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Don't forget that the London Opening did make a reference to the Second World War- the statue of Churchill smiling and waving as the theme from "The Dambusters" was played (a movie about a British bombing raid on German dams, which drowned quite a lot of people).

@baron-pierreIV : "I guess you and your fellow self-righteous brother, MadHatter or whatever his moniker is, better get cracking on installing DIRECT BBC links to over 120 million American households"

To a fair degree, the links already exist, but you've sort-of inverted the sense of my comment. The actions of NBC were indistinguishable from the actions of a tyrannical regime with total control of broadcasting, presenting a distorted version of foreign material for political purposes.

maybe NBC is the ministry of truth

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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

The actions of NBC were indistinguishable from the actions of a tyrannical regime with total control of broadcasting, presenting a distorted version of foreign material for political purposes.

What sort of absurd and ridiculous statement is that? You DON'T have to watch NBC, do you. FOr us in the US, for any other territory elsewhere for that matter, the designated Official broadcaster of the area is the one who paid for the rights to broadcast in the area. NBC does not encroach onto BBC's turf; and the BBC should NOT likewise do so. What is this compelling obsession...and I will say it again...self-righteous stance...that BBC is the only acceptable broadcaster and NBC isn't? It's NOT that f*cking imperative to have to watch it with what you jingoistically call the best. Frankly, I am offended by your (and that other bugger, MadHattrix) supercilious remarks. And just for that, I will purposely AVOID any BBC broadcasts promoted by jingoistic twats like you. So, please sod off on this issue, Mark.

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Mark, I saw the second week of the BBC's coverage of Athens and I was underwhelmed. I don't know that it was worse than NBC but it certainly wasn't better. It was understandably biased in favor of British athletes. Although I do like Sue Barker, many of the other commentators and much of the direction was very dry.

I don't adore NBC but I wasn't impressed with the BBC either. On balance I found NBC a bit more entertaining.

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@baron-pierreIV : "What is this compelling obsession...and I will say it again...self-righteous stance...that BBC is the only acceptable broadcaster and NBC isn't? It's NOT that f*cking imperative to have to watch it with what you jingoistically call the best. "

If I ever called the BBC the best, my apologies, because I'm pretty certain they weren't- at times they were very irritating indeed. All I'm saying is that, having made a fairly detailed study of NBC's coverage of the OC, I find its badness so astounding and brazen that I'm inclined to suspect it was malicious- and if it was malicious, then that opens a large can of worms.

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OK,Mark, I have tried to wrap my head around this, and see whether I was over-reacting. But no; and here is what defies simple logic for me. Why do you guys (you & the other one who shall remain nameless) keep on harping about NBC's deficiencies when you seem to be UK-based and do NOT have to suffer the indignities that you claim NBC heaps on the Olympic telecasts? I mean do we (US viewers ) go around viewing other countries' coverages and say: Oh, yuck...the Hungarian coverage was terrible; depressing...or the Sri Lankan telecasts were 2nd-rate, boring... :blink: I mean, why would any sane person put himself thru that?? :wacko:

It looks to me like you are looking/fishing for "malice" where there is NONE. Why would NBC smear their product with "malice" as you say? What would that accomplish? Like oh yeah, they will wait 4 years for their biggest broadcast product so that they can trash-talk it, give it a real 'negative' pall (in your estimation), purposely NOT get Emmy nominations and awards for their work, etc.,etc. Obviously, there is something you don't like about NBC's coverage. Well, guess what? Their coverage is geared for American audiences, tastes, times and ears. It wasn't PROGRAMMED for you. So your comments are illegitimate and DON'T hold water.

Solution: DON'T watch them. U are not locked into them. Simple enough...without all the petty bitching and complaining like some unhappy teenage girls. And why spread your misery around and moralize about what a substandard deal US viewers are getting when as I told you, it doesn't MATTER which telecast an audience gets.

