The Toy Department – Episode 58

In Episode 58, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky work through physical and mental illness, respectively, to bring you discussions about:

  • HBO’s Girls (3:20) and the greatness of Lena Dunham…
  • HBO’s new 30-minute comedy Crashing (13:45) and how it feels true-to-life as it tells the story of comic Pete Holmes’ life…
  • The first full album from Wondaland Records artist Jidenna (26:40) and whether the LP itself lives up to Jidenna’s talent…
  • Some musical homework (33:30) as Kolsky asks Madden to listen to Roman GianArthur’s OK Lady album, a sort of Radiohead/D’Angelo tribute album… and Madden asks Kolsky to listen to the latest album from Cloud Nothings, called Life Without Sound…
  • Lego Batman (38:00) which Kolsky saw on purpose and Madden saw essentially by mistake…
  • The National Basketball Association’s silly season, from the DeMarcus Cousins trade (43:30) and the Sacramento Kings’ ineptitude to the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office restructuring (1:00:20)…

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 57

In Episode 57, Derek Madden allows Matt Kolsky to sneak in a bizarre tribute to Morris Day & the Time before diving in to:

  • General discussion of the Grammy Awards (2:10) and what an awards show is really for in our current popular culture landscape…
  • The new FX show Legion (23:55) and whether Madden was able to get past his anti-superhero stance and enjoy some high-quality new television…
  • The return of HBO’s Girls (33:20) and what exactly is going on with people who don’t like Lena Dunham…
  • The NBA’s recent twists and turns and soap operas: the return of Kevin Durant to Oklahoma City (40:10) and Charles Oakley’s tiff with the Knicks (49:10)

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 52

In Episode 52, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky jump right into a music-heavy edition of the podcast, including chats about:

  • Before the music, a few thoughts on the NFL – the playoff situation, particularly the lack of exceptional teams and QB’s (1:40) and the MVP race (7:10)…
  • Madden finally watched the documentary film Scratch (14:20) and the boys discuss the finer points of the movie and the art of turntablism…
  • The Clash’s classic album London Calling (22:00) which Madden and Kolsky totally forgot to talk about last week… SPOILER ALERT: they both like it a lot…
  • 25 Songs for 2016 Playlists (31:15): both Madden (https://open.spotify.com/user/maddendisaster/playlist/61hD5YoG3IE6iqFITBIw6N) and Kolsky (https://open.spotify.com/user/kolsky/playlist/5zzn6BRGBU12yyqIZl887Y …) put together playlists on Spotify to represent their feelings and likes from 2016 in music… They break down the lists and discuss some of their particular favorites…

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 50

In Episode 50, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky open with an only moderately upsetting discussion of their respective ailments before getting to the real dope, including:

  • TBS’s binge-ready and binge-worthy show Search Party (4:15) and how it manages to succeed as a mystery despite not caring much about the plot of its own mystery… Leading to some thoughts on the way TBS is producing content (14:25) right now…
  • Following up on last week’s musical homework, as the guys continue to explore the differences in their musical taste: Kolsky listened to Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self Destruct (18:05) to please Madden… and Madden listened to Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love! (29:35) to please Kolsky… Spoiler Alert: they do not agree on either record…
  • A look at the National Football League (41:00) as it heads down the home stretch… Specifically, the league seems to have found the “parity” it has allegedly been seeking for some time now — but is this a good thing?
  • Major League Baseball’s new anti-hazing policy (56:10) and whether it marks a significant change in approach…
  • Some homework for next week (1:08:15): The Toy Department Takes On the Classics will return, as Kolsky and Madden will watch the documentary film Scratch (a true, if somewhat undiscovered classic) and revisit the classic Clash album London Calling…

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.

The Toy Department – Episode 49

In Episode 49, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky jump right in off the top rope to discuss:

  • NBA basketball – specifically the Warriors’ recent run of impressive offense (2:05) and their head coach Steve Kerr’s take on marijuana in sports (8:00) and how it helps advance the conversation about responsible medication for athletes…
  • The season finalé of HBO’s Westworld (19:50) and how it projects forward to the eventual second season of the show…
  • The new film Moonlight (33:15), which both Madden and Kolsky enjoyed… They attempt to preview and review it without spoiling it for you…
  • The Season 3 finalé of Netflix’s Black Mirror, Hated in the Nation (42:20) and how it reinforces the fact that Season 3 is relatively distinct from the first two seasons of the series…
  • The Toy Department Considers A Classic again, as they talk about last week’s homework – the Beastie Boys album Paul’s Boutique (52:20)…
  • A look ahead to homework for next week (1:02:35) which includes two albums in Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love! and Metallica’s Hardwired… to Self Destruct, plus one television show in the TBS streaming effort Search Party…

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.

