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 79

In Episode 79, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky take you behind the scenes of the Toy Department’s pre-production and schedule-planning, and mention Kolsky’s new gig with the SF Examiner before jumping all over:

  • A season wrap-up for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (2:30) and how the show successfully built to a thrilling ending…
  • Season 7, Episode 2 of Game of Thrones (10:40) and whether an exposition-heavy episode should be subject to criticism…
  • The announcement of Confederate, the new HBO Show from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (24:15) and the public response to the concept of a show that imagines the South winning the Civil war…
  • The new, almost-universally-lauded Christopher Nolan film Dunkirk (33:30) and why almost everyone is wrong about it…
  • HBO’s Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine documentary series The Defiant Ones (48:00) and just how completely it tells the story of those two music giants…
  • The Kyrie Irving drama with the Cavaliers (1:03:35) — what’s going on in Cleveland? And does it make sense for anyone?
  • Homework for next week (1:23:20): listening to the rapper CupcakKe (after Derek failed to do so last week), listening to the new Nine Inch Nails EP Add Violence, and watching the new movies Atomic Blonde and Girls Trip…

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 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 73

In Episode 73, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky overcome a late night for Kolsky and a bit of a hangover for Derek to give you insightful breakdowns of:

  • Kolsky’s experience at the Roger Waters concert (1:15)…
  • The NBA Finals so far (11:00) and what it means for the future of the NBA…
  • The series finale of The Leftovers (26:20) and where it ranks in the pantheon of Peak TV shows…
  • The newest DC Comics Universe film Wonder Woman (40:10) and whether Derek was enable to enjoy it despite his superhero fatigue…
  • Madden’s enjoyment of the Tom Petty concert (52:25) and the joy of classic bands playing their hits, plus the wildly underrated Joe Walsh…
  • This week’s episode of AMC’s Better Call Saul (1:01:00) with a special focus on the stellar acting performances of Bob Odenkirk and Michael McKean…
  • Homework for next week, or possibly two weeks from now (1:09:25): including FX’s Fargo, a last-chance effort to get Derek to enjoy a superhero movie with Logan, and the upcoming new season of Orange is the New Black (to prepare for future special guest Julie Lake, aka OITNB’s Angie Rice)…

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 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 71

In Episode 71, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky break down their morning text spat before diving into a series of more interesting topics, including:

  • The NBA Playoffs (3:00), whether Brad Stevens deserves an apology from Madden and what the future looks like in both the short and long term…
  • The Hulu show The Handmaid’s Tale (19:45) and how the current state of the world changes how we might appreciate it… Plus the greatness of Elisabeth Moss and some thoughts on Top of the Lake…
  • An alleged spoiler alert for FX’s show Fargo (33:50) somehow leads to a long discussion of the Fargo haters and who Madden and Kolsky trust in the world of TV creators… and then an actual conversation about Fargo (44:00) which DOES DEFINITELY INCLUDE MAJOR SPOILERS!!!!!
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (56:00) and how it fails to learn from the good lessons of the first film but still manages to be an enjoyable watch…
  • Homework for next week (1:04:30): Kolsky rejects the Netflix show The Keepers in favor of the Amazon show I Love Dick…

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 70

In Episode 70, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky ride some emotional twists and turns through:

  • A brief discussion of the passing of legendary rock singer Chris Cornell… RIP.
  • A brief digression into The Pretty Reckless, also known as the rock outfit fronted by former actress Taylor Momsen…
  • Netflix’s Master of None, and Aziz Ansari’s creative excellence in making the show…
  • AMC’s Better Call Saul, the increased intensity and excitement, and the changing moral dynamic…
  • The new Hulu drama The Handmaid’s Tale, whether the guys will watch it and how Kolsky is a relative stranger to the work of Elisabeth Moss…
  • The NBA Playoffs, the general lack of excitement throughout the postseason so far and the controversy over Zaza Pachulia’s foul on Kawhi Leonard…
  • Next week’s homework – a couple of films in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 and Colossal… also the Sundance show Top of the Lake and potentially the Amazon show I Love Dick…

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 68

In Episode 68, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky discuss the latter’s fragile mental state before going television-heavy on the pod… Unfortunately, time constraints prevent a detailed accounting, but topics discussed include:

  • Kolsky’s progress on HBO’s The Leftovers…
  • The uncomfortable failure of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why…
  • A weird and wild episode of FX’s Fargo…
  • The NBA Playoffs and the seemingly inevitable Cavaliers-Warriors matchup…
  • An ugly draft day for Kolsky’s Chicago Bears…

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.