The Toy Department – Episode 89

In Episode 89, Matt Kolsky and Derek Madden have switched roles to some degree, as Kolsky records the audio from his home studio while Madden motors around the midwest in his new Lexus, but otherwise things are pretty standard as they discuss:

  • The US Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying process (3:05), specifically their game against Panama and what the talented, young roster means for the future…
  • The now seemingly inevitable intersection of sports and politics (18:25) and the specifics of the Jemele Hill suspension from ESPN and the current administration’s behavior towards the NFL and its players…
  • Two Netflix cartoons: Bojack Horseman (33:15) and Big Mouth (37:50), and the guys’ (but especially Kolsky’s) differing reactions to them…
  • A brief detour into James Harden’s appearance on NBC’s The Voice (44:40)… NOTE: The guy says he just looks like James Harden but he is pretty clearly actually just James Harden.
  • Two new albums: Alvvays’ Antisocialites (47:40) and Death From Above’s Outrage! is Now (51:15), both of which get pretty positive receptions…
  • Homework for next week (57:10) including: a new album from St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark) called MASSEDUCTION, the new Showtime show White Famous and of course the ongoing action in the sports world with NFL, MLB playoffs and the looming start of the NBA season…

By the way, if you like this podcast, TELL A FRIEND!! And if you want to subscribe via iTunes/Stitcher/Google Play/etc. you can just click on the link below the player (and don’t forget to leave us a review!!)… And if you want to contact the Toy Department, it’s easy — find us at ToyDepartmentPod (at) gmail.com… or tweet us: @MaddenOnAir & @thekolsky.

The Toy Department – Episode 72

In Episode 72, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky make you wait for the exciting guest segment but promise you’ll enjoy every delightful bit of the pod as they discuss:

  • Kolsky’s new smoothie habit (0:40)…
  • Last week’s homework, the Amazon original show I Love Dick (4:20)…
  • A check in on HBO’s The Leftovers (11:20) as we head towards the series finale this coming weekend…
  • The new Hasan Minhaj standup special (23:10) on Netflix and how it may be more one-man-show than standup comedy…
  • A deep NBA Finals breakdown and delightful conversation with ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth (28:25)…
  • Homework for next week (1:11:15): the new comic book extravaganza Wonder Woman [and potentially Logan to get Derek ready] and the Netflix-first Brad Pitt film War Machine…

By the way, if you like this podcast, TELL A FRIEND!! And if you want to subscribe via iTunes you can just click on the link below the player (and don’t forget to leave us a review!!)… Some other links down there as well… And if you want to contact the Toy Department, it’s easy — find us at ToyDepartmentPod (at) gmail.com… or tweet us: @MaddenOnAir & @thekolsky.

The Toy Department – Episode 69

In Episode 69, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky enjoy the distinct pleasure of welcoming sports reporter and personality Kerith Burke (https://twitter.com/KerithBurke) to the podcast, discuss:

  • Kolsky’s night at a Flaming Lips concert…
  • Kerith’s career and an article she wrote about it on Medium (https://medium.com/@kerith_burke/the-espn-cuts-and-the-despair-of-a-changing-landscape-cad1a1fde8db) as well as her shared love of HBO’s The Leftovers and other assorted delights…
  • Another excellent episode of FX’s Fargo and why the haters are so off-base…
  • The new film Lost City of Z, where it missed its mark, and what other movies the guys intend to get to in the next couple of weeks…

By the way, if you like this podcast, TELL A FRIEND!! And if you want to subscribe via iTunes you can just click on the link below the player (and don’t forget to leave us a review!!)… Some other links down there as well… And if you want to contact the Toy Department, it’s easy — find us at ToyDepartmentPod (at) gmail.com… or tweet us: @MaddenOnAir & @thekolsky.

The Toy Department – Episode 67

In Episode 67, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky waste no time in getting into:

  • Kolsky’s experience at the Chance the Rapper show the previous night (0:40), what Madden is looking for in a live show and how they handle a performer’s differing religious views…
  • A preliminary discussion of the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why (9:40), particularly regarding the premise and some of the problems therein…
  • Some discussion of the ongoing NBA Playoffs (25:45), including Russell Westbrook’s divisive play and the wide open nature of the Eastern Conference…
  • ESPN’s wide-ranging layoffs (41:40) and what it says about their business model and the changing landscape of sports media…
  • Netflix’s new film Win It All (56:00), a Joe Swanberg/Jake Johnson collaboration…
  • A live-action version of the new Facebook phenomenon “10 concerts, 1 lie” (1:07:50) only they stick with just 5 concerts…
  • Somewhere in there is homework: watch the rest of 13 Reasons Why and catch up on Silicon Valley and Better Call Saul!

