Like so many things in life, the Olympics this year have not met up to my expectations. Oh, I’m not talking about the games themselves. They’re getting along just fine. No, I mean my own personal expectations of the experience.
What I had in my head: me sitting in a room twenty hours a day, encased in a large comfy chair with endless snacks and drinks at hand, all in front of eight large screens simultaneously broadcasting different events in real time.
The reality: stuck at work for twenty hours a day trying to meet an upcoming deadline, catching tape-delayed snippets of events and constantly (and distractedly) remarking, “Wait, what just happened?” After which I back the DVR up ten seconds and try to piece together some thrill of victory or agony of defeat.
And speaking of the DVR, there’s definitely not enough space on it to record everything. And even if there was, I would likely finish watching the last recording just in time to record the opening ceremonies in Tokyo in 2020.
And speaking of Opening Ceremonies, while I do both enjoy and appreciate living in the United States, we’re also cursed with NBC as our primary source for viewing. Let me tell you, if you’re ever playing Trivial Pursuit and the question “What does NBC stand for?” comes up, the correct answer is Nothing But Commercials.
As expected, I didn’t get to see the Opening Ceremonies as they were being broadcast (on top of the tape delay itself) but instead started watching them on Saturday. I encased myself in a large comfy chair, got a small snack and a drink and happily exclaimed, “Ahhh! Here we go!”
The stadium grew dark, the buzz intensified as the crowd prepared to be wowed by the quadrennial spectacle that makes the Superbowl Halftime Show look like one of the plays The Little Rascals used to stage. The music began to build and the countdown began: “Dez, Nove, Oito, Sete, . . .” when suddenly Matt Lauer breaks in with, “That’s enough of that. We’ll be right back after this ten minute commercial break.”
As I continued to watch the ceremony, my irritation level with the commercial interruptions grew. Hey NBC, here’s an idea. If you’re so worried about declining viewership, maybe don’t give people a reason to walk away every five minutes.
I mean, sure, I get it. They paid eighty octillion dollars for the broadcast rights through the year 2872 and need to make some of that back somehow. But just how much will an advertiser pay when viewership finally falls to twelve bitter people?
But I digress.
The games themselves are going well, at least what I’ve seen. I’ve managed to squeeze in a little viewing time each day. Most of my favorite events haven’t even started yet, like track & field. Unlike the vast majority of people, gymnastics isn’t one of my favorites. That’s not to say I dislike it. I just like other things more.
And how about that medal count! Here are the standings as of today:
|The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell||7||2||0||9|
|Timeless, starring Goran Višnjić||6||0||2||8|
|This Is Us, starring everybody||4||3||1||8|
|Better Late Than Never, starring Grumpy Old Men||3||2||2||7|
Whelp, gotta run. Time to get back to work. And if that ever lets up, I might just watch more of our Opening Ceremonies recording. I’m on schedule to be done with it on July 23, 2020.