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First things first

Okay, so the Olympics opening ceremony?  Lunacy, right? At first I was more mystified than anything else. Danny Boyle’s dramatic interpretations of  England’s Agrarian and Industrial periods included moments so spectacularly Monty Python that I understood in a whole new way how brilliantly Monty Python had lampooned their own culture.

Once I stopped trying to make sense of the proceedings, it all just started to feel like outsize, crazyass fun. Like, if I were 17 years old and stoned out of my mind, I can’t imagine anything I’d have found more awesome than dozens of Mary Poppins ladies raining from the sky.

Or as spooky-nuts as the giant inflatable baby who appeared at the conclusion of the National  Health Service segment (not even to mention the light-up hospital bed blankets).

I did like Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig’s whole bit..

…but mostly because of the corgis.

The music was pretty fantastic, I have to say (and apparently the soundtrack is already at the top of the charts). I love that Danny Boyle didn’t shy away from including a Sex Pistols moment at an event where Queen Elizabeth was present. And I think it was rather punk rock for Queen Elizabeth to be so sporting about it.

Also and interestingly: I missed this entirely, but during the evening’s tribute to digital Britain, this image, of British television’s first-ever lesbian kiss (from the now-defunct soap opera Brookside) flashed by. Its inclusion on the telecast made it the first lesbian kiss ever to be aired before 9pm in Britain, which is apparently a thing. Which you can read about here.

(Personally I’d have preferred to see a kiss between my favorite  lesbian couple from British TV, Emily and Naomi from the edgy, dark, and quite funny series Skins. For those of you who have never heard of it—or are only familiar with MTV’s dismal version—Skins is maybe the best teen show of all time. And I say this as somebody who is embarrassingly well-versed in the genre.)

The best part of any opening ceremony is, of course, watching the teams arrive in the stadium. And I was so pleased to see that Team America’s Ralph Lauren uniforms  actually kind of worked, because judging by those sneak peek pictures, it really could have gone either way (the fact that Ralph Lauren had the uniforms made in China, though?  Still not so cool). How adorable is this? I love how spectacularly un-jaded and thrilled out of their minds these ladies look.

And on, very briefly, to the games themselves. Don’t you hate it when you think a guy is totally hot?

Until he opens his mouth?

Also: you must read this story about how the Olympic Village is basically an up-all-night  sex fantasia. I always believed that all athletes did the whole abstinence-in-the-name-of-focus thing, but this turns out not to be the case. Not at all.

Posted on July 29th, 2012 17 Comments

17 Responses

  1. Jen says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the London Opening Ceremonies, especially after watching Beijing where the performers had the appearance of being from a forced labor camp.

    The giant inflatable baby was genuinely creepy, but I loved the plug for socialized healthcare and the implied WTF is going on with you, United States, and your lameness in dealing with this issue.

    Also, I am buying that soundtrack today.

  2. Dana says:

    Further proof this is my favorite blog- Skins UK. I was obsessed with it this year. (Sid and Cassie 4-EVAH!) Also the opening really reminded me of Julian Barnes’ book “England, England”, a wickedly funny take on British culture.

    • KimFrance says:

      And again, my readers do my disappoint! I knew at least one of you would be a Skins freak.

      • marissa says:

        Skins UK’s later seasons can be…very uneven. However, if you love smart, funny UK teen shows, Misfits is really great. Highly recommend it – and it was (is?) on Hulu.

    • Jane says:

      Skins rules! But only the UK version. I only read about the MTV version and it sounded awful.

  3. Margie says:

    The Brits did it their way and it was great! So far the event coverage is also amazing. My teens turned me onto Skins UK. Well written….also the young actor who starred with Hugh Grant in “About a Boy” plays the lead character Tony. So grown up!

  4. Amy says:

    I rather enjoyed the entrance of the independent athletes: http://www.sportsgrid.com/media/independent-olympic-athletes-dance-video/

    Fun, no?

  5. carmencatalina says:

    I don’t know what it says about me, but I loved the Opening Ceremonies, every last insane minute of it. My two little boys mouths just dropped open when the skies began raining down Mary Poppinses (or whatever the plural of “Mary Poppins” might be).

    Also, apparently my longstanding crush on Kenneth Branagh still exists. Sir Kenneth Branagh now, it seems. I wouldn’t have guessed it, but there it is.

    And, finally, corgis for the win.

  6. lormac says:

    Loved it when the Fug Girls described the arrival of the Mary Poppinses as the Invasion of the Poppii.

  7. Meagan says:

    Lucky Queen…she’s now a Bond girl. TOTALLY jealous.

  8. Sara says:

    The whole tribute to the digital age thing was bizarre because it included clips from American tv shows. I thought that was ridiculous. Also a pity that with all that fantastic music they couldnt have had an amazing choreographed dance routine instead of the dumb house and random interpretation of the tube.

    I feel exactly the same way you did. Loved the Queen and the corgis, the rest was eh bc with so much material to use his results fell flat.

  9. Leah S. says:

    Yes total. Lunacy. But I’m glad for all who enjoyed it! Sometime around Mr. Bean I had to turn away until the parade of outfits– I mean, athletes– began.

  10. Bex says:

    I loved the corgis too!

  11. Meg says:

    hahahaha! yes, when I watched it I was genuinely sorry I’d quit smoking pot. A sky full of Mary Poppins’? jolly good.

  12. Ames says:

    To me, the look team USA was going for was more successfully accomplished by Portugal – their look was dead-on. In comparison, the USA jackets looked cheap and ill-fitting.

    Occasionally I’ll have a dream, and it enters my memory like something that’s really happened. There’s a point when I’m telling someone a story about this memory where I say, “…this makes no sense, I must have dreamed it.” I swear I woke up the morning after the opening ceremonies asking my husband if he remembered the show the same way I did.

    The opening ceremonies were great in that I have never, ever seen anything like it and there’s no way I could have said, “ah yes, I thought that they would do that.” Someone said that it was the worst round of Opening Ceremonies Drinking Game they’d ever played.