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Well; the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics certainly was….surprising.
As I predicted; there was quite a bit of content that just had me squirming in my chair, thinking "No! NO! Why did you do that?!". The absurdity of the nod to the NHS, for example, and the sudden appearance of various storybook villains, which felt (for lack of a better word) "Disney".
However; the "historical" section of the ceremony's opening half utterly blew me away. An unexpected appearance by Kenneth Branagh, playing Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who essentially WAS the Industrial Revolution), began a spectacular sequence that pretty much summed up what Britain's past was all about; fire and industry.
It was, without a doubt, the highlight of the entire spectacle, and if you either didn't get the chance to catch it or didn't bother to watch it, I urge you to track it down online!

And then there was James Bond….charged with the most difficult seduction of his career.
Yes. That really was her. I couldn't believe it either.

After that, though, things got a little too surreal, abstract or pointless (in my opinion) until the lighting of the "cauldron" some 2 or so hours later (feel free to fast forward).

What I'm really enjoying now is reading what the rest of the world have been saying, which is essentially "We don't know what the hell we just saw, but we liked it!" followed by "Hey, look! It's Mr Bean!"
  • Listening to: Booming Orchestral Scores
  • Reading: Assorted comics
  • Watching: X Files
  • Playing: Nothing. Too busy.
  • Eating: Vice Versas (they're back!)
  • Drinking: Water.
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theroyalscouter Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So it really was her?... I thought they wouldn't dare place such an ederly women to such a fit. My guess was, actor an she was just waiting the signal to appear as if she actually had jumped. That's insane.
Most of the show just wasn't to Olympic Games expectation, the Whole J.K. Rowling paying for part of the games is the reason that so much of it was Harry Potter related. It seems that economy is really taking a plunge.
Mr. Bean was just hillarious, best comic relief ever used on the openning ceremony of the olympic games.
ralter Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
I'm pretty sure the reaction in my house went sorta along these lines. "And here driving the boat with the Olympic torch is David..." Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh? "... Beckham" Awwwwwwww...
ChristyKitsune Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
I liked it up to the end of the NHS part. Then it just went down the toilet.
I enjoyed the indutrial Revolution the most.
m0n0cr0me Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
Looked em out of interest. Agree fisrt part was well made but the when atletes began to come into arena i got bored and went sleep.
good thing apparently because latter part seemed to be crap
RivisIndigoEmporium Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
My sister and I were discussing what we felt were hidden nods to the LotR throughout the whole of the ceremony. The pastoral scene was clearly Hobbiton (sorry, but once that thought took hold I was hellbent on finding hairy feet on the volunteers), the forging of the ring was THE ring, and the formation of the cauldron was the Eye. I'm so sorry, but we couldn't shake this at all... :ashamed:
jollyjack Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
It might look LotR because Tolkien's Middle Earth was inspired by the English countryside and the industry that tore it up.
RivisIndigoEmporium Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Very true. Stupid Isengard... :shakefist:

Also, as it did not rain over the opening ceremony, I am not a few bucks richer. Boo. :(
perditaxdream Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
Which idiot though it was a good idea to have a massive ceremony in England with no roof? Mind you I suppose they could have just got on with it in the rain and complained a lot after as the Brits do.
RivisIndigoEmporium Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Professional General Artist
Well, whoever they were, they're just insanely lucky. I would hate to have been part of that planning committee only to see things go haywire. :iconunimpressednodplz:
Kenny-Gulley Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Loved the history section, Mr. Bean, James Bond... and the torch. Thats it.
Ud-the-Imp Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
At least it was PHENOMINALLY better than the 2004 opening ceremony. THAT one kinda sucked......

Actually though, I really enjoyed this year's ceremony. The Beijing ceremony can NEVER be truly topped, but this ceremony came pretty damn close.
kekuha Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
That pretty much summed it up for me. I was also really confused by their playing "eclipse" off of "dark side of the moon" when the torch was lit
Noxkitsune Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hm... reminds me a bit of my response to the part of the 2010 Olympics I saw when it was hosted here. There was some bits that were odd, absurd and debatably disrespectful, and then they had some awesome stuff happen and famous people I didn't even know were Canadian show up.
EidolWays Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Yes, Kenneth Branagh showing up was an unexpected and pleasant surprise, since he's kind of THE MAN.

And that... really was Queen Elizabeth parachuting from the helicopter? Really really? ... I wish our Presidents were HALF that awesome.

