The best Olympic program is the peacock’s chaos “Tonight Tokyo”

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See 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games It is a strange experience. It has been more than seven months in 2021, and seeing this sign feels like living in a time warp. Pandemic precautions mean that there are very few people in the stands, so every event looks like it happened after the end of the world. The time zone did not bring any benefit to the North American audience. Tokyo is 13 to 16 hours earlier than the United States, so watching any game in real time means staying up late or getting up early.

Then the problem is coming How to watch the game First of all. NBC likes to tout its streaming service as a “go to” to capture all the action, but the navigation app is so confusing that it has generated headlines such as “Why is it so difficult to watch the Olympics with NBC’s Peacock?” It also makes viewing any single event in its entirety a bit like a nightmare. However, Peacock does have a plan to bring all the oddities of the 2020 Olympics into one focal point: Tokyo tonight.

An unusually purple live broadcast at the NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, Tokyo tonight Obviously not in Tokyo. Due to the unavailability of live coverage, the hosts Kenny Mayne and Cari Champion were full of imbalances during their impressive long run from 7:30 pm to midnight EST All the jokes and quick collages, from BMX bikes and whitewater kayaking to skateboarding and table tennis. This is ideal for watching while scrolling TikTok-it’s a pleasure.

Champion is beautiful and witty, while Mayne exudes a loose baby boomer charm, and tends to approach his guests as if they are people he meets by chance, asking questions at will and providing strange anecdotes about his personal life . Crucially, both are unexpectedly interested in the anchor-so much so that it is often difficult to tell when they are joking. After Mayne began to ask the guests if they liked the Pearl Jam band, with almost no background, Champion took action by asking them their position on Beyoncé.

All this gives Tokyo tonight The charm of experimental public access is unprecedented in traditional Olympic reporting. Usually, Mayne and Champion appear on the screen without realizing that their microphones are hot. “Should I do something now?” Mayne asked the champion one night last week, deep into the stream. “I was eliminated.”

Even in the more refined part of the show, a kind of whimsy still exists. Mayne used a fragment to depict his sketch of a toddler pretending to be an excellent gymnast. During “Shredding the Gnar with Mike Parsons,” Mayne interviewed the veteran American surfer in a near-surrealist conversation. “How many times have you been there and there is a shark next to you?” Mayne asked Parsons. Parsons apparently had to estimate the number of sharks who shared an approximate position with him during his five-year surfing career. Bored. (He could not provide an estimate.) Mayne was not worried, and then told Parsons and the audience that the waters of the world belonged to sharks, not humans. “its Their Ocean,” he said.

Then he asked Parsons if he likes pearl jam.

Hardcore, must watch all Olympic fans may not like Tokyo tonight, Partly because of its hopscotch format, and partly because it doesn’t take itself seriously.But for those who like to see elite athletes shine on the global stage but feel a little uneasy about watching a game Really shouldn’t happen, And people who like to watch Olympic coverage while checking social media. It is the perfect sampler for the short highlights provided by the host. They seem determined to make the least boring highlights possible.

If NBC continues to control Olympic coverage of American audiences, it must make some changes to make people happy. It is also good to keep this kind of anarchistic fun.The ocean belongs to the shark, but my heart belongs to Tokyo tonight.


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