For an review of the way-too-long Winter Olympics opening ceremony, who better to ask than a journalist of the Vancouver Sun? Canada is a great country. I’d be happy to live there. (Andf I’ve visited Vancouver.) But I agree with Mr Peter Martin in his comments about the ceremony. Some excerpt
After the drum and cheering lesson, Official Opening Ceremony Host and Hot Weather Girl Tamara Taggart asked us to welcome, as the evening’s first entertainment, The Irrepressible Jully Black, Canada’s Premier R&B singer! To which I wondered: Who!
Ms. Black came out on stage to a hard pop beat and proceeded to scream a song, the words of which immediately floated up into the cavernous roof of BC Place Stadium, where they were lost forever. Then Ms. Black shouted out "Peace!" two or three times into her mike, then held her mike out for the audience to shout "Peace!" back at her. A few people humoured her, and then the music stopped, and Ms. Black, mercifully, left the stage.
Then some other guys came out and sang. I didn’t catch their names
Neither did I, who cared?
Finally, the real show started …
Then came the Canadian flag and the national anthem sung by jazz prodigy Nikki Yanofsky … it was a disaster, the stately O Canada! mangled by the Warbling School of Pop Phrasing … the rendition robbed the ceremonies of what could have been one of its best moments.
The aboriginal part? Was it just me or did the giant translucent totems rising out of the floor look monumentally phallic? …
They did. Very.
But the people of the First Nations were dignified, spectacular in their costumes, and a fine part of the ceremony.
Then came the interminable march of the athletes-who knew there were so many letters in the alphabet?-which was marked by two remarkable moment the entrance of the tragedy-touched Georgian team, which caused everyone, even the press corps, to stand up and clap, which seemed odd and appropriate at the same time; and the entrance of the Canadian team, the appearance of which touched off a roar so loud the kids on the Canadian team seemed cowed by it. …
Perhaps if the athletes had walked, not ambled, and the gap between each been country less? It was a good move to have the athletes enter early, and to give them seats, so they could see the show.
The floor show? The aurora borealis draped from the ceiling was nice, and the giant sparkling polar bear rising above the ice drew oohs and aahs from everybody. The Emily Carr forest was imaginative and beautiful
but the music and dance that accompanied it meaningless and too long
but the guy in the floating canoe, aka The Fiddler Under The Roof? What was with the Batman hairdo? And billions around the world are now under the impression that Canada is populated by punk step dancers that are into multiple piercings
The loveliest and simplest moment in the show came with the lone kid floating above a canvas of golden grain fields to Joni Mitchell’s haunting rendition of Both Sides Now.
Just so, it was gloriously musical, and simple. Again, was the segment too long?
The "We Are More" speech about Canada and the outsized expression of nationalism it carried left me cold, because it was needless …
The speech of welcome was long winded. pompous, patronising and nationalistic, not what we seek for an Olympics.
The Olympic flag was carried in with dignity. But the opera singer’s rendering of the Olympic Hymn was so large lunged and operatic that the tune was formless and not one word was recogisable."
As for the lighting of the flame? … when that fourth stylized icicle
-so that’s they were-
failed to come up … was that the biggest snafu in Olympic history? The most embarrassing? Eight years to get things right and we get the Olympic Tripod?
Mr McMartin gives the ceremony a "not too shabby" B+.
My score is less generous
the indigenous people: A
relevance to Olympics ideal: C
demonstration of Canadian culture and value C
musically: A to F depending on the performer
as spectacle: A-
as non-boring television B.
Overall: C. Why bother? Just do the sports.