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 66 (slash 420)

In Episode 66, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky acknowledge the holiday before chatting about:

  • The new Thursday schedule (2:30) and the shows that inspired the change-of-recording-day: Noah Hawley’s FX masterpiece Fargo (5:15) and IFC’s new Hank Azaria comedy Brockmire (17:45)…
  • The Leftovers (22:20) which Derek argues Kolsky (and others) should watch…
  • NBA Playoffs!!! (30:00) – including Take That for Data, the wacky Bulls/Celtics series and the Rorschach Test that is Russell Westbrook…
  • Kendrick Lamar (59:35), his new album DAMN. and his incredible elevation over the rest of the hip hop game…
  • Homework for next week (1:08:20) including: the new Joe Swanberg film Win It All (available on Netflix) and the Netflix Original teen drama 13 Reasons Why…

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 64

In Episode 64, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky discuss Madden’s delightful social life before jumping into:

  • Last week’s homework: the remainder of the Amazon pilots (4:45), Jane the Virgin (14:30) and Mistaken for Strangers (24:05), the movie featuring The National…
  • The season finale of The Walking Dead (38:20) and where the guys stand with the show moving forward…
  • Baseball is back! (49:00) That may or may not be exciting…
  • Tony Romo’s retirement (1:02:20) and jump to the broadcasting booth…
  • Homework for next week (1:12:00): the new Louis CK special on Netflix, the new IFC show Brockmire (starring Hank Azaria as a baseball announcer), and the season premiere of Better Call Saul… plus hopefully Madden finally listens to Kweku Collins…
  • Some final thoughts on Legion (1:15:50) on the way out the door…

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 63

In Episode 63, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky show up for class without completing their homework yet again, but nevertheless provide insightful commentary on:

  • Last week’s homework assignments (or the ones they got to, anyway): the Netflix-available show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2:30)… Amazon’s Pilot Season (6:30) and the five new shows available to watch and vote on… and Derek’s take on the new Drake album (26:20)…
  • The hot new thing in American soccer (31:20), specifically youngster Christian Pulisic and what he means for US Soccer’s future…
  • The NCAA Tournament so far (39:45) and the highly entertaining games we’ve gotten to see…
  • A quick check-in on the NBA (49:15), especially on the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference playoff picture…
  • Homework for next week (56:40): Derek will watch the beginning of the show Jane the Virgin, as he was supposed to last week, and the remainder of the Amazon Pilots… Kolsky will watch the film Mistaken for Strangers, about the band The National, as he was supposed to last week…

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 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 61

In Episode 61, Derek Madden is watching Matt Kolsky on video but hiding his face behind a camera-less computer as they discuss:

  • Last week’s homework assignment: the debut album (Yesterday’s Gone) of British hip-hop artist Loyle Carner (2:10)…
  • The return of the delightful Netflix show Love (12:20) and the excellence of lead actress Gillian Jacobs…
  • A check-in on Kolsky’s supposed binge-watch catch-up of FX’s The Americans (20:25) and how it’s going well but not very quickly
  • The greatness of FX in general (25:05) and how it has elevated itself over other stations with its original TV programming…
  • Another FX gem, the new Ryan Murphy drama Feud (32:35), as well as What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (the movie whose filming the show focuses on) and its tremendous star Susan Sarandon…
  • The NCAA Tournament (47:50) and all the associated accoutrements… From NBA prospects to upset picks, it’s the best in college hoops analysis from one guy who knows nothing and one guy who knows a little…
  • Homework for next week (1:09:35): Kolsky assigns the new Spoon album Hot Thoughts, which comes out on Friday; Madden tells Kolsky to watch the new season of American Crime on ABC…

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 56

Episode 56 finds a struggling Derek Madden trying to soldier through his post-Super Bowl depression, with Matt Kolsky doing his best to talk him off the ledge as they discuss:

  • Super Bowl LI’s dramatic and disappointing twist (right from the jump) and Madden’s continuing attempts to process the soul-crushing result…
  • With the Super Bowl in the books, IT’S OFFICIALLY BASKETBALL SEASON FULL-TIME!!! Which means it’s time to talk NBA — from Carmelo Anthony trade possibilities (16:00) to Jahlil Okafor’s future potential (22:10) to whether anyone can challenge the Cavaliers in the East (24:55)…
  • Netflix’s new show The OA (36:35): Kolsky binged the whole thing over the weekend, and Madden has checked out a few episodes… Nevertheless, they’re not able to offer many conclusions…
  • The state of TV at this moment in general (41:30) and whether there’s anything particularly attention-grabbing to focus on right now… The guys uncover Madden’s strange obsession with “quality characters” and “well-designed stories…”
  • In the world of music, Japandroids have a new album (51:25) and it’s a pretty darn good listen if you don’t heap the weight of the world in expectations onto it…
  • Homework for this week: both Madden and Kolsky will watch FX’s new TV show Legion, and Kolsky tries to get Madden to let go and enjoy some hot John Wick action (56:05)…

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 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.