Tuesday, August 26, 2008

China did a nice job, but NBC didn't

There was no question that China went all out to provide a grand opening and closing to the 2008 Summer Olympics games at Beijing, providing a memorable experience for everyone.

For the U.S. television audience, though, China's efforts were actually somewhat muffled rather than enhanced.

I don't know who was the director of the opening ceremonies coverage for NBC, but I'll bet you one of two things ... it was the same director for the closing, or someone who went through the same robotic training program for television show directors.

One thing is clear. Either the director(s) were somewhat autistic, or the entire U.S. audience is autistic. Perhaps they wanted to make the U.S. viewers become autistic.

For those who may have recorded the ceremonies, replay them and take an objective look at them. Notice the constant fast-paced switching between cameras and angles, constantly switching before you could relax from one point of view. And each camera was never still (perhaps a couple of times in the entire presentation!). They were panning from side to side, dollying or zooming in and out, running/walking with someone or some group. Panning up. Panning down.

And the director was calling the shots on late cues, as if he/she had no idea what was coming next.

And the gawd-awful constant gabbing and yapping by the announcers giving some valuable background information and then repeating it in about 10 variances instead of allowing us to soak up the event for ourselves.

I hate being spoon-fed by so-called expert announcers. They have their own agenda. They should just shut up and let us make our own judgments of the events.

Perhaps, someday, our American television "experts" may finally learn a lesson from, say, British television. Where the announcers give you needed background short and sweet, and let you actually watch and hear the event unfolding before you. They have respect for what is happening and allow the viewer to enjoy it, and give it dignity.

American TV has no respect, correspondents love to hear themselves talk, and they couldn't dignify the most important event of any theme with their method of coverage.

It's just awful. And the Olympics openings/closings coverage looked like it was handle by a bunch of amateurs.

P.S. If you really want to see how British television and American television handle an important event so differently, get your hands on recordings of the Princess Diana funeral coverage from both NBC and the BBC. Then you'll know just how much dignity the BBC can give an event compared to our outrageous pompous bullshit.