Saturday, February 11, 2006

"And if they play 'Bette Davis Eyes' by the immortal Kim Carnes, my night will be complete."

The Olympics, it would seem, are the one place where it's TOTALLY COOL to be blatantly nationalistic still. I mean, sure, the U.S. has an image problem in the rest of the world right now, but we TOTALLY ROCK AT SKELETON!!!!!

Anyway. . .NBC's coverage of the Opening Ceremonies was just bizarre (I didn't watch it en totale, since some friends and I were flipping between the Arrested Development finale and this). First of all, NBC has TERRIBLE sports directors. Their camera angles are too often claustrophobic, and they can never quite pick out the most interesting shots. Even from a pre-taped piece they can edit down!

It's really a shame ABC is essentially abandoning the sports world, as it has by far the best sports direction out there.

That said, I usually like Bob Costas and the NBC Olympic team, but he was really off his game tonight. EVERY fact about a country other than the U.S. was some subtly negative thing. It's not a HUGE deal, but it was terribly amusing when ol' Bob was always careful to bring up the worst possible thing in a nation's history (except, curiously, for Germany). He also issued the joyously goofy non sequitur above (all right, it wasn't REALLY a non sequitur as the choice of disco music to have the athletes walk in to was not a popular one with the broadcasters, though it gave the whole thing a sort of kitschy appeal to my mind). I almost expected him to say, "Yes, this is a strong U.S. Olympic squad, but did you know the United States was built on the back of slave labor?"

In addition, NBC chose to air roughly an hour of skiers doing practice runs. I have no idea why they did this. Why not do a Turin travelogue or something?

But I love the Olympics, so I'm sure I'll be checking in, if only for the curiously appealing Sasha Cohen, who has made it okay to like figure skating again.

But, honestly, TREE MEN? Get your act together, Italy!

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