But the big baby under the blanket during the hospital scene was kind of creepy, yes.
Nagflar Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
I didn't like it very much, it felt like an hour and a half Glee special, wheelchair dudes included. I do agree that the opening half where they showed how the country grew into an industrial and economical powerhouse was impresive, though.
JMiera Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Filmographer
AHAHAHA yes that is what the rest of the world is saying XD
We here in the states are still debating whether or not it was actually the queen the jumped out of the helicopter. The TV didn't show her actually landing - just someone jumping and then the queen coming out from behind a half of my house doesn't think it was her at all :c

Nothing quite like a horde of Mary Poppinses to come battle a 100ft Voldemort...that was..interesting...And the "Music Through the Decades" bit seemed a little out of place :/ Even though we love Bowie. Speaking of music...Paul seemed to have a little trouble with Hey Jude (which seems more like a closing song than an opening IMO) and those bicycling doves didn't get enough time hehehe

The cauldron WAS pretty nifty though. However it felt a little Hunger Games-ish to us ;)
Also...Mr Bean :heart:
radishdalek Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Apparently there was supposed to be a Doctor Who segment, but it got cut (along with the BMX bikers) due to the ceremony being reduced by half an hour. You could just hear the Tardis dematerialisation sound in one section of the performance.

The cauldron and its transformation was very impressive. Each team brought in a funnel, and when the games are over, a funnel will be presented to each country that took part.
Hokerou Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
OH MY GOD ARE THEY REALLY BACK? *runs off to buy Vice Versas*
ILoveBigCats Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There was Rowan Atkinson and some Bowie, that was enough to keep me happy
weaselton Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
I am glad the you all decided you didn't need to have a girl lip syncing for all the world to see like Beijing pulled.
Gamecreature Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Part of the ceremonies got blacked out in the US. So boo to NBC for assuming what Americans could "handle."
jollyjack Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
I heard they'd cut a bit during the Industrial section of the display, where everything stopped and focused on a group of men in (unmarked but clearly military) uniform who were stood amid a field of poppies. It was essentially just the traditional minute's (near) silence for fallen soldiers, but I guess NBC felt that one minute too much.
Anything else cut was more likely to reduce run-time, which would be required if NBC has ad breaks.
Gamecreature Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Actually, they kept that bit. But there were some bits that were not fully realized as the director clearly didn't know what to focus on among the chaos. Such as when Branagh stood in the circle of cameras, and then they apparently lost interest, so I really don't know what happened next. And they mis-identified the male lead during the Frankie and June segment (they thought the guy who WASN'T wearing the Frankie Goes to Hollywood shirt was Frankie). No, it was the segment before the parade of nations that they chose to run an interview over. I guess the director was afraid it was "too controversial." On behalf of America, I apologize for the tapioca for brains doofuses over at NBC.
Hokerou Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Ahahahahahahaha, that is utter bollocks.
Gamecreature Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I assure you it is true. NBC has exclusive rights to all Olympic coverage in the US and they botch it year after year. At least this time I can tune into the BBC when I want to see sport and not talking heads.
Hokerou Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Ah, I meant it's bollocks as in it's bad.
Gamecreature Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Ah, now I get it. I agree, in case you had not already surmised that.
ShifuDaxiongmao Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Who cares about Mr Bean? Mike Oldfield played Live. That made the opening awesome for me. :D
Wabefuhon Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Now I have to see it. No wonder weird stuff has ended up on tumblr.
Steelkite Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Beijing set the bar in my life, I think
ScarabDynasty1 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had to nod my hat at them for the parachute thing, honestly. It was kind of amusing.
Rollinlol95 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Lol, Rowan Atkinson...
That's the time i lol'd=P
supernaturalsarah Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I actually really liked the fire and industry bit too! The NHS nod was a bit random..dancing beds and such (didn't stop me wanting a light up sheet though...) but yeah it wasn't as awful as I'd imagined it could have been! And the actual lighting bit really was quite a nice moment.

And the arctic monkeys and birds on biked too..I don't usually care for the monkeys but add in a few light up giant birds and I'm anyones.
Quoriil Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
Terrifying babby thing!!!!!1!
supernaturalsarah Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Yeah that was pretty much my response to that...'alright it was kind of ok until they unleashed a 30 foot dead baby...'
squanpie Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
or as a friend of mine put it:

"Well, today the Olympic opening ceremony taught me that the Industrial Revolution happened because a group of evil Technomancer-Industrialists went around tearing apart the happy-go-lucky rural landscape and summoning factories out of the ground."

I did love the opening historical part. Then NHS part simply made me go 'light up bouncy beds? I WANT ONE' otherwise meh. the only good thing about the rest was Mr Bean and the monster glowstick things in the music part.
The cauldron was utterly amazing though.
Kergonan Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, it was truly a grand opening ceremony. But one of the thing I enjoyed the most was the fact that the Olympic flamme was lightened by a grounp of young, pretty much unknown sportmen and women. It meant for me that all the bookmakers who had taken bets on who would light the flamme were screwed. Well it is not going to prevent betting on the competions itself, but this early victory of Olympism over money was refreshing.
trismugistus Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I recorded it and watched a lot of it on fast forward in about an hour.

I found the pastoral idle and most of the industrial revolution bits a bit dull and long-winded if I'm honest. They were also a bit andrew lloyd webber musical for my taste. I bet if you were there that stuff was a lot more entertaining - the good thing watching on tv is you can see stuff close-up, the bad is you're forced to watch what they show. However, the reveal of the rings and that image of them showering sparks won me over. I mainly just wish it'd gotten there a bit quicker.

