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My problem with the London ceremony was that it didn't show who London was, or who the UK was for that matter. Many countries have rebellious teenagers, industrial revolutions, and nice farm land. Other then Mary Poppins, "story time with JK Rowling", and the UK national anthem, what was unique about London and the UK.

Yeah, but the Industrial Revolution is generally considered to have started in the U.K. Besides, we like it or not, many of the trends and musics which inspirated rebellious teenagers came from either U.K or America.

Besides, last time they tried to represent Middle Ages England and stuff about knights they didn't took it well (The Euro '96 opening ceremony was almost universally apalled back then). That probably made them back away from those ideas.

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My problem with the London ceremony was that it didn't show who London was, or who the UK was for that matter. Many countries have rebellious teenagers, industrial revolutions, and nice farm land. Other then Mary Poppins, "story time with JK Rowling", and the UK national anthem, what was unique about London and the UK.

Well, the industrial revolution started in Britain. That is why it is a significant piece of British history. Everything that was referenced in the OC was either unique to, begun in or particularly significant to British history or culture. I'm sorry you didn't appreciate or understand this. Maybe people around the world are not as familiar with these aspects of British history as I thought!

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I wish there could had been a little tribute to the events of WWII. It would had been an emotional and tear jerking moment, although probably they wanted to avoid issues with Germany. :P

But other posters on here have criticised the OC for iincluding things they suppose are not unique to Britain. The events of WWII eg. the blitz for example were not unique to London or even to Britain. Many other British cities suffered similarly during WWII including my own and much less so than many others in Europe and Asia.

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I understand the "internet" itself was invented by a Briton - but it cannot be denied that it was US institutions that took it to the next level.

The Briton in question is Tim Berners-Lee and he didn't invent the internet anymore than Al Gore did! :P The internet, as you point out, originated with the US military and certain other US government institutions several decades earlier. What Berners-Lee did was invent 'The Worldwide Web ' at the start of the 1990s. This is the hypertext or language in which people all round the world can access the internet for information on anything they choose, just like you and I are doing now. In its 1999 millennium issue, Time Magazine named Berners-Lee as one of the most significant people of the millennium (well, either that or the 20th century, I can't recall exactly) for this achievement. But it seems many people do not properly understand what he did or appreciate his significance to British culture and achievements. Maybe Boyle and co could have highlighted this better!

http://en.wikipedia....Tim_Berners-Lee

This aside, I found the lighting of the cauldron emotional, intimate and unique. I loved it. While the cauldron was smaller than what we are used to but the music, the design, the people involved - simply amazing.

I agree. I also found the lighting of the cauldron to be one of the best aspects of the ceremony.

overall, a fantastic ceremony... but I just feel with the immense weight of British culture on Boyles shoulders he didn't quite do it justice.

I wonder if anybody could?

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The internet started as the "arpanet" at UCLA -- the project was funded by the DOD.

As for the ceremony, I wouldn't argue that it wasn't "British" enough. I would say that Danny Boyle chose to focus on more obscure aspects of British culture and history (apart from the Industrial Revolution). He chose too many of those events and strung them together in a disorganized, confusing way. As a result, the ceremony did not make a powerful impact, but seemed diffuse and messy.

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The point about the execution is one I can see in certain respects and I'm sure that argument will go on, But if the events were too obscure for you, maybe you need to ask yourself WHY Boyle chose those events and WHY - on the whole - we in this country were pleased with the aspects and personalities of Britain he chose to highlight. I'm actually pleased he didn't go for the obvious, as much as that might've pleased some overseas who think this country is an episode of Downton Abbey.

I'm surprised at the dislike for the social media segment to be honest (well actually I'm not :rolleyes: but I'm happy to defend it). For me, the weakest segment was the NHS/children's fiction bit (the disperate themes didn't quite gel even though I was obviously aware of GOSH's connection to Peter Pan). But the social media segment was so right for London 2012, such a great counterpoint to Beijing's magnificent scroll (and I think a deliberate one at that) and so brilliantly fused with the soundtrack that it just worked. It was the only part of the ceremony completely unique to its time and to have Sir Tim Berners-Lee on stage at the end tied it all together so well. A revolution not as obviously British as the Industrial one, but with a Brit at its heart who's done as much to change the World as Brunel before him. The irony that many people who complained about his obscurity would've found out who he was within seconds using the World Wide Web is wonderful.