And you know what else? The differences are TRIVIAL and minute. So, they break at different times; they choose a different camera angle or what; they bypass a certain unimportant country. At the end of the day, SO WHAT? If it's good enuf for the Olympic fathers (who have been recipients of NBC's largesse now going on what? 30 years?, then obviously it's good enough for American audiences. It's you say "potey-toe, I say po-tah-toe; you say tomey-to; I say to-mah-toe." It's just a different spin...but at heart, it's ALL THE SAME. ANd your positions are picky, petty and picayune. Perhaps if you ran a national campaign and said: we can deliver a better Olympic coverage and you TOP NBC's billion-dollar bids, and you produce your own shows, then maybe your views can be credible. But for now...in one ear and out the other.

Why do I even bother with these inane discussions. :rolleyes: .

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@baron-pierreIV: "Like oh yeah, they will wait 4 years for their biggest broadcast product so that they can trash-talk it, give it a real 'negative' pall"

You're confusing the Olympic Games with the OC. Everybody knows the sport will be Olympic sport, no matter where it takes place. But the OC is always a national thing, designed to promote the nation holding the Games; and it also happens before (almost all of) the sport, so whatever impression it gives of NBC will be mitigated by their coverage of the sport in the long run. If they want to trash another nation's OC self-promotion, they can afford to.

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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

like a butcher taking a piece of meat from the same cow. if you cut it well, you get a great steak. if not, you get what appears to be beefy cardboard.

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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

So what's your point, Rob? And I am not defending NBC here (I do take them to task in my book re their similar coverage in the past). Just reacting against the unfair suppositions that...OK, we've seen other treatments, we know what's better for everyone else. :blink:How f*cking mug is that attitude? And in the long run, millions of people in the US and around the world couldn't care a whit whether Mr. London is a better commentator than Mr. Dubai or Mr.Nebraska. Things move too quickly and there's so much else to see to wallow in one witty remark of the f*cking Brit!!

[Also, of course, AthensF probably didn't know that NBC's HDTV coverage (or at least the camera angles) for the Athens OC were far different and more breath-taking than the regular broadcast. But see, I DON'T go around trumpeting that here and elevating myself to a "superior platform" to prescribe to others that what they've seen is so substandard and lesser experience than what I had seen. :rolleyes: I don't presume that other people would have access to HDTV sets. ]

It's just this endless kvetching about something other people won't see or really care about that gets my goat. Now, since the Brits here have bragged on and on about how superior their Olympic (ceremony or otherwise) coverage is/was, I expect you to come to my house come February 2014, set up my TV for BBC coverage, provide me with all the cushions and chocolates and slaves, regaling me with the right, witty stories...and indeed provide me with an incomparable experience...otherwise please just SHUT THE F*CK UP!!

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Oh dear: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21192908

Scalping? At An Olympic Games? Is this guy for real? I suspect the "authorised" US ticket resellers/scalpers have lobbied NBC quite strongly, considering the leverage that NBC appear to wield. I know they were mighty pissed off at not getting any serious reselling action - VISA came down very hard on a lot of them.

" "That cast a stain on the event," he said ". Yeah, as it did in Beijing, Athens, Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona, Seoul, Los Angeles, Moscow, Montreal etc etc etc.

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So what's your point, Rob? And I am not defending NBC here (I do take them to task in my book re their similar coverage in the past). Just reacting against the unfair suppositions that...OK, we've seen other treatments, we know what's better for everyone else.

My points about NBC weren't reacting to your posts, just my own thoughts. And I was trying to put a bit more balance into this thread because the last couple of pages are a bit mad. Whilst some of the comments on NBC have been over the top by some of the newer members here (welcome all btw!), NBC didn't show the whole ceremony so deserve criticism. Pretty obvious point I would've thought.

