The Opening Ceremony: Keep Calm, It's Not Live

The opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in London began with a televised ode to measurement. Per NBC, the British are known for coming up with the concept of time, speed, punctuality, distance and every other metric you fail at in life. Thanks for making the bricks and mortar of the world's terrible self-esteem, England. You're a peach.

Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt narrated shots of impossibly beautiful athletes moving in slow motion. The Tower of London was mentioned without mentioning how the place was basically one big jewelry storage/torture box for the monarchy, and then something something Michael Phelps flexing in a pool. Then XBox Bob Costas appeared. Bob Costas in HD resembles the fake newscaster in Tom Clancy-themed video games, but instead of telling you how Armenia has been taken over by terrorists and needs Biff Thunderhorse and his special SEAL team to kill everyone there, he introduced Tom Brokaw, who then got everyone good and terrified about terrorism. He then embraced a wild meme let loose from the internet.

And that is how NBC welcomed you to the games: chalk cliffs, terrorism scares and just way, way too many singing children. Then everyone started playing a live-action game of Civilization. It is, for lack of a better word, neat.