As amazing as it was, I think hosts to come will do bigger and better things than the Industrial Revolution segment. That's always the way with these ceremonies. Maybe, just maybe, if this ceremony is ever mentioned in any history books in the 22nd Century, it'll be the social media segment that gets referenced Who knows?

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The point about the execution is one I can see in certain respects and I'm sure that argument will go on, But if the events were too obscure for you, maybe you need to ask yourself WHY Boyle chose those events and WHY - on the whole - we in this country were pleased with the aspects and personalities of Britain he chose to highlight. I'm actually pleased he didn't go for the obvious, as much as that might've pleased some overseas who think this country is an episode of Downton Abbey.

I'm surprised at the dislike for the social media segment to be honest (well actually I'm not :rolleyes: but I'm happy to defend it). For me, the weakest segment was the NHS/children's fiction bit (the disperate themes didn't quite gel even though I was obviously aware of GOSH's connection to Peter Pan). But the social media segment was so right for London 2012, such a great counterpoint to Beijing's magnificent scroll (and I think a deliberate one at that) and so brilliantly fused with the soundtrack that it just worked. It was the only part of the ceremony completely unique to its time and to have Sir Tim Berners-Lee on stage at the end tied it all together so well. A revolution not as obviously British as the Industrial one, but with a Brit at its heart who's done as much to change the World as Brunel before him. The irony that many people who complained about his obscurity would've found out who he was within seconds using the World Wide Web is wonderful.

As amazing as it was, I think hosts to come will do bigger and better things than the Industrial Revolution segment. That's always the way with these ceremonies. Maybe, just maybe, if this ceremony is ever mentioned in any history books in the 22nd Century, it'll be the social media segment that gets referenced Who knows?

Fair enuf rebuttal, Rob.

But it's too cerebral. ;)

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The point about the execution is one I can see in certain respects and I'm sure that argument will go on, But if the events were too obscure for you, maybe you need to ask yourself WHY Boyle chose those events and WHY - on the whole - we in this country were pleased with the aspects and personalities of Britain he chose to highlight. I'm actually pleased he didn't go for the obvious, as much as that might've pleased some overseas who think this country is an episode of Downton Abbey.

I'm surprised at the dislike for the social media segment to be honest (well actually I'm not :rolleyes: but I'm happy to defend it). For me, the weakest segment was the NHS/children's fiction bit (the disperate themes didn't quite gel even though I was obviously aware of GOSH's connection to Peter Pan). But the social media segment was so right for London 2012, such a great counterpoint to Beijing's magnificent scroll (and I think a deliberate one at that) and so brilliantly fused with the soundtrack that it just worked. It was the only part of the ceremony completely unique to its time and to have Sir Tim Berners-Lee on stage at the end tied it all together so well. A revolution not as obviously British as the Industrial one, but with a Brit at its heart who's done as much to change the World as Brunel before him. The irony that many people who complained about his obscurity would've found out who he was within seconds using the World Wide Web is wonderful.

As amazing as it was, I think hosts to come will do bigger and better things than the Industrial Revolution segment. That's always the way with these ceremonies. Maybe, just maybe, if this ceremony is ever mentioned in any history books in the 22nd Century, it'll be the social media segment that gets referenced Who knows?

It seems a bit dismissive to suggest that the rest of the world views the UK as an episode of Downton Abbey.

I don't think it's amiss to suggest that kids jumping on beds and romance via text message are not what leaps to mind when one considers showcasing London's unique character and history -- yet those two segments were awarded a considerable amount of time. I'm also not suggesting that London should have focused solely on Dickens, Jane Austen, phone booths, bangers and mash, tea and Paddington Bear. I was disappointed to see no acknowledgement of Roman roots, no reference to Elizabethan splendor or achievements (apart from Branagh's oddly placed Caliban quote), no acknowledgement of the UK's impressive body of literature (the focus children's literature was misplaced in my opinion), no acknowledgement of the culture of Britain during either World War, no acknowledgement of Britain's storied Olympic history (I don't count Mr. Bean's Chariots of Fire parody).

