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Random thought: I was surprised by the presence of a segment on children's lit (particularly at the expense of the world's best known adult literary canon). But it was even more surprising that they skipped the work of some of the best and most beloved authors: Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis... Just very odd choices all the way around.

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it will be the most boring opening ceremony after atlanta :S

Fly over for a visit. There were some wonderful moments, but also quite a few disorganized looking head-scratchers. It wasn't terrible, but I have yet to speak to anyone on this side of the pond who

I will always see Beijings as a celebration that the Chinese beat their drums to the same beat and Londons a celebration that we each beat our drums to very different beats. Im certainly not trying

I agree completely with the "some babies" comment. I suppose I've been trying to be charitable...

How can you completely agree with something which is demonstrably not true?

Enough people from every continent have said they've liked this ceremony. I think it's fairly clear that a vast majority of Brits liked it very much, and the reception outside the UK ranged from brilliant to a completel mess. I suspect that that's actually more or less true for every Olympic ceremony with perhaps the exception of Beijing which was hard not to be amazed by because of its sheer scale.

Anyway, as I've already said, I'm not of the mind to pick apart a one-off show like this, but some odd things are said in this thread sometimes.

Edited by RobH
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How can you completely agree with something which is demonstrably not true?

Enough people from every continent have said they've liked this ceremony. I think it's fairly clear that a vast majority of Brits liked it very much, and the reception outside the UK ranged from brilliant to a completel mess. I suspect that that's actually more or less true for every Olympic ceremony with perhaps the exception of Beijing which was hard not to be amazed by because of its sheer scale.

Anyway, as I've already said, I'm not of the mind to pick apart a one-off show like this, but some odd things are said in this thread sometimes.

Look, millions of people watched the show worldwide. You can find exceptions to every rule and of course there will be done people in every continent that really liked the OC.

The fact is that every Brit I know (on and off of these forums) thought London's OC was the best thing since sliced bread.

I have yet to meet a single American who really liked the show. The reviews range from, "It had a couple good moments" to "it was a train wreck and I couldn't sit through it. What were they thinking?" I have friends elsewhere in Europe and Asia who also found it lacking. In fact, I don't personally know a soul who isn't British that liked the OC.

You may not like reading that, but that's my experience. Sorry.

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You can find exceptions to every rule

I think there are more than enough people who aren't British who said they liked it, many on this forum, so putting their opinions down as "exceptions" is pretty silly and seems quite dismissive to me.

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I think there are more than enough people who aren't British who said they liked it, many on this forum, so putting their opinions down as "exceptions" is pretty silly and seems quite dismissive to me.

Okay. How about "minority"? I am not putting anyone's opinion down. In fact, I've tried my best to imagine how others arrived at a different point of view.

I'm just discussing who liked the show vs. who didn't. In my experience, overall London's OC found disproportionally more favor with British people than it did the rest of the world.

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Look, millions of people watched the show worldwide. You can find exceptions to every rule and of course there will be done people in every continent that really liked the OC.

The fact is that every Brit I know (on and off of these forums) thought London's OC was the best thing since sliced bread.

I have yet to meet a single American who really liked the show. The reviews range from, "It had a couple good moments" to "it was a train wreck and I couldn't sit through it. What were they thinking?" I have friends elsewhere in Europe and Asia who also found it lacking. In fact, I don't personally know a soul who isn't British that liked the OC.

You may not like reading that, but that's my experience. Sorry.

non-brit. love it so :angry:

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Random thought: I was surprised by the presence of a segment on children's lit (particularly at the expense of the world's best known adult literary canon). But it was even more surprising that they skipped the work of some of the best and most beloved authors: Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis... Just very odd choices all the way around.

the authors you listed did not have storng villain to fit the narattive, with the expection of c.s. lewis (but i think putting the ice queen with be a stretch) also did you not see the queen of hearts during that segment?

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the authors you listed did not have storng villain to fit the narattive, with the expection of c.s. lewis (but i think putting the ice queen with be a stretch) also did you not see the queen of hearts during that segment?

You're totally right about the Queen of Hearts. I forgot her for a moment. My apologies.

For me personally the "narrative" for that segment didn't work, so swapping it out wouldn't have been a big loss.

