Opening Ceremony 212
Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Summer Games of the 30th Olympiad, or, as we prefer to call it, London XXX, have descended upon the land of cricket and crumpets. And EW’s got every last day of Olympics action covered, starting with tonight’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony. Join Mandi Bierly, Jeff Labrecque, and me at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight as we live blog all the pomp and pageantry when 10,500 athletes from 204 countries–and one very special flame–make their way into London’s Olympic Stadium.

Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle, the Opening Ceremony’s artistic director, has told the AP that it’s impossible to “get bigger than Beijing,” so he’s opted to go in a totally different direction. Expect a $42-million tour through British history, literature, and culture called “Isles of Wonder,” complete with appearances from a monochromatically-dressed Queen Elizabeth II, Paul McCartney singing “Hey Jude,” Daniel Craig as James Bond, and maybe even a certain dark wizard Who Shall Not Be Named–if reports of a battle between a 40-foot Lord Voldemort and an army of Mary Poppins turn out to be true. (We dearly hope so). For his centerpiece, Boyle promises a life-size Cotswolds town, full of picnickers, cricket players, and a flock of 70 sheep, that may double as the Shire or the Teletubbies set. All of this spectacle proves that the Olympics aren’t just a glorified sporting competition–they’re a pop culture extravaganza.

So why not get your citius, altius, fortius on with our EW’s own Opening Ceremony viewing party? I, for one, am just dying to share my knowledge of Azerbaijani peasant costume during the Parade of Nations. However, as NBC’s primetime broadcast is tape-delayed we do ask that you avoid spoilers–such as the identity of the final torch-bearer in your comments. Hope to see you then!

Click Here to Access EW’s Live Blog

More Olympics mayhem on