Going back to the Caliban quote, it really is pretty ironic:

"Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,

Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not...."

This was followed immediately by the pseudo-apocalyptic styling of the Industrial Revolution -- quite fearsome, loud banging and pounding (no sweet airs), devoid of delight (the focus was clearly on arduous, dehumanizing labor) and damaging (the beauty of the green isle was destroyed, the machinery of war was built, people suffered and died). And what end was all this labor serving? Apparently it was all for the the Olympic movement (!) -- as was suggested by the forging of the giant rings. It was a spectacular segment, but it was dark and totally at odds with the Shakespeare quote -- as was everything in the OC except for "Green and Pleasant."

The Industrial Revolution scene was impressive and unique. Not to take anything away from that segment, but we have seen similarly grand spectacle in other ceremonies and probably will continue to do so (as you suggested, Rob). My biggest complaint was that that whole scene relied extremely heavily on editing for television to tell a cohesive story. The international broadcast was not as well edited as it could have been. As a result, even this section was difficult to follow and seemed to drag on too long. I will never understand the inclusion of Sergeant Pepper there. Seemed totally anachronistic.

Personally, I don't see any comparison between Beijing's spectacular scroll and "Frankie and June Say Thanks Tim" (even the title of that segment conveys quite a bit about its quality). I felt the soundtrack used far too many pieces of music in snippets that were far too short. Each cut seemed haphazardly arranged. The choreography was "loose" -- to put it kindly, "sloppy" to put it unkindly. The whole "love story" was totally unaffecting and relied so heavily on film that I can't imagine it made much impact in the stadium.

Your Beijing comparison is an interesting one. I would not have expected (or wanted) London to try to imitate the sheer numbers and hyper-precision of Beijing. However, I do think that Beijing did a much better job of telling a unified story, of melding the ancient and the contemporary. They traced their roots without being confined by them. I wish London had imitated this approach more.

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So I guess we're now on the second wave of reviews of the ceremony. I've actually watched it again now (only the second ceremony I've ever re-watched after Sydney's), and I have to confess to a bit of revisionism in my opinion of it. I guess that's inevitable when you re-watch a ceremony with the sort of eye to detail and criticism we tend to bring to it. The first time watching it live it washed over me and I did find it extremely enjoyable. Looking back on my initial comments here at the time, I did indeed watch it with a smile on my face the entire time. But I also noted then that it also seemed a bit disjointed. Repeat viewing to me really made the disjointedness more glaring. I felt a bit deflated – almost wish I'd left it at the one viewing now.

It was almost to me like the highpoints and the best executed segments – Green and Pleasant and Pandemonium, with its glowing rings which to me were the biggest “wow” moment of the ceremony – came too early and a lot of it after was an anti climax. I liked the idea behind the NHS/kids-lit segment, but on playback I think that was the part that suffered most from the camera work – the Seven broadcast here, for example, seemed to focus totally on Voldemort, with only a wee glimpse of Cruella de Ville and and nothing at all of Captain Hook or the Queen of Hearts. The big baby WAS eerie – I never noticed it at all the first time.

The social media segment was the one that most disappointed me the second time. I still like the music – I thought it was a great nod and run-through of British pop culture of the generation since the last time London held the games, but in hindsight that whole theme was repeated and done much better in the closing (which I still rate the best closing ceremony ever – though I'm not going to risk watching that again and risk being disillusioned). The projections also were a bit of a let-down and didn't work as well as those used in the Jubilee Concert earlier in the year. Actually, in all my talks and discussions about the ceremony with friends and others when I was in London, it was this segment that most people seemed to have less-than-positive responses towards.

On the plus side, I still think the comedy segments were among its greatest strengths. That probably reflects personal tastes – I really get turned off by ceremonies that take themselves too solemnly and seriously – and I really have to give full marks to London for having the confidence to bring humour to the opening rather than leave it to the closing where most other hosts have put it. And I still stick by the opinion that the cauldron was the most beautiful of all time, even if the actual execution of its lighting didn't match up to magic lightings like Barcelona's (and, indulge me, Sydney's), and it was a bit of a let-down to have it confined within the stadium rather than tall and proud above the Olympic Park (though, of course, that's not strictly a ceremonial issue).