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What's the big deal here? So if it is true that people outside Britain didn't like the ceremony, so what? I hardly see Britain being laughed at by the rest of the world, in fact if anything it's stature has increased exponentially as it shackled off its stereotype of stiff upper lip tea drinking posh Victoriana and is now seen as quite a friendly progressive youthful and creative society.

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What's the big deal here? So if it is true that people outside Britain didn't like the ceremony, so what? I hardly see Britain being laughed at by the rest of the world, in fact if anything it's stature has increased exponentially as it shackled off its stereotype of stiff upper lip tea drinking posh Victoriana and is now seen as quite a friendly progressive youthful and creative society.

OK, that's why the Brits should stop being so defensive about the OC. They just have to accept that many (in my experience, the vast majority) viewers overseas didn't like it. Btw, speaking of stereotypes, please stop being a typical self-deprecating British :D

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They just have to accept that many viewers overseas didn't like it

We do. Can you and others accept the opposite, that many abroad loved it, without dismissing those points of view as exceptions or calling it a baby only its mother can love?

Seems there is only one group on here who are making up spurious "majorities" based on a few friends whilst dismissing opposing points of view as "exceptions" to a rule they've just made up.

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OK, that's why the Brits should stop being so defensive about the OC. They just have to accept that many (in my experience, the vast majority) viewers overseas didn't like it. Btw, speaking of stereotypes, please stop being a typical self-deprecating British :D

is there a survey or poll to prove this statement. or is it more a IMHO statement based on a circle of friends and a few people here

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is there a survey or poll to prove this statement. or is it more a IMHO statement based on a circle of friends and a few people here

I am going to gauge minutely the impact of London OC worldwide and then i 'll let you know :).

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now, London was Magnificent.

There is no way a show on the scale of any OC can not be spectacular, amazing, fantastic, and emotional. People all over the globe and particularly all our British friends were justifiably lifted to exciting heights of pride, emotion, and awe; and I felt all those things to a degree. It was also chaotic, maybe by design, and I’ll admit I was longing for a bit more pomp and order somewhere (not throughout).

I’m disappointed at the director’s choices, I’m a little mad (angry) at the missed opportunities. The ceremony did not hold a lot of surprises or technical wonders that surprised us, a giant puppet teetering around an arena looked particularly amateurish.

Pandemonium was the pinnacle of the event for me, and the forged rings coming together in that glowing iron effect, it was brilliantly chaotic and spectacular!

Organized chaos was effective in that segment; it got a bit tedious as an overarching technique that was employed throughout the entire show.

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For me...and I know this is all Monday morning, post-mortem quarterbacking...really the missed oppty was a chapter on GB and London's standing up to Hitler's blitzkreig. Those hanging "clouds" were so underutilized; and I always saw them as the (again, I'm not sure of the right term) decoy dirigible balloons hanging over wartime London.

If they had asked me, this is how I would've done it: OK, air raids, darkness, sense of foreboding...and then segue INTO the children's Literature sequence. So, while London was being "bombed," the children of London were distracted and able to survive with the wealth of juvenile literature that English authors have churned out -- as if making the best of a nightmare. And then maybe having that actor who played Churchill in the closing, "read" to the beleaguered children of London instead of J.K. Rowling. Yeah, I'd keep the NHS idea there too since it was so beloved an idea by Mr. Boyle (he must've had this nurse fascination).

So a couple of things would've been accomplished and narrated: a great and recent chapter in UK history; a great melding of 2 ideas; the first time (I think) a specific conflict has been retold, dramatized and referenced in an Olympic ceremony (Voldemort could've been made to look like Adolf H. too, and the last laugh would've been on him as the Mary Poppins team deflated him!!), and it could've segued into a small salute to London 1948. I mean so many birds would've been "hit" by one stone.

But then again, they didn't ask me. So it goes...

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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.......I know....they didn't ask me either....go figure. :lol:

Beijing’s scale, spectacular resources, and preparedness really did make 2012 too heavy a lift for anyone.

Good thing NYC didn't win.

