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The world is waiting…for my thoughts on the Olympics so far

London -- View from Tate Modern

London — View from Tate Modern (Photo credit: Nietnagel)

You might have noticed I lit up the internet with some live tweets of the Opening Ceremony. I feel like I should go along with peer pressure and say that it was brilliant and totally out-of-the-box, but I thought it was a bit uneven, and a waste of Kenneth Branagh.

I mean, how did they come to spend so much time, given everything that is great about Great Britain, on “the kids” pretend-Tweeting each other? What is this, From Justin to Kelly? I get that the kids today love social media, but young’uns looking at phones and writing jolly messages has become a very un-dynamic shorthand for reaching out to youth culture. All those incredible songs in the background, wasted, while people walk/dance around in weird costumes. And in the presence of all these amazing young athletes, we’re spending a good quarter of the Opening Ceremony on people and their ubiquitous phones.

And again, the National Health Service section: out of everything Danny Boyle and crew could have chosen to represent Britain, why this? I’m just wondering. I think that health care for children is incredibly important, I really do, but given the big swath of screen and stadium you have to fill, why fill it with children faffing around on beds? Visually, it’s just not that interesting.

I did like the opening film about the course of the river Thames, and the Tube, though that marker at the beginning looked like a gravestone. I also liked the pastoral scene, even though the choreography as it progressed felt like one overly-long set change, rather anything composed to look at. And I obviously loved the Rowan Atkinson/Chariots of Fire bit. That was hilarious, and to me, showcased British wit and personality so well. If it were me, and I am fending off phone calls from Sochi as I write this, I would have maybe used Branagh as a narrator, ala Our Town, throughout the ceremony, bringing him back periodically to spout off some appropriate lines of Shakespeare, as he does so well. I think that would have helped tie everything together, instead of these uneven blocks of action. And here’s my other big idea: I liked how the grass gave way to a floor that looked like city streets. How about running a river, mimicking that distinctive bend in the Thames (cue Eastenders theme song), through the stadium? I think that incredible river is a perfect emblem for London and the Games. OK, Sochi, I’ll do it.

***

Michael Phelps’s sister, you seem very nice. I even stomached that interview with you, the other sister, and your mother with that insufferable Ryan Seacrest because I thought you seemed so nice. But, as a pretend friend, I’m telling you: move on from that necklace you’re always wearing. The big huge red one. (Check out this London 2012 fashion rundown for a photo) I like the necklace in and of itself, but I feel that for the past six million years, every time I’ve seen you cheering for baby bro somewhere, you have been wearing it. It’s a statement necklace: you make the statement, then you get rid of it and make another statement. It’s not a string of pearls. People are going to remember that you keep wearing it. You’re not Kate Middleton; you have nothing to prove by rewearing your looks. Even your mother switches up her chunky jewelry.

So, sis, unless it is some kind of good luck charm and he loses if you don’t wear it (which we now know is not the case), how about you retire it, auction it off for charity or something, and let your fancy brother buy you a new one, like from Erickson Beamon, or J. Crew? Or, f*** it, Chanel? He can afford it.

***

Finally, my favorite win so far? The Great Britain Mens’ Gymnastics Team! I know I am supposed to be rooting for Team USA, but that was a great win, even though the Japanese team killed the buzz a bit at the end there…still, if someone picks up Bud’s mantle and makes a London 2012: Tales of Olympic Delight or somesuch, I smell a Greenspan! A Greenspan being my new term for excellent, documentary segment-suitable stories of Olympic glory. Stay tuned for a complete list of Greenspans (TM) as the Games progress! No, Ryan Seacrest, you are not eligible…

***

And FINALLY finally, one last Allez Wiggo. Click on the link to see the perfect backdrop to cap the end of an inspiring season.

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lauren #

    Jeanna, I’m so hiring you to direct the opener for Moorestown 2020. I have big ideas for an interpretive dance sequence highlighting the pizza place/ Rite Aid/ drycleaner strip on Chester Avenue that I’m dying to run by you…

    August 1, 2012
  2. Let me run that by my team and see how we can work in some virtual pyrotechnics, maybe a montage of nail places? PS I WILL have a hissyfit during the torch lighting

    August 1, 2012
  3. Sally #

    So jealous of London …. when will the usa ever get the olympics again? 2028 ??

    August 6, 2012
  4. dancerdoc #

    “when will the usa ever get the olympics again? 2028 ??”

    No.

    Paris or Dubai will be 2028

    USA possibly 2032 if we don’t spend all out tax money losing corrupt oil wars.

    August 7, 2012
    • It looks like it won’t be for a long while, but whenever it comes, I am definitely going to volunteer. I’m going to wear a weird volunteer uniform and smile vaguely behind the start lines of races…

      August 7, 2012
  5. Marion Theater #

    These are the Peoples Games >> Brits Rock!!!
    I tried to find a wierd volunteer uniform on ebay !!!!! Nada, maybe banned from sale!

    Loved the opening ceremony, we should get that Danny Boyle dude over to liven up our boring Superbowl.

    Our corporate American faves are no more……….
    Crack head Witney is dead, Jacko no longer playing with children and Maddy has a musty smell…. time for a change methinks but of course it wont happen……

    Superbowl 2013 will be the same ole stagnent American garbage 🙂

    August 7, 2012
    • I definitely can’t imagine the Super Bowl being anything like a Danny Boyle production, that’s for sure! Wonder what the Closing Ceremony will bring?

      August 7, 2012
  6. Marion Theater #

    I know and what a shame that is.

    The closing ceremony will be??? Thinking they’re usually shorter?
    I read 150,000 condoms have been supplied to free vending machines in the athletes village which are topped up daily. So perhaps the 8000 athletes will perform a mass orgy for us?

    Not sure what the Queen of England would make of that but I get the feeling Prince Harry would be up for it 🙂

    August 7, 2012
  7. Lee #

    China topped the Gold Medal table in Beijing and they will again in London.

    1 CHN 35 Gold
    2 USA 30 Gold
    3 GBR 22 Gold
    4 KOR 12 Gold
    5 RUS 10 Gold

    Yanks like to talk about the 300 million Chinese who live in poverty, however, China has the largest middle class in the world, 300 million and its still expanding in the fastest growing economy for over 20 years. And don’t forget China also won the Vietnam War.

    August 8, 2012

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  1. Why Asthma Won’t Keep Your Child Out Of the Olympics | Craig Canapari, MD

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