Just to respond to a few other comments on this thread.

It amuses me how there's such a disparity between people thinking it was “too” British, and others who didn't think it was British enough. I certainly had no problem understanding the British cultural references in it. I can see why some people were a bit flummoxed by nationalised medicine playing such a big role, but I can also see why that was a touchstone for Brits and thought the way it was melded with children's literature gave it a wider context anyway. And while on the literary question, I think it was represented appropriately and well – nods to Shakespeare and the legends of kids-lit in the opening, and a stage-setting made up entirely out of the great and famous quotes from British literature for the closing. Trying to do much more with that wouldn't have left scope to much more of anything, so vast is the British literary canon. Similarly British history – unless you were going to try to do a moving montage like Athens did, there's just too much of it to have done it any justice or given any satisfactory narrative of Britain's story. Anyway, it's all soooo familiar anyway – I'm glad they didn't go for cliches like Roman legionaries (what have they ever done for us anyway), Elizabethan courtiers or Regency fops. It was, to me, a representation of modern Britain and its development, which to me was appropriate and which I can see why it resonated so deeply with the Brits themselves.

At the end of the day, it's still among the ceremonies that I've enjoyed the most, at least on first viewing. But, yeah, there were some nagging niggles and less than smooth executions that came out in the repeat viewing that prevent me now being as fulsome in my praise and vigorous in its defence as I initially was.

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I'm glad they didn't go for cliches like Roman legionaries (what have they ever done for us anyway),

Monty Python aside, I think there might have been some scope for showing how the invading Romans founded London in the teeth of fierce resistance from the ancient Brits and how, at their first opportunity (Boudicca's revolt), they descended on it and burned it to the ground! It would have pointed out the irony of the fact that London, the big city now so central to British history and culture, was originally viewed as an alien artifact imposed on the British from outside and that they couldn't wait to eliminate as soon as they had the chance!

Ah well, too late now....!

:)

At the end of the day, it's still among the ceremonies that I've enjoyed the most, at least on first viewing. But, yeah, there were some nagging niggles and less than smooth executions that came out in the repeat viewing that prevent me now being as fulsome in my praise and vigorous in its defence as I initially was.

I wonder which opening ceremonies actually looked better on second viewing? ;)

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I know Baron disagrees, but Athens was better for me the second and third times I saw it. I loved it in the stadium, but picked up on much more of the artistry seeing the NBC recording the second time, And then the official Olympic recording after that. I actually gave a dinner party for some artist friends of mine and we all watched it again and talked about it. It holds up well because the content is so thoughtfully conceived.

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Monty Python aside, I think there might have been some scope for showing how the invading Romans founded London in the teeth of fierce resistance from the ancient Brits and how, at their first opportunity (Boudicca's revolt), they descended on it and burned it to the ground! It would have pointed out the irony of the fact that London, the big city now so central to British history and culture, was originally viewed as an alien artifact imposed on the British from outside and that they couldn't wait to eliminate as soon as they had the chance!

Ah well, too late now....!

:)

I wonder which opening ceremonies actually looked better on second viewing? ;)

Over the past year I've taken time to watch as much OC's from back to Moscow 1980 as I could.

Of 'recent' years, one that I've watched and enjoyed more than once were Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Athens. Barcelona's was seriously cool and atmospheric; Atlanta was grand (I hadn't seen it in full since I was a child in 1996) and I was blown away, say what you want about the 1996 Games themselves, but the ceremonies were terrific; Sydney is a great bridge between 21st century ceremony and the pomp of the Moscow-Atlanta era, and Athens just wow wow wow every time. I get chills. Love. it. The ceremony was so good that the host country is in crushing debt 8 years later.. ;) While I'd rate Beijing as my second favourite, I concede it doesn't have much rewatch value... It's all so intense that its not really light viewing.

I can see myself watching London's again in coming years and simply watching the first 30 minutes, then skipping to the cauldron.

As for Winter, Albertville, Lillehammer, SLC and Vancouver all have rewatch value, especially the latter two. Nagano and Turin bored me then, and bored me now.

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Fair enuf rebuttal, Rob.

But it's too cerebral. ;)

Not enough "tits & teeth" for you Myles?!

