, it was OK. I was very disappointed in the USA uniforms. Aside from the fact that they were made in China (guess Lauren didn't know we have seamstresses in America), they were not at all impressive.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:22AM
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I watched it from beginning to end.
The show embraced popular British culture from children's literature, film, music and technology. It was a celebration of all things that make Great Britain proud.
It has received rave reviews across the board.
NBC's tape delay has been criticized, however the delay
allowed them to interject many interesting side notes.
I thought it was awesome.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Watched the entire opening and loved it. It reflected what the English are most proud of and how the country developed. Showcased some of the large contributions they've made to the world and kept in character of Great Britain. Each host nation's openings show similar ideas in different ways. To me this was wonderful to watch and experience and yes, I even sang along with Sir John.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:20AM
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I wasn't talking 'content'. I was talking 'scale'.

DH and I are terrible Anglophiles. We support Royal Oak/National Trust. We've mostly driven British cars. We've vacationed in London and the outlying counties several times. We watch mostly British TV series (on DVD). I find Canadian humor to be the witty best of old and new worlds. This just started out with a 'thud' for us.

Maybe we should have hung in there longer?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:49AM
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I liked the whole thing. Beats the robotic dances in Beijing. The effects were great, the huge smokes stacks depicting the industrial revolution, showing the culture that is British, showing how they love their health care system. The torch lighting was great and the Queen and Bond was a funny skit. Showed a humans side to the Olympics.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:12PM
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I watched it live on the BBC with no commercials. It was 4.5 hrs long. It was an absolutely wonderful opening ceremony.

When London bid for this Olympics, one of the key features of their bid was to celebrate children. That philosophy combined with what Lindakathy said absolutely nailed it - this ceremony celebrated all things British. From the historical aspect tracing agrarian life to the Industrial Revolution which then featured molten "steel" to form the Olympic rings, celebrating the Great Ormond Children's Hospital, celebrating British tv, film and music, literature, the Queen's involvement, Mr Bean...the next generation of youth lighting the Olympic was absolutely the best! The use of LED lighting on all seats in the stadium was so skilled...especially when the seats were transformed into an equalizer.

I would watch it again and again and again! Danny Boyle please take a bow!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:15PM
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I wasn't impressed. I kept waiting for the parade of nations, which I just love. As soon as the parade was over, I turned it off and went to bed. The U.S. costumes didn't show much imagination. I really enjoy seeing the native costumes of other countries.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:18PM
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I agree with Azzalea and Gemini and others. I got bored pretty quickly with it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:09PM
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I am somewhere in the middle on this. Loved the Queen with James Bond. Loved the corgis. Loved the helicopter.

For the most part it looked like a lot of people in costume milling around on the floor of the stadium. The big baby in the bed was totally creepy.

Close ups of some of the young people in the performance were wonderful -- a great looking group.

The health service thing really made me scratch my head. Must be a Brit thing. Who is Mr. Bean? I never heard of him, but he must be famous in Great Britain.

Loved David Beckham driving the boat down the Thames. Loved the "doves" on the bicycles. Very clever.

Paul McCartney is old and sounded old. Made me feel old.

What was with honoring Muhammed Ali? That was so sad to see how he has deteriorated and hey -- he's American.

I was hoping to see some wonderful British athlete light the Olympic flame. The youngsters were cute and all that, but I was waiting for someone wowza.

The royals almost all looked bored to tears. It is considered bad form to smile and wave and cheer?

Anyway, Beijing still holds the record for best Olympic Opening ceremony, IMO.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:23PM
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Ditto on what dedtired said. I was pretty bored. Kept telling my husband I'm not impressed yet.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:38PM
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the parts that I saw, I really liked. I was unable to
see the whole thing.
most Americans are not total dolts. I think that most Americans can understand British humor.
Some just don't find it funny. I think much of it is funny. I have
friends that are quite sophisticated and don't find some
of it funny. I know a LOT of mentally sophisticated.

I think you would find a lot of Americans that enjoyed it.
Most people post (not necessarily here only when they don't like something.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I loved it, at least except for the icky commentary on NBC. That's my beef with all the Olympics, the US commentary makes the actual games all unwatchable.

