Olympic/Cabin Fever

I’m straying from my theme again, beware.

Ok, so I’ve been watching the Olympics. I have to say, I never really cared all that much (and in fact, when the opening ceremonies were on at the bar I said “it’s the Olympics right now? Where are they?).

But heres the thing; watching the Olympics is incredibly enlightening. Super star athletes, amazing uniforms, hilarious costumes, and one of my personal favorites: thematic newscaster sets. Like the cabin set for the dudes that do the evening show. Lets run down the list:

Speed skating outfits

Ok, this covers the first 2: Shawn Davis, superstar athlete, wins the speed skating somethingortheother. Good thing this business goes on during fashion week, because these uniforms are amazing. They’re like superhero costumes. Speed skating feels so much like horse racing, that it makes sense that the uniforms are super-graphic, built to be seen when moving by very quickly. Like Jockeys. My personal favorite is the one with the neon orange legs: as if seeing the torso is completely irrelevant, just fast moving bright orange towers of muscle.

figure skating

No one can watch the Olympics without wanting to redesign everything that goes on figure-skating-wise. Maybe its different when you’re in the room with these, but they should take some advice from the speed-skaters. Simplify, people.

Ok, so I can’t find photos of the set where they do the post-game interviews and commentary, but its a hilarious mantlepeice and fake fireplace with pseudo-modern olympic rings and commentators in armchairs.

Oh man I love this. I love this like I love the sets in big political events, and cooking shows. Since we all know it’s a set, they can get super abstract with these… but in this case they added hilarious touches of Fake Reality (see: vacuform granite fireplaces). You have to watch it to love it. Sorry kids.

But honestly, one of the most interesting parts about watching the Olympics is taking in the full scope of the thing. I mean, here I am watching American Super Star Athletes, which, of course is all about who is made a Super Star by commentators, the news, and miraculously, commercials which seem constantly up to date.

Before I go on: I am not bitching about the corporateness of the Olympics at the expense of the athletes competing: I have seen people do such amazing things and such beautiful things while watching, and it’s really inspiring.

Ok, so after Super Star Athletes, there’s the ongoing landscape of the commercials. I am constantly amazed by how few commercials advertise things anymore. Its insurance, various diets, some fast food… And one particularly memorable ad for Citgo, featuring a cheaper alternative to buying heat from the pipelines, with a number to call: 1800JOE4OIL. Yeah. Citgo, Venezuela, going off the grid in the recession, Joe. I cant find video of it anywhere, though.

So, theres that.

Also… against THAT landscape there’s the pre-apocalyptic fact that its too damn warm in Canada. Like, the snow is melting, then freezing in the shade, and its SUPER dangerous (the womens downhill last night was really harrowing), they are using tons of fake snow… AND NOT A SINGLE GODDAMN PERSON HAS USED THE PHRASE “GLOBAL WARMING” ON TELEVISION.

Its like watching a beautiful dance of death. These amazing performances against a pretty intensely decadent backdrop. Someone should stage a Masque of the Red Death at the Olympics.


About meredithries

Meredith is a set designer living in Brooklyn, NY. See her work at: www.meredithries.com This is a repurposed old blog. Because continuity is important. Malaprop is a malapropism
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One Response to Olympic/Cabin Fever

  1. Paul says:

    I used to wear some ridiculous costumes. But I always criticized their ridiculousness. And the sport’s. And, CTV carries 24 hour feed of every event and every competitor. NBC carries batshit.

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