The Toy Department – Episode 90

In Episode 90, Matt Kolsky and Derek Madden bravely fight through a Skype failure at Madden’s Minneapolis studios to break down:

  • Kolsky’s disappointment with the critically-acclaimed Blade Runner 2049 (2:00) and the state of film criticism…
  • Madden’s experience at the Imagine Dragons show (11:40) and the merits — or lack thereof — of backloading your concert set list…
  • The season premiere of Mr. Robot (17:10) and the split feelings of the hosts…
  • HBO’s The Deuce (22:40) and why you should stick with it, even if the lack of major plot developments have you concerned…
  • Showtime’s new comedy White Famous (31:20) and where its first two episodes fail and succeed…
  • The new St. Vincent album MASSEDUCTION (40:35) and all the things that make Annie Clark a star…
  • The start of the NBA season (45:25) and how it’s going to be a great one despite the championship being somewhat of a foregone conclusion…
  • Homework for next week (1:14:10) including: Beck’s new album Colors, the new Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs film Battle of the Sexes, and new Netflix series Mindhunters and American Vandal…

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 76

In Episode 76, Derek Madden finds Matt Kolsky on vacation in sunny Portland, Oregon to chat about:

  • A check-in with the NBA’s insane free agency season (2:35) with special focus on the now-even-more-loaded Western Conference…
  • The romantic comedy film The Big Sick (29:35), its writer and star Kumail Nanjiani and some of the other excellent acting performances…
  • The action/crime adventure Baby Driver (41:25) and how well director Edgar Wright executed his unique and engaging vision…
  • Jay-Z’s new record 4:44 (53:20), how he fits into the hip hop landscape and what it reflects about his actual relationship with Beyoncé…
  • The 1973 album Betty Davis by Betty Davis (1:09:35), a powerhouse of funk that neither Madden nor Kolsky had heard of two weeks ago…
  • Some homework for next week (1:14:05): the FX show Snowfall, along with whatever else Madden and Kolsky decide on during the week…
  • A couple of final thoughts on the food scene in Chicago (1:15:30), where Kolsky will be for next week’s recording…

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 75

In Episode 75, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky dispense briefly with pleasantries before getting to:

  • A wonderful interview with Orange is the New Black’s Julie Lake (2:05), who plays the suddenly-front-and-center-in-the-5th-season character Angie Rice…
  • The wild NBA offseason (30:00), specifically the new high stakes created by the Warriors’ dominance, the Chris Paul trade, Phil Jackson and some of the other madness of the last few days…
  • The Bachelor(ette) franchise (44:35) and why Madden enjoys watching it and Kolsky hasn’t been able to…
  • Showtime’s new show I’m Dying Up Here (56:25) and the niche of enjoyable-but-not-overly-heavy television in today’s media landscape…
  • Netflix’s new series Glow (1:05:00) and just how much Kolsky loves it…
  • Old show favorite Orphan Black (1:13:30) and how it has run off the rails a bit despite the brilliance of lead actress Tatiana Maslany…
  • Homework for next week (1:17:50): the feature films Baby Driver and The Big Sick, plus finishing the Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu…

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 62

In Episode 62, Derek Madden is suffering from a physical malady but nevertheless braves the spiritual danger of recording with Matt Kolsky, and they endeavor to share opinions on:

  • Last week’s homework assignments: the new Spoon album Hot Thoughts (2:15) with some thoughts on rock music in general over the past 15 years [also a brief interlude on Drake’s new “mixtape” More Life (9:50) and a less brief interlude about the NBA (15:25)] … and ABC’s drama American Crime (25:25)…
  • Dave Chappelle (33:20) and his two new hour-long comedy specials on Netflix, as well as his place in the pantheon of comedy’s greats…
  • Podcasts! (46:05) … wherein the guys discuss various programs they enjoy, including WTF, Doug Loves Movies, Pod Save America, Celebration Rock and more…
  • Speaking of the Celebration Rock podcast, a brief discussion of Pearl Jam v. Foo Fighters (57:15)…
  • A quick check-in on Madness brackets (1:00:55) and the joy of Duke losing…
  • Another note on Drake (1:02:04), specifically a recommendation of some hilarious online writing (which you can find here: Drake Watch 1, 2 and 3)…
  • Homework for next week, including: the aforementioned Drake album (1:04:30)… Mistaken for Strangers (1:04:45), the movie about the band The National… and Netflix-available TV shows Jane the Virgin (1:05:45) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (1:06:25)…

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 55

Episode 55 is OFFICIALLY the longest Toy Department podcast episode OF ALL TIME!!! (and by OFFICIALLY we mean that it felt super long and we didn’t bother to actually check) It may also be the BEST Toy Department podcast episode of all time, so don’t miss a minute as Derek Madden & Matt Kolsky dive into:

  • A few minutes on Russell Westbrook, the Thunder and the first half of the NBA season (1:30)…
  • Last week’s homework assignment – an episode of ABC’s Black-ish (6:30) specifically Episode 12 of Season 3, entitled “Lemons,” which deals with the aftermath of the recent presidential election… FAIR WARNING – THIS PORTION OF TODAY’S EPISODE MAKES A SIGNIFICANT DETOUR OUTSIDE OF THE TOY DEPARTMENT!!!!
  • One of the most-discussed albums of early 2017 – Culture, by Migos (20:15)… Kolsky has officially become a die-hard Migos fan, and Madden is prepared to tolerate that, at least…
  • Another major music topic, specifically the pop/EDM group The Chainsmokers (28:45) and how Madden views some criticism of them as unfair… Which takes them down a road of more general pop music discussion (40ish)…
  • The new Amazon show Sneaky Pete (43:25) – with thoughts on the show, its star Giovanni Ribisi and also the lead character’s resemblance to one of Kolsky’s favorite short stories, Roald Dahl’s The Hitchhiker (which you can read online here: http://www.netprof.pt/Ingles/PDF/TheHitchhikerb.pdf)…
  • SUPER BOWL LI!!! Madden’s favorite football team is actually playing in this game (52:50), so with special focus and dedication the guys discuss some favorite goofy prop bets (56:45) and then dive a little deeper into the game itself with football bets (1:15:00).

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 15

In Episode 15, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky follow up on the music they talked about at the end of last week’s pod (Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and Kaleo) which leads to a discussion of how we listen to and find new music in the modern age (5:00). Then TV takes over for an in-depth discussion of Better Call Saul (9:20) which features only a couple of small spoilers, before the boys jump back to music (22:20) with a chat about big stadium concerts in light of the upcoming Metallica show at the new Vikings’ stadium. Today’s sports segment (32:00) focuses on the ongoing NCAA Tournament and the fact that neither of our alleged sports fans can really stomach college basketball (so it inevitably turns back to the NBA, around 42:40, with some Wolves/W’s talk and some thoughts on Steph Curry). Things wrap up with some recommendations for your spare time (53:00) as Madden assigns homework.

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.