Started with a twee unspoiled rural England - couldn't help but think that it would have been better to just show the opening scenes of 'The Fellowship of the Ring' on a big screen. The Shire was just Tolkien's idealized rural England, anyway.
Then some guy in a 19th century frockcoat top hat recited lines from 'The Tempest' (Caliban's lines, I noticed), and the whole thing went south from there.
Primitive drums accompanied grimy, oppressed workers raising sooty smokestacks to the sky - again I thought of the movies that do this better. Disney's chimneysweeps in 'Mary Poppins' were more believable and would have been more fun to watch.
Some suffragettes suddenly popped up, everything was being supervised by black-suited, Sir Topham Hatts, something about WWI meandered through, followed by a bunch of guys in garish clown-costume uniforms.
Then it all ended in everyone wailing wordlessly while walloping their drums, and the Olympic logo has now appeared. I think that's it.
4:25PM - Awww, the dear Queen. What a shame the whole thing couldn't have been clean and classy like this segment. Who's this Mr. Bourne who's dragging her away from the Palace to drop her into the Olympic midden?
4:29 - Oh, sorry, I get it now. It's not Bourne, It's Bond...James Bond. Hmph
She looks suitably stern.
4:31 - Military bringing in the flag. Hope the sexually confused artistes in charge don't manage to screw this up.
4:33 - Ugh, another babyvoice choir, this time signing 'God Save The Queen'. Now more kiddies doing some Charleston dancing. The opening kids' choirs were fine (two hymns at the opening, which was nice), but enough with the juvenile antics. The Olympics aren't about 8-year olds. So far the only adult involvement in this farrago has been to soil England's pristine landscape with smoke-belching industrial monstrosities. Enough!
4:45 - So far, it's all been Kiddieland. Maybe the sports stuff will start soon.
4:46 - What the hell? "As a tribute to the British Film Industry"? I see an Oscars ceremony has just broken out in London. "Chariots of Fire" theme COULD have been a tribute to past British Olympians, but I guess that would have been too obvious and too old.
Ah, well, Mr. Bean's funny, at least that was 5 minutes I enjoyed.
4:57 - I'm lost. This is supposed to be "The Family"? Now we're into The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. This isn't ABOUT anything - it's just stream of consciousness flashbacks.
5:10 - Is that it? I missed the crowd of dancers tumbling through the pub doors and vomiting in the street. This is like 3 really bad Super Bowl halftime shows stitched together.
5:22 - Ugh. "Abide With Me" sung with some jangly interpretive dancers gyrating and gesticulating around in a orange glare. To commemorate the family and friends who can't be here - but nobody mention the murdered Israeli Olympians, no, no. To me it sounded like Britain itself, whimpering for painkillers as it sinks into the grave. I've never seen an Olympic opening as worthless as this.
Now the athletes are marching in. Finally, I think the "artistic" segment is over. Surely they can't mess this up. All that's left is the lighting of the torch.