Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics: London 2012

Okay, so I seriously should be writing my cinema and ideology paper on Atonement right now but it's a little hard to concentrate on classes because it's:

THE OLYMPICS!!!!!

Sorry, I'm far too excited about it. But they're in LONDON and I'm loving the images of Westminster and Big Ben and the Thames popping up everywhere.

But, I do have a serious reason for bringing the Olympics up. Other than my fangirling over London, there are several other things that make it somewhat related to this general weirdness.

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1) Danny Boyle and the Opening Ceremony: I'm a Danny Boyle fangirl. Seriously; I have a poster of Trainspotting in my apartment (it was a birthday gift a few years back :D). So when I heard Boyle was the director for the Opening Ceremony, I was pretty pumped. And I was certainly not disappointed. There were enough fandom references in it to make Tumblr content for the rest of the year. It was well-executed and beautifully done.

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Except the New York Times apparently doesn't agree. They called it a three-ring circus. And thought it was weird. My Anglophilia was rather peeved at this and I ranted about how they probably thing calling the television "the telly" is weird and exotic too. Of course the Opening Ceremony was unique and eclectic to express Britain's identity; it was in Britain. It's also, as my father aptly pointed out, as if the writer of this article merely watched the American NBC broadcast of the ceremony. Which brings me to...

2) NBC: Okay, so generally I have no serious issues against American's basic broadcasting networks (except for CBS, but it's all in good humor. Most of the time). But NBC was seriously pissing me off with their coverage. Mainly because of Matt Lauer.

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Matt Lauer is the host of NBC's Today show, a morning news program. And while my personal opinion of Matt Lauer is a total moot point, I do not like being told by him (or probably more accurately his writers) during the Parade of Nations that Brazil is a country in South American. REALLY? I HAD NO IDEA. PLEASE TELL ME MORE. The commentary throughout the coverage was lame at best and I was pissed that NBC apparently thinks their average viewer has the knowledge span of a head of lettuce. Please. Tell me where the small, unique countries are and don't skim over them just because you think we've never heard of them. And don't think I won't notice when you mispronounce country names.

Also, I was beyond upset that I missed out on this, the TARDIS noise that was apparently present during the Opening Ceremony. But, it was unnoticed by me because it apparently occurred right before NBC cut to a commercial break. Typical.

3) More ranting about NBC's coverage: So, apparently if you're not a big major country, you don't get serious credit on-air for showing up at the Parade of Nations. Even if you've got women in the Olympics for the FIRST TIME EVER. Seriously, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei have women competing for the first time. I only remember this briefly being mentioned for Saudi Arabia and that was it. No deeper insight about why, how, the fact that this is a big damn deal for women in these countries; nothing. And it's not as if its without issues - there's talk that female competitors from Saudi Arabia may have to withdraw. Sure, we have plenty of time to show Lebron James over and over again during the ceremony and spend an embarrassing amount of time on the US teams entrance in their (yes, I'm saying it) kind of pretentious uniforms. But we didn't have time to take a moment and think about what big changes are occurring around the world for fellow Olympians.

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4) Two of my favorite actors doing the same thing (I think): So, I keep seeing this set of gifs on Tumblr (or some variation thereof) of Benedict Cumberbatch. And it's related to Olympics. And from what I've gleaned, it seems he did an introduction of some kind, I'm assuming for the Opening Ceremony but I seriously have no idea - there's no explanation and I certainly didn't see whatever this was. If I had seen it, this is how it would have gone down (as I watched the ceremony with my parents because they, unlike me, actually get TV reception):
Mom: Ooh, look who it is, Gina!
Me: You have got to be kidding me.
Dad: Hey, isn't that Cumberdoodle... or Cumberbund...
Me: CUMBERBATCH. You had one job, Dad. One job.
Dad: Hehehehe.
(Trust me, this is exactly how it would have unfolded. My father cannot remember Cumberbatch's name. I'm certain he does it on purpose because he knows I care far too much.)
However, the introduction to the Opening Ceremony on NBC positive featured the voice of Ewan McGregor. Though the intro video never exactly said WHO was speaking, I'm enough of a fangirl to trust my ears when I think I hear McGregor's voice. Plus my friend Ashley agreed with me. (And I just fact checked it - it was Ewan McGregor, along with Emily Blunt.)

So how about that; some how my two favorite actors in the entire universe were involved in the Olympics in some aspect. Nice work, guys.


Um... right. I'll just stop here then...

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