It seems a bit dismissive to suggest that the rest of the world views the UK as an episode of Downton Abbey.

I don't think it's amiss to suggest that kids jumping on beds and romance via text message are not what leaps to mind when one considers showcasing London's unique character and history -- yet those two segments were awarded a considerable amount of time. I'm also not suggesting that London should have focused solely on Dickens, Jane Austen, phone booths, bangers and mash, tea and Paddington Bear. I was disappointed to see no acknowledgement of Roman roots, no reference to Elizabethan splendor or achievements (apart from Branagh's oddly placed Caliban quote), no acknowledgement of the UK's impressive body of literature (the focus children's literature was misplaced in my opinion), no acknowledgement of the culture of Britain during either World War, no acknowledgement of Britain's storied Olympic history (I don't count Mr. Bean's Chariots of Fire parody).

Going back to the Caliban quote, it really is pretty ironic:

"Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,

Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not...."

This was followed immediately by the pseudo-apocalyptic styling of the Industrial Revolution -- quite fearsome, loud banging and pounding (no sweet airs), devoid of delight (the focus was clearly on arduous, dehumanizing labor) and damaging (the beauty of the green isle was destroyed, the machinery of war was built, people suffered and died). And what end was all this labor serving? Apparently it was all for the the Olympic movement (!) -- as was suggested by the forging of the giant rings. It was a spectacular segment, but it was dark and totally at odds with the Shakespeare quote -- as was everything in the OC except for "Green and Pleasant."

The Industrial Revolution scene was impressive and unique. Not to take anything away from that segment, but we have seen similarly grand spectacle in other ceremonies and probably will continue to do so (as you suggested, Rob). My biggest complaint was that that whole scene relied extremely heavily on editing for television to tell a cohesive story. The international broadcast was not as well edited as it could have been. As a result, even this section was difficult to follow and seemed to drag on too long. I will never understand the inclusion of Sergeant Pepper there. Seemed totally anachronistic.

Personally, I don't see any comparison between Beijing's spectacular scroll and "Frankie and June Say Thanks Tim" (even the title of that segment conveys quite a bit about its quality). I felt the soundtrack used far too many pieces of music in snippets that were far too short. Each cut seemed haphazardly arranged. The choreography was "loose" -- to put it kindly, "sloppy" to put it unkindly. The whole "love story" was totally unaffecting and relied so heavily on film that I can't imagine it made much impact in the stadium.

Your Beijing comparison is an interesting one. I would not have expected (or wanted) London to try to imitate the sheer numbers and hyper-precision of Beijing. However, I do think that Beijing did a much better job of telling a unified story, of melding the ancient and the contemporary. They traced their roots without being confined by them. I wish London had imitated this approach more.

Thank the lord you weren't producing it - you didn't get it - shame!

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Thank the lord you weren't producing it - you didn't get it - shame!

Well, I haven't met a single person (apart from these boards) who did "get it," so perhaps the problem is with Danny Boyle for not communicating it.

As I've said, I lived in the UK for a couple of years and have plenty of British friends. I would never call myself an expert, but I think I'm a bit more in the know than your average bear. If it left me a bit cold, it's not much wonder that most foreigners didn't "get it."

So what ever happened to Elton John? He must be the only reigning British queen not have played a part.

That was a bit of a surprise.

He's in good company though. If the Romans, Elizabeth I and her era, WWI, WWII and all Britain's literary giants (minus Shakespeare) were excluded, Elton shouldn't feel too bad....

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Aw, c'mon, Britain's literary giants were, quite literally, plastered all over the closing ceremony.

Did you like that? It really didn't do anything for me.

This thread IS about the OC... I could've stomached Frankie and June slightly better if they were in the CC.... The content was confused.

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Did you like that? It really didn't do anything for me.

I loved everything about the CC. And I think that was fair enough - it's one of the few ways they could have covered the vast British literary canon in the constraints of the ceremonies. At least they got that acknowledgement to literature into both ceremonies.

This thread IS about the OC... I could've stomached Frankie and June slightly better if they were in the CC.... The content was confused.

Fair enough. And I do tend to agree - one of my problems with Frankie and June was that the whole magical musical tour through British pop WAS repeated, and done much better, in the CC.

