Spectacle? Yes! Spectacular? No!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Spectacle? Yes! Spectacular? No!

Ordinarily not given to pagentry on the small screen, the amusing Facebook commentary from my offspring watching the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics "live" in Western Canada, piqued my interest.

Due to my sister-in-law's visit, I time-shifted NBC's record-setting Friday evening tape-delayed telecast, and have been catching up with it in fits and spurts ever since.

Now, approximately halfway through the 4½ hour program, several observations:

  • Host Nation Great Britain certainly went all-out for this one... but relative to other Opening Ceremonies I cannot say since this is my first one.
  • Despite my ability to fast-forward through the com­mercials, it became quickly apparent that I would be shorting myself since many of the advertisers have treated this event as the equal of a Super Bowl tele­cast, and had themselve gone all-out... I especially enjoyed the Kellogg's institutional spot shot in and around an Olympic swimming pool.
  • The running commentary by Meredith Vieira, Bob Costas et al, when it wasn't being fatuous, was oddly inappropriate in its political content. And I'm sorry, but I just don't "get" Ryan Seacrest.
  • I was utterly charmed by the huge number of athletes who, while parading into the stadium, were taking photos of their surroundings with tiny digital cameras or their cell' 'phones. It looked, to a one, that they were thrilled to be there!

But, given the way the Peacock Network has been exposed in its thoroughly dishonest manipulation of actual news of recent, perhaps sports coverage is all that NBC should be entrusted with.

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