By Robert Wheatley
Each month, Trident Media will be highlighting one of its many Radio shows, Print segments and TV productions to give our readers some insight into the diverse content we’ve got available.
Sometimes when you’re studying, on the commute to work, or in the midst of chores, you want some background ambience, and music just isn’t cutting it. Say hello to the world of podcasts: a supremely diverse audio-based entertainment that can be anything from educational shows, like TED Talks Daily, to comedic advice broadcasts like MBMBaM.
Some podcasts, however, like to provide an assortment of content, and one of these is Trident Media’s very own Matt Dowse Live!; a show covering entertainment news, movie and game reviews, and a little bit of musical analysis now and then — something I was proud to join him live to do!
Matt’s show is on for two hours, but as I sat listening to him in Trident Media’s Radio studio I felt time pass very quickly. There’s something very professional about his ability to instantly jump back into the podcast after breaks; his years of experience hosting radio shows clearly evident. Everyone has a radio voice, but Matt’s is still akin to a typical conversation with him: controlled and without hesitation as he confidently talks to his audience. So, Matt Dowse Live! begins…
A little introduction of the podcast sets the tone, this edition including a review of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, SteamWorld Dig 2, and a little bit of information about upcoming games and movie releases. Initially, Matt starts with the entertainment news, covering new releases on different consoles like Forza 7, and the sudden onslaught of new LEGO content like the re-release of LEGO City Undercover, and the LEGO Ninjago Movie. He’s really keen, as many are, for Blade Runner 2049, and he appreciates how they chose to own the massive time separation between each movie to drive the narrative of change in the plot.
He draws attention to Paris Games Week, and the updated PlayStation VR Headset, the host claiming virtual reality gaming to be one of his new obsessions, but he draws upon fears for the inexperienced, older generation of parents shopping for their kids thinking it’s a gaming console in itself. On the subject of different eras, Matt recalls the overwhelmingly positive reviews of Cuphead: a ‘run and gun’ platforming game designed to look like takes place in an old-age cartoon. He praises the wonderful hand-drawn graphics and its success as an indie game, and he reads off some reviews from online to give his viewers some insight into its aggregated 8.5/10 rating.
On a break, Matt turns to me and explains that only a couple of his reviews are scripted, and the rest improvised, and I don’t really appreciate this until he’s reviewing the Kingsman sequel. Matt absolutely loves the original Kingsman: The Secret Service, because it knew what it wanted to be: a flick that revolutionised the spy genre. The sequel, the host says, forgets its past, and while it’s chock full of what makes an excellent action movie it falls behind on the originality the first film offered; a development of a young person in a struggling estate to a world-class secret agent.
Matt holds that his reviews work a little better when they’re improvised, and I can’t disagree: he maintains a solid flow that works to give an honest, real account of the title, almost like he’d just walked out of the cinema.
But then, suddenly, I’m in the show. I’ve never done radio before, so I’m admittedly nervous, but Matt welcomes me after the musical break to discuss Fall Out Boy’s new sound, where I admit I long for the fusion of electronic/rock I feel the Save Rock and Roll has an exemplary example of. I appreciate that I’m given enough air-time to offer my opinion, with Matt welcoming my addition to the show, and even picking up from where I’m losing track.
The Open Letter is next, with Matt directing this episode’s edition to legal drama TV series Suits. The host clearly knows the TV show’s dynamic, his improvised commentary drawing upon its lacklustre story arc that already made itself known in the earlier part of the season, removing some of the tension the show previously offered. It’s a nice little summary of the show, but it’s a segment that’s a hit or miss depending on whether you know of the subject matter.
Some movie news arrives shortly after, and Matt discusses upcoming releases like the Men in Black spin-off that won’t feature Will Smith (why?!); the release of James Franco’s biographical comedy-drama about eccentric film-maker Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist; as well as his amusement at the Queen disallowing Star Wars to be filmed on her land. These are quick summaries of movie news, but it’s enough to spark your own interest into further research.
As the show draws to a close, Matt finishes the episode with a reading of his SteamWorld Dig 2 review written for Trident Media, but discloses that it’s not really a review; more so a love letter. After playing SteamWorld Heist on his PS Vita he became hooked on the series, and the sequel was a welcome addition to it. Matt praises its wonderful 2D visuals, the purposeful level design and open-world features, and while he knows each game can be critiqued he honestly struggles to come up with any faults.
Matt Dowse Live! is a welcome addition to Trident Media’s Radio, because it’s a show that provides something unique: quick snippets of entertainment news, stream-of-consciousness reviews and a little bit of music analysis now and then. If you like to keep up to date with new movie releases and game titles, but don’t want something playing in the background that’ll require all your focus, give Matt Dowse Live! a shot.
Found a podcast, show or writer you really like? Tweet us @TridentMediaUK with your favourites, and we just might give them a review!