If the Romans, Elizabeth I and her era, WWI, WWII

I still think all that would have been totally cliche and it's all so familiar anyway (and actually, there was quite a distinctive 'war" nod in the remembrance tribute, not to mention nods to the Dambusters and Churchill in the Queen's helicopter flight). I don't think anyone marks down, say, LA, because there was no mention of Pilgrim fathers or Minutemen versus Redcoats, or Barcelona because we didn't get the Reconquista or Spanish Inquisition.

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I still think all that would have been totally cliche and it's all so familiar anyway (and actually, there was quite a distinctive 'war" nod in the remembrance tribute, not to mention nods to the Dambusters and Churchill in the Queen's helicopter flight). I don't think anyone marks down, say, LA, because there was no mention of Pilgrim fathers or Minutemen versus Redcoats, or Barcelona because we didn't get the Reconquista or Spanish Inquisition.

I think there was a way to include more of the key history without doing it in a manner that was "clichéd". Just because it's familiar doesn't mean it has to be boring or predictable (witness Athens' fracturing Cycladic head). I think it's still a fair point that London placed the emphasis in odd, lesser known places that paid very limited dividends with an international audience.

As for LA -- the entertainment section was titled "Music of America" -- so there was a clear organizing principle (something London lacked). LA did include many classic American icons -- marching bands, Gospel music, pioneers and square dancing, Gershwin and old Hollywood musicals, rock and roll.

This has nothing to do with anything, but I wish that the placard girls in London's parade of nations had been outfitted as members of a historical costume parade. They could have cycled through British history in female fashion every 8-10 countries or so: original Britons, medieval attire, Elizabethan, Regency, Victorian, war-era, 70's mod, present day. I think it would've been a blast. Oh well.

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So I guess we're now on the second wave of reviews of the ceremony. I've actually watched it again now (only the second ceremony I've ever re-watched after Sydney's), and I have to confess to a bit of revisionism in my opinion of it. I guess that's inevitable when you re-watch a ceremony with the sort of eye to detail and criticism we tend to bring to it. The first time watching it live it washed over me and I did find it extremely enjoyable. Looking back on my initial comments here at the time, I did indeed watch it with a smile on my face the entire time. But I also noted then that it also seemed a bit disjointed. Repeat viewing to me really made the disjointedness more glaring. I felt a bit deflated – almost wish I'd left it at the one viewing now.

It was almost to me like the highpoints and the best executed segments – Green and Pleasant and Pandemonium, with its glowing rings which to me were the biggest “wow” moment of the ceremony – came too early and a lot of it after was an anti climax. I liked the idea behind the NHS/kids-lit segment, but on playback I think that was the part that suffered most from the camera work – the Seven broadcast here, for example, seemed to focus totally on Voldemort, with only a wee glimpse of Cruella de Ville and and nothing at all of Captain Hook or the Queen of Hearts. The big baby WAS eerie – I never noticed it at all the first time.

The social media segment was the one that most disappointed me the second time. I still like the music – I thought it was a great nod and run-through of British pop culture of the generation since the last time London held the games, but in hindsight that whole theme was repeated and done much better in the closing (which I still rate the best closing ceremony ever – though I'm not going to risk watching that again and risk being disillusioned). The projections also were a bit of a let-down and didn't work as well as those used in the Jubilee Concert earlier in the year. Actually, in all my talks and discussions about the ceremony with friends and others when I was in London, it was this segment that most people seemed to have less-than-positive responses towards.

On the plus side, I still think the comedy segments were among its greatest strengths. That probably reflects personal tastes – I really get turned off by ceremonies that take themselves too solemnly and seriously – and I really have to give full marks to London for having the confidence to bring humour to the opening rather than leave it to the closing where most other hosts have put it. And I still stick by the opinion that the cauldron was the most beautiful of all time, even if the actual execution of its lighting didn't match up to magic lightings like Barcelona's (and, indulge me, Sydney's), and it was a bit of a let-down to have it confined within the stadium rather than tall and proud above the Olympic Park (though, of course, that's not strictly a ceremonial issue).

Just to respond to a few other comments on this thread.

