I watched from the beginning up until the athletes started coming in (I had to be up early today).
I thought the strongest part of the opening was from the very beginning up until the forging of the rings at the end of the Industrial Revolution segment. Most everything afterward was terrible.
-I don't know how they got the Queen to agree to that bit of nonsense.
-The Rowan Atkinson bit was drawn out and not all that funny.
-The national healthcare / children's literature segment was really bizarre. I thought celebrating the rise of the nanny state a bit controversial.
-I thought the Benny and June portion featuring the two young actors did a good job of unintentionally capturing the self-absorbtion and general shallowness of the modern era. It was about "hey, look at me" and the pursuit of leisure and entertainment. Contrast the fivolity of Benny and June with the seriousness and hard work displayed in the pastoral and Industrial Revolution scenes.
-This opening ceremony was anything but timeless. People looking back on it even 10 years from now will think it very dated (particularly the celebration of social networking). It reflects a certain style and world view that is present now.