Only NBC could take the story of Rio De Janeiro, home of Carnaval and birthplace of samba and the bossa nova, and turn it into a K-Mart staff meeting. Last week’s opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games was basically a longer version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (without the thrill-a-minute action of watching a giant Elmo float down the street).
What the television coverage lacked in pacing it more than made up for in sheer, soul-deadening narration. In between their fascinating commentary on “Hamilton” (they liked it!), NBC co-hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira shared tidbits about athletes from each country with all the passion of a third-grade ballet recital. “Taavi Olson’s training table consists mostly of legumes … Birungi Nantaba is a five-time Olympian who’s aunt once dated two of the Bee Gees … Nataly Karimof was the first Uzbekistani woman to wear clogs to a wedding of cocker spaniels.”