It amuses me how there's such a disparity between people thinking it was “too” British, and others who didn't think it was British enough. I certainly had no problem understanding the British cultural references in it. I can see why some people were a bit flummoxed by nationalised medicine playing such a big role, but I can also see why that was a touchstone for Brits and thought the way it was melded with children's literature gave it a wider context anyway. And while on the literary question, I think it was represented appropriately and well – nods to Shakespeare and the legends of kids-lit in the opening, and a stage-setting made up entirely out of the great and famous quotes from British literature for the closing. Trying to do much more with that wouldn't have left scope to much more of anything, so vast is the British literary canon. Similarly British history – unless you were going to try to do a moving montage like Athens did, there's just too much of it to have done it any justice or given any satisfactory narrative of Britain's story. Anyway, it's all soooo familiar anyway – I'm glad they didn't go for cliches like Roman legionaries (what have they ever done for us anyway), Elizabethan courtiers or Regency fops. It was, to me, a representation of modern Britain and its development, which to me was appropriate and which I can see why it resonated so deeply with the Brits themselves.

At the end of the day, it's still among the ceremonies that I've enjoyed the most, at least on first viewing. But, yeah, there were some nagging niggles and less than smooth executions that came out in the repeat viewing that prevent me now being as fulsome in my praise and vigorous in its defence as I initially was.

Been coming to the conclusion for several years that both ceremonies are more of TV-friendly affairs rather than the stadium spectators ones. Yeah, it does seem to me that it was edited for TV despite all of the numerous video cameras used by the BBC, NBC, et al. Was expecting some nod towards the Norman conquest of 1066 rather than the cliched Romans or classic British royality. Not anticipating any references towards how the UK fought against the Axis when it was ravaged by them during WW2 except for that whistling from Underworld and Dame Evelyn's And I Will Kiss. That said, it was a very good one to me. To really get into this, you have to know somethings about modern and contemporary British culture. Obviously, the Industrial Revolution (Pandemonium) segment showcases a very important part of not just British development (for it originated there) and history but all around the world, particularly the West. The NHS and British children's literature legend references segment are venerable to the UK, just like the BBC is. And that the www's important roots lie in Britain with Tim Berners-Lee (more on that later).

Where the problems lie with the OC is in Britain's numerous contributions to the world act as both a blessing and a curse when it comes to the Opening Ceremony. Here, there was just SO MUCH out of them to do justice that was crammed into Danny Boyle's vision he had some trouble in making sure everything was done and shown in an economical manner. His flaw was looking into the eyes of a filmmaker with no glue as a connector bridging them all together and not have constant and proper consultation with OBS' TV crew and maybe the BBC to come into a reconcilliation. Some aspects like the suffragette movement and the Windrush during Pandemonium were given short shrift than they deserve. So too I think in retrospect the Green and Pleasant Land rural Britain segment in the beginning wasn't used much as it should; we don't get to know those as much as we should. I'm actually not worried about the NHS segment as much because of knowing Barrie and his Peter Pan royalties going to the Ormond St. Children's Hospital with all of the iconic British children's stories references like Mary Poppins melding NHS' touchstone importance. Done really well in that, although I too can see why some people were "flummoxed" by the health care segment. Oh yeah, that River Thames short film could use some expansion. Couldn't spot Paddington Bear either.

But with the Frankie and June Say Thanks Tim, I get that Boyle was capturing the evolving contmeporary youth pop tastes as Britain became more multicultural through the use of the Internet and the timeline of UK pop music since 1948. But it was the weakest in my opinion too. There were so many songs to choose from out of British artists and were omitted from an incredible array to choose from spanning the decades; some of my favorite UK artists' notable tracks (like UB40, Tears For Fears, and Duran Duran) weren't on there. Must also throw a bone to the grime rap scene with Dizzie Rascal being the best known UK rapper there on Bonkers. But that's a personal quibble and minor at that. Interesting to me though was of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax was part of it considering that song got famously banned banned by the BBC back in early 1984 (an embarassing one at that). Surely a more creative segment could explore all of the tech and music together and capturing the British youth coming together. Maybe someone as young as me could understand it better. That said, I too am glad the whole Opening Ceremony went to the development of modern Britain to where it is today.

Never got to see the BBC broadcast. Will have to wait. So I can compare with the upcoming director's cut along with the world feed and NBC's.

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