The Olympic Games express the highest ideals of humanity.. in theory.
In practice, the media’s Olympics coverage cliches are back. Sure, you’ve got your classic TV montages highlighting the inspiring backstory of one athlete at the expense of covering dozens of others. But don’t forget about all the other filler that replaces, you know, actual sports coverage: Bob Costas imprisoned nightly in the international broadcast detention center! Mary Carillo, the wacky tourist in an unfamiliar land! Ryan Seacrest talking about Olympics Twitter trends, because the only thing more fun than watching TV is...reading TV! Meanwhile, other networks (or *ahem* websites) pick at NBC’s crumbs to spin non-stories into titillating gems about how various male athletes are hot and various female athletes are imperfect.
Beneath all this nonsense, of course, are the truly amazing moments making up the Olympics spectacle: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, packaged as an intense and bombastic superstar by the press, giving a fist-bump to his surprised and ecstatic lane attendant before the 200m finals; or Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, betrayed again by his cursed Achilles, bravely hopping down the track to kiss the last hurdle he’ll never have the chance to leap in competition. Such beautiful vignettes are what makes watching the Olympics so worthwhile.
And since everyone’s tuning in, what better time to discuss Ryan Lochte’s 12-pack abs, Aly Raisman’s spazzy parents and Serena Williams’s alarming dance moves? By the way, Fallon’s up next and hey, Matthew Perry has a new show this fall! Don’t forget!
Seeya in Rio!