Olympic Ceremony - Impressions Outside UK

I enjoyed it, but I do find myself wondering what the rest of the world thought. I found it a bit amateurish, but that itself was very British and appropriate. If there are three things we can lay claim to, they are a sense of the absurd, a tradition of tolerance (on average), and history coming out of our ears.

Some context for the ceremony:

The industrial revolution in the UK was the precursor of a new era. I can find no better illustration on it’s impact on the UK landscape than the fact that it caused one of the few examples of macroscopic evolution, that of the change in colouration of the peppered moth. It was a social and environmental upheaval.

The National Health Service was instituted in the aftermath of the Second World War. Before it was even over, we voted out our most popular Prime Minister ever, Winston Churchill, in favour of the reforms of the Labour party. Despite the fact the country was bankrupt, we didn’t finish repaying our war debts to the USA until a few years ago and food rationing did not end until 1954, that didn’t stop us introducing socialised medicine. Which underlines it’s importance to us.

I liked Rowan Atkinson’s skit to Chariots of Fire. I also liked that it was a little less sanitised than you’d expect an Olympic ceremony to be. A friend of mine was four carriages away from one of the 7/7 bombs, and I saw the section acknowledging the victims as an implicit prayer that the games will pass without a similar incident.

Finally, did the Queen look pissed after the film showing her jumping out a helicopter with James Bond. She wasn’t always that uptight, she trained as a mechanic during World War 2, and allegedly snuck off to celebrate with the crowd on Victory in Europe day.

It’s still got over an hour to run?

I like it so fat. It’s not as omfg as the Beijing ones, but it’s fun to watch. I liked J.K. Rowling reading Peter Pan. I didn’t get the giant baby.

It’s just big boned.

The Frankie and June thing is just stupid and boring.

I think its funny that Matt Lauer used the word bedlam when describing part of the National Health skit. Does he realize the origin of the word?

:stuck_out_tongue: hush.

I didn’t get the Frankie and June thing. Is that, like, a thing? I googled and it was unhelpful. Or was it just “Let’s have a love story here in the middle of the opening ceremonies!”

Okay, the athletes have started walking in and waving and such. I don’t honestly remember the Beijing Olympics thaaaat well and that’s the only Olympics I remember at all. Does this mean the interesting part is over? I have to run to the store, but I really don’t want to miss any more of this crazypantsedness

My husband and I liked it a lot up to the sparkly rings in the sky (which we both applauded), and it went right downhill from there. We were both completely baffled by the NHS stuff, the gigantic baby, the Frankie and June dance party, and the 007/paratrooper queen thing.

We did have a bit of fun singing “My Country, 'Tis of Thee” during the flag raising ;).

We watched as far as the film of the Queen and Bond getting into the helicopter, and then we devolved into an argument on how that couldn’t possibly have been the actual queen in that scene in the palace. (I freely admit I was wrong - it was her. That was damn cool of her.) We didn’t see the actual parachuting in, or any of the stuff after the ring forging and ending up as fireworks in the sky. That was pretty awesome, but I was very confused by all the top-hatted people breakdancing around the peasant stagehands.

Am I the only one who was seeing visions of Mordor and Isengard and the Scouring of the Shire during the whole forging of the rings set-up? Husband and I were all like OK, when the giant eye pops up and starts frying people, we’ve got to turn this thing off.

I love it. Sex Pistols and Pink Floyd playing in the opening cool, weird Victorian industrialism with Kenneth Branagh yelling lines from the Tempest great, but the Queen and James Bond parachuting into the stadium? Hilarious and awesome.

That was awesome. Completely bizarre and unexpected. I kept hoping for a Doctor Who shout-out, but it was not to be… :frowning:

I don’t normally comment on fashion. But those stupid berets are worse than I thought. Kobe Bryant looked like he should have had a baguette under his arm.

I thought I heard the TARDIS noise in the midst of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Yeah, that part was a bit :confused::confused::confused:. I hung in there thinking that with all the cool music, surely they’d throw in The Cure (I was expecting “Friday I’m In Love”), but it was not to be.

I didn’t see the beginning of the parade of nations. What the hell are the little girls carrying next to the flag?

lets just say it will make sense if you watch to the end…

i do that as well. good thing the windsors can’t hear me.

they did have the countries march in smartly. i was bummed that the corgis weren’t on the parachute drop.

i thought mexico’s uniforms were quite something.

That’s wonderful. Now, would someone be kind enough to answer Loach’s (and my) question, please?

None of us knew until the end, so no need to spoil it for others.

Ah, I see. Since I won’t be watching till the end, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Loved it. After the hugeness (and the Big Brother “we have billions of people that all drum in lockstep” impersonal feel) of the Beijing opening, this was so much smaller/warmer/quirkier.

I know, being a colonist, there were Britishisms I wasn’t getting. But so what? It’s their bloody folderol.