Bond and Rowan were highlights and the level of humor generally was about right. The parade of nations took forever and I skipped right over that and the speeches. I liked the children's literature characters thing and the giant voldermort looked awesome. The NHS is sort of random but if we're paying tribute to brilliant british ideas then fair enough. Plus Boyle is obviously Scottish so (although I don't know his politics) it's a fair bit there's a socialist streak in him, so I had a bit of a wry smile at that. The "modern" section I really liked on the whole and music was very well integrated as you'd expect from Boyle, though I'm not sure why we seem to default to Macca doing Hey Jude at the end for all these things.

I really liked the idea of the flower cauldron, although that section seemed a bit overblown, but then that bit is always overblown. I'm afraid I find the whole torch thing a bit odd in general, given that bit was one of the nazi's main "legacies" for the games.

The fireworks looked awesome - I hope it doesn't turn out half of them were CG like in Beijing.

Overall, a bit too long and probably better if you were there, but Boyle did a really good job.
Zang-Diddy Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Yea I was a big fan of the industrial revolution portion of the show. It may be the most boring part of history to read about to me but I'll be damned if it didn't make an amazing spectacle.
Monele Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
After what you said, I was expecting quite a mess, so I decided to watch with morbid curiosity. The opening was actually quite positively surprising and well done. The James Bond bit was utterly surprising (being fiction) but definitely hilarious and cool. I also enjoyed seeing Rowan Atkinson (I wondered if he would appear!) but still think they stretched the joke too much.

After that the (long) music bit was... well... long. It was just famous song after famous song without much originality.

Oh and yeah, the hospital + fiction characters thing was a mixed bag. The army of Mary Poppins was amusing though.

I didn't watch path the march of delegations. Was there anything not to miss after that?

Overall, my only gripe was: what does this have to do with the Olympics? I haven't watched other ceremonies but do they all promote their own country's culture or do they promote the spirit of the olympics? It just seemed strangely off topic ^^;
Urazel Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I actually thought the Mr.Bean bit was pretty funny but I would have preffered Black Adder be rolled into there instead.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and urge people to watch it as well.
Thanks for sharing your opinion Jolly, it was an interesting read.
Bloo-Ocean Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012   Digital Artist
Rowin Atkinson was a definite surprise. I was happy and sad at the same moment, happy that it reminds my childhood watching Mr Bean episodes and sad seeing so many wrinkles and grey hair on Mr Bean.
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Professional Artist
I enjoyed it more than Beijing's opening ceremony, NHS, Disney and all. The forging sequence was REMARKABLE!
LegionRed Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012
I agree, best parts were the opening, the industrial revolution, with the smell no less, and the lighting of the torch itself... Then Paul McCartney, he closed it well.
SeanE Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yup, just watched the repeat opening on TV here in Oz because for us everything is happening at 3.00am in the morning.

The opening and forging of the rings was brilliant, then things just pretty much became a history of UK music which was alright up until the 60's but then just went downhill through the glam 70's and eventually ended up as a simple techno-rage house party at any night club you'd care to mention in the world.

The NHS stuff was irrelevant to everyone that doesn't live in the UK, which is pretty much the majority of the planet. Yes the journey through literature was ok but did smack of Disney somewhat. James Bond collecting the Queen, and how she played her part (loved the small smirk she had when she said her "Very good Mr Bond" line) was just hilarious and fun, and then when the Queen supposedly parachuted out of the Helicopter was a great laugh as well.

Rowen Atkinson hamming it up in the Chariots of Fire as Mr Bean bit was fun and then when all the countries came out... well then it just got boring. I only saw Nepal actually holding the flag in a flag pocket/belt AND holding it straight and tall as you're supposed to. At least you could see that their carrier had military training! All the rest had it waving and drooping all over the place and almost touching the ground.

Finally - what the hell was the German official in the audience doing waving like he was doing a Nazi salute..!!!!..???
maduc Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012
Danny Boyle is never wrong.
FeralDrive Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Needed more Kinks.
Txlonestar Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012
Overall I liked it , a good mix showing the British culture and people. Two major gripes though, one Sean Connery should have been there escorting the queen as well. The former and the "new" 007. Second in all of the story and fantasy characters... why...I mean WHY!?!? No King Arthur and Sherlock Holmes?!? Probably some of THE most recognizable characters there are! Ok yes they are old fashioned but still! I cant beleive there wasnt even a reference!
Jaebird88 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The only part of the show that's burned into my mind is giant Voldemort vs an army of Mary Poppins. And then I thought, "That's totally ripping off of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 2009."
TheGSP Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2012
I tried to watch it on Youtube, but the Olympics Committee is blocking everything on copyright grounds.

Who the hell stops people from watching a free event!?
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