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For me...and I know this is all Monday morning, post-mortem quarterbacking...really the missed oppty was a chapter on GB and London's standing up to Hitler's blitzkreig. Those hanging "clouds" were so underutilized; and I always saw them as the (again, I'm not sure of the right term) decoy dirigible balloons hanging over wartime London.

If they had asked me, this is how I would've done it: OK, air raids, darkness, sense of foreboding...and then segue INTO the children's Literature sequence. So, while London was being "bombed," the children of London were distracted and able to survive with the wealth of juvenile literature that English authors have churned out -- as if making the best of a nightmare.

I like that idea Baron, could definitely have worked.

There was talk a few months before the ceremony of a big recreation of the Blitz. Mind you, there was talk of lots of things so who's to know whether it was considered or if it was just paper talk.

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I know four Spaniards who all loved the Opening Ceremony.

So let's add them to the list of (apparently insane) foreigners who liked the show!

Of course they're not insane. As I said, Im not putting down any particular opinion. I'm saying that in my experience British people seemed to enjoy the show far more than internationals. Four happy Spaniards doesn't really address the idea that for the most part the show didn't resonate very well internationally.

I know an Italian, a couple South Africans, a Japanese person and two people in China who didn't care for the show. So what? It's not hard data. It proves nothing. Hence the oft repeated phrase, "in my experience..." I genuinely haven't met a non-Brit who really liked the OC -- not apart from these forums anyway.

is there a survey or poll to prove this statement. or is it more a IMHO statement based on a circle of friends and a few people here

I think you'll see that in almost every post I write "in my experience..."

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@Athensfan: "I suspect that stronger emotional identification enabled Brits to internally construct for themselves a sort of through-line connecting the various segments of the ceremony and making a kind of sense out of them."

There's probably a fair amount of truth in that- but to a large extent, international viewers should have been helped by their TV commentators, using the Media Guide. Notoriously, NBC, despite its time-delayed broadcast, utterly failed to provide that context: Isambard Kingdom Brunel identified as Kenneth Branagh; Chelsea Pensioners, Pearly Kings & Queens etc. not identified at all; commentary over the stadium announcements about the National Health Service and Great Ormond Street Hospital, so that Americans missed the very simple clue about those initials which appeared in lights on the arena floor, and so on. If other broadcasters were similarly horrible, then of course there would be problems.


@Athensfan: "Random thought: I was surprised by the presence of a segment on children's lit (particularly at the expense of the world's best known adult literary canon). But it was even more surprising that they skipped the work of some of the best and most beloved authors: Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis... Just very odd choices all the way around."

Lewis Carroll's Queen of Hearts was in! If my theory about the overall theme of the London Opening (as opposed to the London Opening Cultural Presentation) is correct, this segment had to be about childhood, just as the next major segment ("Frankie and June") had to be about adolescence. However, I suspect that there may have been more hints of the adult literary canon in the cultural presentation than we realise. We know Milton inspired "Pandemonium" but historian Simon Schama has suggested that Dennis Potter is also lurking in the background, most obviously in the dancing doctors and nurses (from "The Singing Detective"). I have a suspicion that Frankie's bowler hat is a nod to both Chaplin and Anthony Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange" (which in turn has strong echoes of "The Tempest") so heaven knows what other subtle hints there may have been.
On the very limited number of children's characters: as various people spotted, the so-called "NHS" segment was actually about the whole of the British concept of the "welfare state" which sprang from a 1942 report that identified five great evils which governments could not afford to ignore. Hence the five great evils fought by the Mary Poppinses (a joke on the common modern complaint about the "nanny state").


@Athensfan: "I have yet to meet a single American who really liked the show. The reviews range from, "It had a couple good moments" to "it was a train wreck and I couldn't sit through it. What were they thinking?"

But the reviews in the American media were mostly favourable, which is interesting because, by and large, the professional reviewers were seeing the show live in the stadium. That suggests that the television presentation is the heart of the problem- and guess which broadcaster adopted a unique approach to the show, with time delay, alternative camera choices, and a near-constant commentary so full of spoilers that OF COURSE THERE WERE NO SURPRISES for American viewers.