And I'm sorry, but those people who didn't see the whole ceremony, who had the narrative and flow interupted and were then thrown back in cold by their broadcaster, have a little asterisk next to their reviews of the show in my mind. Which is a shame for them because it's not their fault at all, but the fault of a broadcaster who weirdly pays billions for showing a Games and then doesn't show the whole of its Opening Ceremony. :blink: You're right to take them to task for that.

Nothing too contraversial there I hope! :P

Oh dear: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21192908

Scalping? At An Olympic Games? Is this guy for real? I suspect the "authorised" US ticket resellers/scalpers have lobbied NBC quite strongly, considering the leverage that NBC appear to wield. I know they were mighty pissed off at not getting any serious reselling action - VISA came down very hard on a lot of them.

" "That cast a stain on the event," he said ". Yeah, as it did in Beijing, Athens, Sydney, Atlanta, Barcelona, Seoul, Los Angeles, Moscow, Montreal etc etc etc.

Bloody idiot.

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like a butcher taking a piece of meat from the same cow. if you cut it well, you get a great steak. if not, you get what appears to be beefy cardboard.

That is a good analogy. But if you have paid for Chateaubriand steak - would you not be annoyed if they served up chuck steak instead ?

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Some of the statements re: NBC in this thread are a bit stupid and over the top but the FACT is they didn't show the whole ceremony, instead cutting to interviews and had many on Twitter talking about their poor commentary, earning themselves a hashtag in the process. Putting aside the Olympics as a whole, there is no doubt the BBC does a better job of broadcasting the ceremonies than NBC. Or at least it did for London 2012. In fact, any broadcaster that showed the whole thing did a better job than NBC. I'm not arguing with anyone on this point.

I can't believe that NBC's choppy coverage wouldn't affect Americans' opinions of this ceremony. How could it not? That's why it was brought up in this thread and rightly so. You've been undersold, which, from a company that spends billions on the Games is a shame.

I also understand many of the ceremony nuts in this thread will have seen other broadcasts since so almost certainly have a more considered and rounded opinion than the average American. Athensfan has seen the bits NBC stupidly cut out in order to show an athlete who'd be getting wall-to-wall coverage anyway, and he still hasn't warmed to it. That's fair enough imo.

Rob, thanks for assuming the best of me. I mean that sincerely. I actually haven't seen the BBC's coverage of London's OC. I only saw some of the BBC's coverage of Athens 2004.

Let me reiterate I'm not in love with NBC, but I don't find them terrible. I did feel their commentary on Athens' OC was sometimes intrusive and irritating, but both Beijing and London seemed to have a better balance. I know the interview was bothersome to many and I can understand that, but truthfully, I don't think NBC obfuscated the true quality of the OC.

There were parts of the ceremony I really liked, but, for me, multiple sections were oddly constructed and underwhelming. I really don't believe this is NBC's doing. London's OC was not horrible, it just left me going "meh." It was a mixed bag.

My goal here is not to put anybody down. Truthfully, my hopes were higher for London because it is the theater capital of the world and because I have enjoyed the best theatrical experiences of my life in London. I was disappointed. I am glad that the rest of the Games were successful.

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For an idea of how to commentate the London Opening better (than either NBC or BBC), try studying veteran Barry Davies' commentary on the OBS YouTube version. He gives the impression of having sat through the rehearsals with a stopwatch, working out exactly what needed explaining, and exactly where the explanations could be fitted- to within a fraction of a second. This sometimes makes him sound hesitant, when he stretches his explanations to fill the available time as precisely as possible (a classic DJ technique, incidentally), but his basic approach is still preferable to talking at random intervals just because you feel you've been paid to talk.

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Have I fallen into a time machine and it's July 2012 all over again (only with strangely cool temperatures)? ;) I can't find any other explanation why this thread grew by 15 pages within just one week, since my last visit.

But it shows very well: London 2012 obviously left no one cold if it's still capable to stir up controversial discussions even six months later. ;) By the way: The opening ceremony took place exactly half a year ago today. How time flies...