The Toy Department – Episode 48

In Episode 48, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky open with a digression into mid-90’s pager logistics before diving into:

  • PBS’ show Soundbreaking – specifically the episode entitled The World Is Yours, about sampling in hip hop – which was one of last week’s homework assignments (4:30)… The guys discuss the show itself, and also early hip hop in general, which leads to…
  • A reviewing and rehashing of the classic A Tribe Called Quest album The Low End Theory (15:00)… An honorific segment about one of the seminal albums of 1990’s hip hop, though Madden and Kolsky come at it from slightly different perspectives…
  • Some discussion of the current state of television (26:40) and the fact that we seem to be faced with a dearth of quality television despite living in the middle of the Peak TV movement… What does it all mean? Or is it just a temporary lull?
  • The Toy Department WENT TO THE MOVIES!! (36:35) Not together, but both Kolsky and Madden went and saw the new film Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner… They have similar feelings but draw slightly different final conclusions…
  • Season 3, Episode 5 of Black Mirror – called Men Against Fire – as we continue to make our way through the series (56:30)… Neither Madden nor Kolsky loved it, but they have differing perspectives on the central issue and the future of the series…

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.

The Toy Department – Episode 45

In Episode 45, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky lament their rapidly-advancing age before diving into discussions about:

  • The World Series, briefly (1:15) acknowledging that the final results will be determined before anyone listens… The conversation tilts more towards the impressive future potential of the Cubs (3:05) and the Hall of Fame career of GM Theo Epstein (5:55)… Ending with a discussion of baseball’s place in the sports media landscape (11:10)…
  • Episode 2 of Netflix’s new Black Mirror season – Play Test (15:40) which had a very different effect on Kolsky than it did on Madden…
  • A quick stop on HBO’s Westworld, which Kolsky failed to successfully watch after a Phish show on Sunday night (29:05)…
  • ROCKTOBER continues, so more concert talk – Kolsky went to see Phish play a Halloween show (32:25)… Madden went to see Yelawolf (35:40)…
  • The season finale (and the first season in sum) of FX’s Atlanta (44:45)… How there’s not enough of it… How well executed it is in the end (45:50) and just in general in delivering a truthful narrative (48:43)…
  • Another FX favorite, You’re the Worst (51:00) and whether it’s struggling a bit in its third season…
  • A couple notes on homework for next week, which involves Bill Simmons’ show Any Given Wednesday (56:20) and the next episode of Black Mirror, “Shut Up and Dance” (58:25)…

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.

The Toy Department – Episode 44

In Episode 44, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky have recovered enough from the release of new Black Mirror episodes JUST in time to bring you discussions about:

  • Last week’s homework assignment: the Test Pattern episode of IFC’s Documentary Now (2:30), and how Kolsky just can’t get over his deep distaste for Fred Armisen…
  • The aforementioned Netflix property Black Mirror (12:55) — Madden and Kolsky rank the original 7 episodes (17:15) by quality and by how disturbing they are, and also discuss the first of the newest episodes (47:10) that hit Netflix last Friday… WARNING: Spoiler-Heavy discussion, especially about the original 7 episodes…
  • A few thoughts on the last couple episodes of FX’s Atlanta (57:55) and how it returned to a more straightforward narrative arc over the last couple episodes… But still maintains the quality and innovation that makes it so wonderful… And a few words on Donald Glover’s casting in an upcoming Star Wars film (1:03:45)…
  • It’s ROCKTOBER, so Kolsky talks about a couple of concerts he saw last weekend: Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring World Tour (1:05:40) and Anderson .Paak (1:11:40) at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco…

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.

The Toy Department – Episode 42

In Episode 42, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky briefly address Kolsky’s in-progress Yom Kippur fast before delving into:

  • The San Francisco Giants’ elimination from the MLB playoffs (3:50) and some discussion about baseball at large (10:20)…
  • Kolsky’s homework assignment for Madden – Netflix/Marvel’s Luke Cage (20:35) and Madden’s anti-superhero/comic book bias…
  • Madden’s homework assignment for Kolsky – the previously British and now Netflix-owned Black Mirror (32:40) and how it really inspires thought and discussion like few other television experiences…
  • HBO’s new comedy Insecure (43:50) and how it brings another original perspective to the increasingly diverse television landscape…
  • Madden’s experience at a recent Kanye West show (52:20) and the big stadium show experience in general…
  • A bit of talk about last week’s You’re the Worst (1:01:05) but MOSTLY just because it leads into Madden’s experiences at fancy, exclusive bars as a big time radio star in Los Angeles…
  • Homework for next week (1:08:05) wherein Kolsky assigns the new Solange album to Derek…

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.