The Telegraph reported:
Not having watched it, the only sense of it I could get was from comments around the world:
# The end was good, I love the parade of Olympians everytime, but the show was mostly cluttered and trashy. I taped it but won’t watch it again like I did the opening in Beijing.
# I really looked forward to this ceremony for this is so much color in the story of England. But this was, I think, rather boring — a too-long epic that preached at times, as in the paean to the National Health Act, and commentary on various political moments, rather than the grand and colorful spectrum of the history of the English People. Very disappointing — to this Anglophile, anyway….
# Only the British could make a great deal out of the NHS, I just could not believe it. Was it bad enough to be good? Mr Bean was funny and seeing Her Majesty jump out of a helicopter was great, then seeing her picking at her fingernails looking ever so slightly bored with the whole matter was also – how can you say – Benny Hillish?
France did not comment much, except to describe what actually happened. Did find this though:
# Obviously, the British public is not insensitive to this fun staging ….
Canada’s left-wing paper the Globe and Mail:
# Classic British eccentricity – quirky, odd, slightly uncomfortable, self-deprecating, political, always amusing – was on full glorious, dazzling display at the London Olympic opening ceremony Friday night.
South Africa also didn’t have many commenters but this was the most coherent:
# On Copacabana beach, nervous Brazilians watched the show they would have to live up to: laughing at Bond, commenting that the Queen looked grumpy, but generally impressed by the spectacle. “I hope Rio can match this,” said one. “Perhaps we will be embarrassed after this,” added another.
Back home, there is a “diversity” of views:
# What started out promising ended up falling flat on our merry ol’ face….A great country with thousands of years of history and we spent an hour on national healthcare and two teens meeting over a cell phone…I guess not having any Olympic heroes left no option but using kids as hope for the future to light the cauldron…I join Her Majesty in finding more entertainment by filing my nails.
# Knew it. I just knew it. I knew Great Britain would create the most amazing spectacle full of history, honour and humour. That show was absolutely BRILLIANT. Now all you whingers – can you just shut up for the next two weeks and try to be positive?
# Politically correct and brimming with socio-political messages stuffed “down ya thrort mate” at every opportunity marred so many good ideas. Perhaps it was a question of balance which I and others here may have missed. Was genuinely taken aback by the large proportion of non-native population performing (with BBC TV camera work highlighting the point at every available opportunity- or so it may have seemed). Britain’s future yawned before me. Am I wrong? Cultural self-destruction prepared by generations of idealistic fools is no longer impossible.
# Can barely find the words; but crass; cringe-making and enbarassing are on the list Could only be bettered by a 2 year old with a sparkler surrounded by a bunch of inebriated and fawning uncles and aunts. All we really needed was to have Bond forcing Cameron; Osbourne and Seb to jump sans parachute; in front of a smouldering audience of flag waving bovines.
# It was shallow, two dimensional and ghastly – exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Corporate world, who impose their childish way of looking at things upon all who seek to do business with them.
# It was the PC dream – black people dancing round the maypole, black people dressed up in Victorian clothing – white people pretending to be black people coming off the windrush ship. A grossly distorted and utterly inaccurate rendering of British history – the perfect PC event.
# Bursting with pride noW! what a brilliant mix of who we are, what we can do and how we fit in the world. Was in an airport lounge in Toronto, Canada, whe the Queen and the Bond skit broke out and the whole place erupted in laughter and cheers.
# The show had flashes of brilliance, the rest was a loose cannon that never found its destination. Wasn’t expecting much from a guy who is a complete train wreck in creating a good narrative.
The feeling I’m getting is that the more leftwing/PCist/Feminist/PoMoist/Statist the paper – and therefore its readers – the more supportive the comments. The more conservative, libertarian or government and PC world-sceptical – the more it was critical. I very much fear that that is what we’ve been reduced to. Far from modern PCism ironing out our differences, it’s reinforced old ones and created new ones.
Not to worry – there’s always the road race today.