I've downloaded the opening ceremony soundtrack a couple of weeks ago - and I really must say: "And I Will Kiss" (the Underground piece used for the Pandemonium segment) is truly one of the most stirring and original musical pieces ever used for a big ceremony (Olympic or other). I even find it more impressive if one just listens to it, without the corresponding pictures from the opening ceremony. Very atmospheric, sometimes moving, sometimes spooky, sometimes cosy, sometimes rather cold and abrasive. A brilliant piece underlining how Britain and the world was thrown into modern age by industrialisation, the hardship of war and reconstruction and the changes within society. A story that not only Britain, but also other parts of the world (especially the other industrialised countries who played a role in the two World Wars) experienced. That storyline could have been used also for an opening ceremony in France, Italy, Germany or the US, for example - only with slightly different twists. And that is what makes that segment and also its music so amazing.



EDIT: Sorry, it's of course Underworld, not Underground (I'm still a bit confused by my visit to London in September apparently ;)).

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I think when the papers were running with the idea of the Blitz recreation a few months before the ceremony it was discussed on here. And I don't remember any of our German members having a big problem with it. If the Blitz was to be portrayed, I couldn't imagine Boyle doing it with a Marching Band blaring out "Two World Wars and One World Cup, Doo Dah, Doo Dah". It could've been weaved into the narrative after Pandamonium portraying sensitively a major episode in the history of East London.

In fact, my guess for the ceremony was not far off this. I foresaw green and pleasent being replaced with the industry as it played out. Then you have the blitz, dark clouds, thunderous music, then a scene showing the aftermath, then you have the green and pleasent returning (i.e. the creation of the Olympic Park and a reawakening). But Boyle chose broader brustrokes and more imaginative metaphors than simply a history of the East End which is what my guess was.

But the Blitz scene didn't happen so it's a moot point.

Well, I wasn't too fond of the idea of having the Blitz represented. Not so much because I feel guilty as a German for what my ancestors did, but because in general, I'd always find "in your face"-style representations of wars in an Olympic opening ceremony inappriopriate.

But I agree that it would have been a matter of staging. If you staged the Blitz rather metaphorically, with dark clouds and thunderous music instead of miniature bombers dropping bombs on a recreation of the East End, it could work well without stepping on anyone's foot.

I'm curious how Munich 2022 or any other German Olympic host city would do it. Either they stage a complete history-free opening ceremony (like Vancouver did, which simply told a story about the host country instead of looking back into its past) - or, if it's history-based, it simply can't avoid the ugly mark we Germans left in the world especially in the years between 1939 and 1945. If they choose the latter approach, they could do it in a similar metaphoric and sublime way as stated above.

But before that, the interesting question will be: How will Tokyo 2020 do it? ;) Or they'll choose the "We simply show our country's culture" approach of Nagano 1998.

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<snip> - and I really must say: "And I Will Kiss" (the Underground piece used for the Pandemonium segment) is truly one of the most stirring and original musical pieces ever used for a big ceremony (Olympic or other). I even find it more impressive if one just listens to it, without the corresponding pictures from the opening ceremony. Very atmospheric, sometimes moving, sometimes spooky, sometimes cosy, sometimes rather cold and abrasive. A brilliant piece underlining how Britain and the world was thrown into modern age by industrialisation, the hardship of war and reconstruction and the changes within society. A story that not only Britain, but also other parts of the world (especially the other industrialised countries who played a role in the two World Wars) experienced. That storyline could have been used also for an opening ceremony in France, Italy, Germany or the US, for example - only with slightly different twists. And that is what makes that segment and also its music so amazing.

EDIT: Sorry, it's of course Underworld, not Underground (I'm still a bit confused by my visit to London in September apparently ;)).

Absolutely! As a piece of if music alone it stirs the souls, lifts the spirit and makes you want to punch the air. Rick Smith of Underworld said he found it a very difficult project and it took him a long time to compose (in an interview with BBC 6 Music).