By the way, if you like this podcast, TELL A FRIEND!! And if you want to subscribe via iTunes you can just click on the link below the player (and don’t forget to leave us a review!!)… Some other links down there as well… And if you want to contact the Toy Department, it’s easy — find us at ToyDepartmentPod (at) gmail.com… or tweet us: @MaddenOnAir & @thekolsky.

The Toy Department – Episode 54

In Episode 54, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky return after a week off due to Kolsky’s infirmity to discuss MANY pressing issues, including:

  • Brent Musburger’s sudden retirement announcement (1:45) and his legacy as one of our greatest sports broadcasters…
  • Matt Ryan’s place in the NFL’s quarterback pantheon (8:10) and his MVP candidacy, as we head towards next weekend’s Super Bowl 51…
  • A favorite show of the show, The Good Place (17:35), and how it flipped its own narrative on its head in the season finalé… SPOILER ALERT: This conversation will spoil said finalé, so if you want to skip it, the short version is – Madden and Kolsky both liked it!!
  • HBO’s new series The Young Pope (24:10) and whether the visual spectacle of its first few episodes makes it worth sticking with as it finds its footing from a narrative perspective…
  • 2016 in Movies (33:50), viewed through the perspective of Tuesday’s Oscar nominations… Including thoughts on La La Land, Deadpool, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Lion and Fences, among others…
  • Some homework for next week (59:15): trying to get Derek to watch La La Land and/or Lion and/or Hell or High Water… and an episode of Blackish (specifically – Season 3, Episode 12, entitled Lemons)…

By the way, if you like this podcast, TELL A FRIEND!! And if you want to subscribe via iTunes you can just click on the link below the player… Some other links down there as well… And if you want to contact the Toy Department, it’s easy — find us at ToyDepartmentPod (at) gmail.com… or tweet us: @MaddenOnAir & @thekolsky.

The Toy Department – Episode 53

In Episode 53, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky fail to apologize for Kolsky’s degraded audio quality OR the day-late nature of this episode, so please accept this as an apology (sorry, y’all) as you listen to their discussions about:

  • Last week’s homework assignment: Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter (2:00)… The guys discuss how it stands out from other SportsCenter programming and whether it represents a new avenue for that brand moving forward…
  • College football’s National Championship game (11:30), but less about the game and more about Kolsky’s continuing distaste for NCAA pigskin in general… and the differences between college and professional football…
  • The NFL playoffs (25:30) specifically the games of Divisional weekend and how they project to be significantly more entertaining that last weekend’s Wild Card action…
  • Coachella!! (35:50) The lineup was announced (and it’s great) but the guys also discuss the controversy over the political contributions of AEG, the festival’s parent company…
  • The (relatively) new Netflix show Easy (54:25) – a show that both Madden and Kolsky enjoy, directed by Chicagoland native and Kolsky kindred spirit Joe Swanberg…
  • Some homework (1:01:15) for next week: including, but not limited to, watching some Oscar contender films, the Kids In The Hall classic movie Brain Candy, and the new FX show Taboo…

By the way, if you like this podcast, TELL A FRIEND!! And if you want to subscribe via iTunes you can just click on the link below the player… Some other links down there as well… And if you want to contact the Toy Department, it’s easy — find us at ToyDepartmentPod (at) gmail.com… or tweet us: @MaddenOnAir & @thekolsky.

The Toy Department – Episode 23

In Episode 23, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky open up with some follow-up on last week’s homework – Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book album. Then they discuss:

  • The serious business of this week’s Game of Thrones episode (10:15)
  • Michael Wilbon’s screed against analytics on ESPN’s “The Undefeated” website, and the cranky old man viewpoint he represents (31:25), which naturally leads down a road of discussing other outmoded viewpoints
  • Bryan Curtis’ media issues podcast for the Ringer and the interesting style he uses for his storytelling (55:40) and also the specific content of this week’s episode, about the evolution (or perhaps the death?) of the sports highlight

Oh, and if you want to subscribe via iTunes you can just click on the link below the player… Some other links down there as well… And if you want to contact the Toy Department, it’s easy — find us at ToyDepartmentPod (at) gmail.com.