Kermode and Mayo’s Take. First Impressions.

Let’s finish off our impromptu trilogy covering the initial iteration of the Kermode and Mayo show and its continuation. This was in the form of the self-proclaimed “new home of Kermode and Mayo” in Kermode and Mayo’s Take. This listener was not entirely sure what his expectations were. going in as he pressed play on the first episode released last Friday. Bear in mind that he had not listened to a full Kermode and Mayo show since around 2014. The reasons why are covered extensively in the previous two parts of this trilogy. Having now heard both podcasts that make up the first week of releases will he be jumping back on board?
Mostly. On the surface, Kermode and Mayo’s Take is simply an extension of the presenter’s BBC output. Light banter, hyper-specific pop culture references, listener correspondence and the flappy handed reviews that fans of the good doctor and his trusty sidekick have come to know and love for the past 21 years. That said there are a few differences if you go looking for them. First, there’s the obvious. In the free tier, the podcast is now ad-supported. The upshot of this is our dynamic duo feeling decidedly out of their depth doing an ad read for Nord VPN. This is one of the companies that seem to have the ability to sponsor pretty much anything.) These types of scenarios work for any number of younger generation YouTubers who can deliver them in a neutral voice that at least sounds like they have some idea of what they’re talking about. Kermode and Mayo, however, treat the whole thing like your dad who is decidedly out of touch with technology has been to read a statement under duress This listener is fully expecting further “what even is this” style audio advertising for Raid: Shadow Legends and or Curiosity Stream in future episodes. In the free tier, adverts will be a factor within the show going forward. The other main takeaway from the episodes released thus far is the clear attempt to try several new segments and recurring features to fill the running time. There was a reason the original Kermode and Mayo show got stale in its complete form. The programme wasn’t built with an extended running time in mind. Thus the reoccurrence of majorly self-indulgent inside jokes and weird deep lore became far too prevalent. Here there is a clear attempt from Sony and the production team to build the main show with the two hours running time in mind. In terms of the first episode, this is most effective. Gone are long lists referencing the host’s many celebrity friends and fans or listeners boring us with their extensive list of qualifications. In come segments promoting the latest independent film festivals, the presenters responding to spoilerific emails regarding Matt Reaves The Batman and a chance to look back at the previous work from the director behind one of the week’s new releases. Some of these are locked behind a £3.49 per month subscriber paywall. This grants access to a second show along with potential future perks. Having listened to both shows that make up the first week of releases there is nothing essential in the subscriber-exclusive podcast. The opportunity to fire some additional and listener selected questions at guest Tom Hiddleston is it good lesson. As of yet the subscription model does not have a killer perk beyond being more of the same. Considering most free listeners have the option for a month’s free trial there’s no harm in jumping on and seeing if the extra material is worth it for you. As with any paid/ subscription tier, the question of value will appear differently to each person and how much they want to support their favourite creators. It is at least massively appreciated that the producers behind the new show are making a concerted attempt to expand the scale and content covered within the show. If they can pull this off effectively with a strong list of reoccurring segments over time the new iteration of Kermode and Mayo could be something truly special.
The review segments have also been posted to a new YouTube channel. These are now filmed at 1080p on the new podcasts specifically built set. This is something of a deserved upgrade considering the dynamic duo were previously short in a nondescript radio studio in standard definition. This is inexcusable when posting to YouTube throughout the latter half of the 2010s If not before.
On the surface, Kermode and Mayo’s take is a simple extension of what came before. Except even within the first show there are clear attempts at expanding the show’s breadth in a way that enables it to be the best version of itself it can be. Whether this will pay off in the long term remains to be seen. the adverts feel like a concession so that the show can be taken outside the waters of the BBC. Thankfully this is mostly the same show audiences have come to know and love for the past 21 years. Who knows how this era of the show will play out. It’s certainly off to a promising start.

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