"Their Finest Hour," a look at Britain's role in the war, aired on Saturday night at 8 PM, where sports usually would be seen. It was an hour-long love note to the host country of the 2012 games, used rarely-seen or recently uncovered archival footage, and was hosted by one of the most famous chroniclers of the period, Brokaw. It even got great reviews! Who could have a problem with that?
Lots of people, it would seem. Because the documentary took time away from actual events -- even tape-delayed ones -- Twitter turned into a seething cauldron of rage at Brokaw, Winston Churchill and the plucky Brits who stared down the Nazi menace all those years ago.
~ Huffington Post
Saturday’s primetime Olympics telecast was an interesting piece of work: It started on a surprising note with the Tom Brokaw-hosted WWII-themed short film Their Finest Hour. While fascinating, it probably went on too long (like, 30 or 40 minutes too long) for viewers who’d tuned in to see Usain Bolt anchor Jamaica’s 4 x 100m relay team to a new world record, or the U.S. women’s 4 x 400m relay team strike gold, or our Olympic Stud of the Day David Boudia become the first U.S. diver to win on the 10m platform since Greg Louganis in 1988.
~ Entertainment Weekly
Tom Brokaw reminds us of THE national narrative of Britain – bulwark of freedom against Hitler’s Nazi tide. I guess you could say that, then as now, the US was on a taped delay. It is a moving and stirring piece – an hour long, moving and stirring piece – touching on Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, and the 12 hour fire bombing of Coventry. As a history nerd and confirmed Anglophile I love it, but come on! Those batons aren’t going to relay themselves! Porny stills of Tom Daley aren’t going to screencap themselves! And Brokaw interviewing Coventry raid survivor, Mike Logan, who was left orphaned at age 7 when a bomb killed his parents? My heart! How do you make a tonal shift back to competition after THAT?
~ Houston Chronicle
Why is Tom Brokaw on the Olympics? What is this, history class?— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) August 12, 2012
— Stephanie (@AmmunitiaMonroe) August 12, 2012
@birbigs I thought there was a programming mix up.
Tom Brokaw is so glad WWII happened.— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) August 12, 2012
Tried to watch Olympics. Tom Brokaw talking about the Blitz for some reason. Turned off the not-Olympics.— Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) August 12, 2012
I guess if you happen to have Tom Brokaw lying around, it makes sense to add a 1 hour special on WWII to your Olympic coverage.— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) August 12, 2012
I thought the Olympics were starting but NOPE. Tom Brokaw is doing a segment about Hitler first.— sarah (@3x1minus1) August 12, 2012
Just so we're clear, Tom Brokaw just described London as "uniquely English."— paul montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) August 12, 2012
no, tom brokaw, i don't want to hear about england's history, i want to see feats of strength and human interest stories— Liz (@curiousliz) August 12, 2012
Tom Brokaw sounds like someone doing a Tom Brokaw impersonation.— Spencer Ryan Hall (@saltcityhoops) August 12, 2012
— robertjm (@robertjm) August 12, 2012
@acedtect LOL!! No doubt referring to Tom Brokaw's show on the Battle of Britain last night. Was actually a good show, just not at 8pm.