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I waited several months to contribute comments to this
thread because the OC was such a head scratcher that I had to sort out what I
thought I saw. I didn’t want to be too critical during the games or too soon after,
so I waited to comment till now-ish.


I continue to be underwhelmed by most aspects of the show,

including Underworld’s contribution. Yes there were crescendos and driving
excitement and soothingly sweet melodic moments (Caliban’s dream), and it had
sort of a youthful feel due to the synthesized nature of the compositions, but
that also made it feel a bit dated to me.


I’ll admit my expectations may have been too high, and I did
expect more moments of visual and theatrical clarity and modernism, so I’ll
just say this British effort was not my cup of tea. The director was built up
way too high (same for Heatherwick) and made way too many questionable decision
about not only large segments of the show but small sequences as well.


Just my personal view here, I realize the show was well received

by many. However, I have also heard it called the greatest opening ceremony of
all time……in my universe it didn’t approach that.

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Well, I wasn't too fond of the idea of having the Blitz represented. Not so much because I feel guilty as a German for what my ancestors did, but because in general, I'd always find "in your face"-style representations of wars in an Olympic opening ceremony inappriopriate.

But I agree that it would have been a matter of staging. If you staged the Blitz rather metaphorically, with dark clouds and thunderous music instead of miniature bombers dropping bombs on a recreation of the East End, it could work well without stepping on anyone's foot.

I'm curious how Munich 2022 or any other German Olympic host city would do it. Either they stage a complete history-free opening ceremony (like Vancouver did, which simply told a story about the host country instead of looking back into its past) - or, if it's history-based, it simply can't avoid the ugly mark we Germans left in the world especially in the years between 1939 and 1945. If they choose the latter approach, they could do it in a similar metaphoric and sublime way as stated above.

But before that, the interesting question will be: How will Tokyo 2020 do it? ;) Or they'll choose the "We simply show our country's culture" approach of Nagano 1998.

I think that if Tokyo lands 2020 - they should avoid the national "introduction" approach of Beijing, and aim more for a London style show - by picking unique aspects of Japanese contribution towards the global good and expanding on them. The reason I'm lukewarm to the idea of Tokyo 2020 is that I feel Tokyo 1964 was their coming out party. Even though there was no elaborate ceremony then, there was still enough pomp to retintroduce the new, postwar Japan to the world. 1972 and 1998 reiterated this. Now we're up for a fourth serving. Perhaps Tokyo could latch on to a universal idea - peace or the environment, and expand on that.

I think that the there will be an increasing tenor in the 21st Century ceremony on hosts not just self promoting their own culture, but promoting global culture and ideas. The environment, in particular, is an area that would be interesting to explore.

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I think that if Tokyo lands 2020 - they should avoid the national "introduction" approach of Beijing, and aim more for a London style show - by picking unique aspects of Japanese contribution towards the global good and expanding on them. The reason I'm lukewarm to the idea of Tokyo 2020 is that I feel Tokyo 1964 was their coming out party. Even though there was no elaborate ceremony then, there was still enough pomp to retintroduce the new, postwar Japan to the world. 1972 and 1998 reiterated this. Now we're up for a fourth serving. Perhaps Tokyo could latch on to a universal idea - peace or the environment, and expand on that.

I think that the there will be an increasing tenor in the 21st Century ceremony on hosts not just self promoting their own culture, but promoting global culture and ideas. The environment, in particular, is an area that would be interesting to explore.

I think it would depend on the hosts. Someone's like London's is just soooo familiar, it would have been superfluous to go through another rendition of British history 101 (that said, it still seems to piss a lot of people off here they didn't do a standard timeline of their history from Stonehenge era to the present day).

I don't think a Rio or an Istanbul ceremony could be anything else but national. Tokyo? I think it could go two ways, I could see them doing something a bit more universal, but I'd also love to see them highlight some of the more quirky and colourful aspects of their modern culture - from karaoke to manga and cosplay!

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