It is 2020 and podcasts are the new wave. Get with it! The ease of preference, the ability to revisit your favorite episodes over and over again, the joy of hearing your favorite social media influencers go off on topics that you care about on levels mainstream media is simply too colloquially inclined to address? Podcasts are the new radio on long drives after a winded day, and honestly, if you have not caught on yet, it is about darn time you do.
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I was privileged recently to listen in on the very first episode of Check Your DM! a new podcast focusing on the complexities of online dating and sexual culture in the age of social media.
Hosted by two of my favorite people: Antony Can-Tamakloe, everyone’s favorite writer/activist/twitter comedian/first-class student (because he won’t shut up about this) and the ever enigmatic Helen Appiah-Ampofo (best known for periodically breaking the internet with her INTERESTING meal combos when not being a leader in changing the aforementioned colloquial leanings of mainstream media).
Stream Check Your DM: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1343371/5489410
I must say, it delivered for the most part on the mood I anticipated going in. Listening to Check Your DM! felt like the dying embers of a night out with friends at a beach a ways off from Accra.
It felt like friends gathered around a campfire, beers to lips, laughter, and all-round good vibes.
However, although this was its winning quality, it was to a teeny-weeny extent its flaw as well. Let us get into it.
The first thing that stood out for me, because it literally stood out, was the quality of production.
Trust me people, and this is coming from someone who recently attempted a venture into podcasting, production is the most significant and most difficult aspect when it comes to creating AUDIBLE content.
Forget the humor, forget the charisma of your hosts, and forget substance. Everything is meaningless if your podcast has people bleeding from their eardrums.
Check Your DM! gets this right! The entire episode runs in a smooth fashion.
The soothing background music (Ayisi’s vocals though! Wow!) stays in the background, there are little pauses that feel like paragraphs in of themselves before any segment of the episode, which makes it easy to follow, and the most entertaining aspect – the stories each member of the panel shares is brought to life by animated soundbites.
STREAM CYDM ON AFTOWN: https://efie.co/9zbOz
I found the story segment especially entertaining because of the soundbites. It is literally a two for one deal where you get a narrative/anthology podcast and a social commentary podcast in the same transaction. I mean, who doesn’t like a good bargain!
This should all make for a perfect podcast really – the level of thought and quality that goes into production should give Check Your DM! an excellent grade in anyone’s books – BUT the episode, unfortunately, falters on a few speed rumps as let’s be honest, any new podcast is bound to face.
Here, it is the problem with too much enjoyment.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the best aspects of the episode was the fact that its participants: Antony Can-Tamakloe and Helen Appiah-Ampofo as hosts and A.I as a special guest, actually had fun with it.
They create a no-holds-barred, anything-goes environment from the very start and maintain that tone until the end of the episode.
This makes it a wild, fun ride, yes, but there is also the problem with too much enjoyment.
Some conversational topics got lost in the shuffle of excited voices; there was some struggle getting the more reserved A.I’s energy at par with the hosts (shout-out to all my cancer peeps!); and at a run time of a little over an hour, the episode felt a teeny-bit too lengthy.
These “negatives” are easily passable though when you realize this IS the very first episode and moving forward, the hosts are going to find a proper balance between all-around enjoyment and time/content management.
Speaking of content, the tit-bits on surviving social dating were fantastic. Outside of the fun-aspect of any podcast, I think it serves an audience more, who leave an episode having learned something new or been engaged mentally on something they had not given much thought to before, and I believe with time, Check Your DM! will nail this part even more.
I loved it.
That is it. This is my spoiler-free review of Check Your DM! It is an EXTREMELY entertaining, judgment-free, chaotic fun ride that shows room for a marked improvement over time, that you, my friend, should TOTALLY check out for some good vibes and learning.
Check Your DM! is available to listen to every Friday on all streaming services.
Review by Alvin Akuamoah