Saturday, August 9, 2008

A "Spectacular Spectacular" in Beijing

Using a Moulin Rouge reference, last night's opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics was nothing short of a "Spectacular Spectacular." I will keep this short, since I think most (or all) contributors on TFN will want to weigh in.

The hype was high, but the Chinese delivered. And so did my new HD Plasma TV! I'm not sure how this would have looked in standard def, but the combination of the colors, costumes, fabrics, giant LED scroll on the field, video scrim surrounding the "Birds Nest," and plethora of glorious fireworks made for the most visually stimulating - and stunning - night of television in years. Add the music and those 2008 drummer boys, and WOW! The themes and segments were cohesive and told a wonderful abstract story of Chinese culture and history.

NBC jam packed in the commercials, especially during the "Parade Of Nations," but at least they recapped the nations that marched during the break. Some of the commercials were stunning as well. I loved the Audi ad where the house was "virtually" remodeled with the help of some cool animation.

For me, the added bonus came at the end of NBC's coverage in the USA. They rolled a montage of the evening's events to David Cook's smash hit single "The Time of My Life." I knew that song would make it somewhere during the Olympics, as it did in the Espys. There it was on the very first night! No, I cannot resist throwing in any relevent David Cook references.


Dean Treadway said...

Ugh. The Olympics. The ruin of cities and nations. The purveyor of false hopes and dreams. The instigator of pointless idolatry of sports "figures." Glad you enjoyed the show, Scott. I liked your piece, as I do all of your writing (though I've managed to avoid seeing David Cook). But I despise all sports and the misery they've incurred on the human race. Sorry. Guess I'm an old frump.

Jane said...

Loved the opening ceremonies! The high points for me included: 1) the huge LED digital television stage on the floor of the Birds Nest stadium. Was that the biggest, most gorgeous TV of all time, or what? Also great to see the 7 foot Yao Ming with the little 9 year old earthquake survivor. And I always look forward to the lighting of the torch. It seems with every Olympics, they get more and more technologically advanced. This time, with the gymnast soaring through the air to light the flame, it was really spectacular. Let the games begin! Bravo NBC! It was a great show!

Scott said...

I'm not a sports fan, and probably will watch only sporatic Olympics, I always like the opening ceremonies and thought this would be visually stunning on the new plasma! And it was. As for David Cook, well, there was Jolson, Garland, Sinatra, Streisand, Springsteen, and now Cook. I don't even include Elvis, but I suppose I should. David Cook is the next, multi-platform superstar. And that's all I'm going to say (no it's not!) :)

Dean Treadway said...

I should say: I don't make enough to have an HD Plasma TV.

Dean Treadway said...

And, yes, Elvis Presley should be mentioned in your pantheon as well..more so than Springsteen, who has a two-octave range.

Scott said...

Well, at least Mr. Cook has a 4-octave range! From mid-baritone, through tenor, to falsetto. Pitch perfect.
As for the politics, you and I are together as the libs on this site! But I'm not quite as radical!

Lisa said...

I'm rather with Dean on the whole Olympics thing, though of course the Opening Ceremonies can pass as entertainment. I certainly remember, as I'm sure Dean does, all the hype and lies and ultimate ruination the Olympics brought to Atlanta.

Scott, I do so love that you are so adoringly loyal to David Cook! We sure missed that when you were away! You are obviously not alone!

There is so much talk about how much NBC has invested in this Olympics. It will be interesting to see, when all the dust has settled on all the various platforms they are utilizing, what audiences watched.

I am always fascinated by the new technologies which seem to make television prettier but maybe it's because I so often just listen to TV as background that the size of the screen makes no difference to me!

I am an old frump on sports, too. Hate them all! But love TV!

Dean Treadway said...

Yes, I do have to admit, Scott: when I do get around to hearing Mr. Cook, whom I'm positive is a talent to contend with, I'll be no doubt thinking of you. And should I become a fan, your posts will be the first I reference. No worries on the American Idol front. It's a great show, and a cultural touchstone for many reasons. I fault no one for watching.

As for the Olympics, I suppose I understand the excitement over the opening ceremonies. There's nothing like seeing a billion dollars spent in a matter of 120 minutes. But all to what purpose? And for whose benefit?

Jane said...

I work like a dog 5-6 days a week, but only get to keep half of what I make the rest goes to taxes. I'll never in my lifetime be able to afford a home or any kind of property in this god forsaken state of California and I have a 12 inch titanium pole holding my spine together which causes relentless daily pain. The Olympic opening ceremony was for My benefit. I enjoyed it immensely. Ars Gratia Artis. Art for art's sake, for those who've forgotten their Latin. That said, the Chinese government needs to free Tibet and stop aiding the terrorists in the Sudan.