But the Opening Ceremony was terrific (if I could have seen the BBC broadcast, I'd have been happier).

Loved the torch entry into the stadium flanked by the people who had actually built it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Rhizo_1, you've mistaken about the olympic year cycle.

Both the Summer an Winter olympics had been held every 4 years on the same year since the beginning, in 1924. Up until 1992, the Summer and Winter olympics were altered to every 2 years. The only time the Winter olympic occured within 2 years was in 1992 and 1994. It was during this change. After that the 4-year cycle resumed.

I remembered this well because I was confused with the announcement at the time.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:15PM
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Someone brought out the issue about the US uniforms made in China for the 2012 Olympic. This made me wonder, what about the US uniforms in 2010, 2008, 2006, etc.. Where were they've been made? Why were there no fuss about it? The job lost to overseas didn't just happened this year. This issue should have been brought out in the open many many moons ago. If it was, perhaps, it would have saved many jobs by now.

And really, the Olympic uniforms should not be the only focus with this. Other US atheletes team uniforms should be made in the USA as well.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:27PM
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I was disappointed. I liked the theme of children and literature for the show, but it wasn't consistent. I felt sorry for those in attendance, for I felt that they were struggling to see what on earth was going on in the arena. I loved the children's literature that was included and the hospital too. McCartney sounded old.

I liked the crispness and color of the US team uniforms, but they lacked something. I know it has been done before, but a cowboy hat would have been so much more USA than a beret--or a different hat of some sort.

I loved the lighting of the cauldron and the design of it. Poor Ali did not seem to understand, his wife was trying to help him but he was not responding, and I do wonder why he was part of the London scene.

I felt the producer demonstrated an inability to do a large staging for the benefit of the observer in the stands. If there had not been cameras up close, it would have seemed like a mish-mosh.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:56PM
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All I can say was if was different. I liked part of it others were a bit boring. I wish I could have gotten BBC so to miss the comericals. Any one know why M. Ali was there? Of course at the Queen's age sitting for a long time would be hard on anyone. She is a remarkable person.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:24PM
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I enjoyed the ceremonies. My favorite parts were the Queen/007, Rowen Atkinson, the bicycle doves and the way the cauldron was lit an rose up.

Sir Paul was a little off last night because he got caught up in the emotion of being there. How could you not??

Dedtired, Rowen Atkinson plays the character, Mr. Bean. He is very funny. His comedy is very visual he mumbles occasionally but doesn't really talk. His actions speak louder than words. Check him out on YouTube.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mr. Bean

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:25PM
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I was as bored as the Queen.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:37PM
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I enjoyed the opening ceremonies.

However, I think NBC did a terrible job with the camera work. When they needed to be down on the floor, they were filming from the top of the stadium. Then they gave us close-ups of faces, but we had no idea what the people were doing.

NBC also completely cut out the athletes' oath, which is a key part of the ceremony. They also cut out a tribute to the victims of a terrible terrorist attack that occurred right after London was given the Olympics. They had that interview with Michael Phelps instead. Given that the show was not live in the US, I can't understand this at all.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:48PM
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LOL at Redcurls.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 5:07PM
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Camlan, leaving off the tribute to the victims of 7/7 was terrible. Like if the Brits cut out a tribute to 9/11 victims in an American ceremony. Inexcusable, IMHO.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:02PM
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It takes a certain level of mental sophistication to understand and appreciate it.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Can't say that I thought it was great, and I appreciate all the reviews here. I thought the parade of nations was spectacular and the lighting of the torch ....ending was pretty much "over the top" by any standards. Do wish I had been able to see it on BBC. I miss those days when we lived overseas and really saw events like this with so little narration and breaks for commercials.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:35PM
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It was organized chaos.

Didn't care for it but do admit I got a chuckle over Mr. Bean and always enjoy Kenneth Branagh. And then there were the Mary Poppinses floating in to save the day. I can live with that. :-)

Overall ... 4 torches out of 10.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:09PM
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I'm with you, Tally. Guess I'm just an American dolt.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:21PM
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I enjoyed it so much I watched it twice. Only bad part for me is that I had to watch the NBC feed since I couldn't pick up the Canadian station.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:15PM
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