Expect the unexpected at the opening
I was put off by the militaristic strain in
Beijing’s opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympics,
complete with goose-stepping soldiers. But it
didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for Olympics opening
ceremonies in general. I love the parade of
nations, the torch ceremony and the sense of
epic dramas waiting to unfold.
Indeed, the whole two-week package for the London
Olympics promises drama galore for U.S. fans.
Will Ryan Lochte edge out Michael Phelps in
the pool? Will the women’s soccer team bounce
back from their embarrassing loss in the 2011
World Cup? Will hurdler Lolo Jones erase the
memory of her fateful stumble in Beijing? Will
beach volleyball duo Misty May-Treanor and Kerri
Walsh hold off their younger rivals? Will Venus
and Serena Williams be utterly awesome on the
tennis court, even in their 30s?
OK, there’s not much drama in that last question
— the answer is “duh.”
But expect plenty of surprises in the opening
ceremony (Friday, 6:30 p.m., NBC), which includes
Paul McCartney, James Bond and several unknown
elements. I’m slightly alarmed that Danny Boyle,
known for such creepy movies as “Trainspotting”
and “28 Days Later,” will direct the production.
Will Boyle fill the Olympic stadium with his
trademark junkies and zombies? I might even
prefer goose-stepping soldiers to that.
‘The Great Escape’
Sunday, 9 p.m. (TNT)
In this headache-inducing reality competition,
three pairs of players are locked in confinement.
As deafening percussion fills the soundtrack,
the players must search for maps and keys, avoid
security guards, crack codes and make their
way through obstacles. The first pair to break
out wins $100,000.
I say “The Great Escape” is “headache-inducing”
because it’s relentlessly tense. If I were a
contestant, I’d be less interested in escaping
than in finding the source of that deafening
percussion and destroying it. CV