@baron-pierreIV: "For me...and I know this is all Monday morning, post-mortem quarterbacking...really the missed oppty was a chapter on GB and London's standing up to Hitler's blitzkreig. "

Sadly, I don't think successful defence against aerial attack is a British achievement that has been adopted all over the world :wacko:


On the whole liking / not liking thing; it is extremely odd that opinions seem to be so polarised (and indeed, a look around the Web indicates that there were plenty of "likes" outwith the UK, and plenty of "not likes" within). Leaving aside the above-mentioned problems for Americans, it looks as if the key to liking it was to relax, and treat it as an experience, not a "show". Maybe that was even a point of the initial River Thames sequence- you needed to go with the flow!

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@baron-pierreIV:

Sadly, I don't think successful defence against aerial attack is a British achievement that has been adopted all over the world :wacko:

Huh? I don't quite understand your retort. R u getting all technical -- which isn't the point. What I mention was just part of my visualization of how to stage the number. It's a dramatized presentation -- NOT a factually or technically correct one since this isn't a lesson in battlefield strategy, but a show.

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I've already acknowledgedI forgot the Queen of Hearts. Apologies for the second time.

By "American media" I'm guessing you mean primarily NBC who had a vested interest in promoting their own product. As for other newspapers calling the show spectacular. Of course it was. As Paul pointed out, anything on that scale is going to be spectacular and there were some great moments. The real story though, was the start of the Games. I haven't seen any papers that really delved into an aesthetic analysis of the show.

Again, I can only refer to my experience. I don't know a single non-Brit who liked it.

And by the way, none of the Brits I know saw the show in person either and they still loved it. I also felt that NBC thoroughly explained the show and I have not been further enlightened by much that I've read here. An intellectual explanation is nowhere near as powerful as emotional identification. That's what was missing for much of the international audience.

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And by the way, none of the Brits I know saw the show in person either and they still loved it. I also felt that NBC thoroughly explained the show and I have not been further enlightened by much that I've read here. An intellectual explanation is nowhere near as powerful as emotional identification. That's what was missing for much of the international audience.

I thot it was a mixed bag, hitting maybe -- if one were to quantify things -- 65% of all the required goalposts. Thot it far more successful than 2004 which I thot only scored 45% in terms of full potential. But again, like you, this is all my subjective scoresheet.

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@baron-pierreIV: [about my rejection of his suggestion for a Blitz segment] "Huh? I don't quite understand your retort. R u getting all technical -- which isn't the point. What I mention was just part of my visualization of how to stage the number."

Sorry. What I meant was that if the London cultural presentation had a theme of British developments which have been exported around the world (which was true even of the minor linking segments) then the Blitz / Battle of Britain didn't fit the theme.


@Athensfan: "By "American media" I'm guessing you mean primarily NBC who had a vested interest in promoting their own product. As for other newspapers calling the show spectacular. Of course it was."

By "American media" I meant ALL the American media, including NBC's broadcasting rivals. I didn't say newspapers were calling the show spectacular, I said the reviews were mostly favourable; quite simply, the American reviewers, and others from around the world, were mostly having big fun! Some American newsblogs even covered the whole show twice, once live (mostly loving it) and once NBC-live (mostly wanting Lauer and Vieira to STFU)- which brings me to:


@Athensfan: "I also felt that NBC thoroughly explained the show"

No. As I indicated in my post yesterday, talking all the time is not the same as explaining. I've studied most of the NBC version, and what they were actually doing was this sort of thing, which is NOT explaining:

[sHOW: A platoon of elderly men in red military uniforms march past the camera]
Vieira: "All of the energies unleashed by the Industrial Revolution are now trained on the centre of the stage"
[sHOW: High-angle view of centre of the stage, where molten metal appears to be flowing]
Vieira: "And the forging, of a massive ring"
[sHOW: Molten metal appears to flow into a ring-shaped mould]


Note that Vieira's comments (a) state the obvious while ignoring the non-obvious- those Redcoats were in the Media Guide, and really should have been explained to Americans above all others- and (B) slightly precede the scenes they refer to; hence NO SURPRISES.

And I never even mentioned how the commercials ruined the flow; America really needs to get a TV funding model which permits events like this to be seen without breaks.



Oooh- letter b followed by a close parenthesis turns automatically into a lopsided Smiley.

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