The Toy Department – EPISODE 100

In a very special Episode 100, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky finally see the benefit of starting the episode numbering system at 001, not to mention experience a live and in-person Toy Department recording for the very first time in podcast history as they discuss:

  • What in the hell Kolsky is doing in the far-north winter hellscape (1:50) that is Minneapolis in January…
  • The first two episodes of the new season of Netflix’s Black Mirror (7:15), the resounding success of one and the missteps of the other…
  • The new Netflix documentary/news footage/narrative action series Wormwood (19:05) and how Errol Morris is attempting to advance the documentary form…
  • The Guillermo Del Toro film The Shape of Water (24:35) and how Madden’s response to the movie differed from Kolsky’s…
  • Year-end Spotify playlists!! Madden and Kolsky both made Best of 2017 playlists (31:25) and break down the contents thereof (with assorted digressions); you can find Derek’s playlist here and Matt’s here
  • The upcoming first round of the NFL Playoffs (1:04:50), with the repulsively messy AFC and the excitingly wide-open NFC…
  • The College Football Playoff (1:16:40) and how the excitement of the first round points towards expanding the field to eight teams…
  • Homework for next week (1:24:00): including Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix specials, two more episodes of Netflix’s Black Mirror (specifically the third and fourth episodes of the new season) and the series premier of Showtime’s Lena Waithe-created show The Chi…

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 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 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 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 51

In Episode 51, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky flirt with some non-toy-department issues as they open with a few words about the miserable, repulsive, inconsiderate behavior of The Year 2016… but swim safely back to shallow waters for discussions of:

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Christmas Day victory over the Golden State Warriors (5:40), and what it means for the rest of the NBA season and their presumed eventual NBA Finals matchup… and whether there is any team out there that might be a able to disrupt that eventuality (14:00)…
  • The National Football League (17:00) and how they have reached their goal of general league-wide parity… Plus a breakdown of some potential playoff situations and vague Super Bowl matchup predictions (AFC first, NFC around 26:20)…
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (42:30) and a probably not-that-surprising difference of opinion between Madden and Kolsky on the quality of that film… and whether Hollywood is still making action movies for people like Derek Madden (49:35)…
  • Homework for next week: when Madden will FINALLY watch the excellent documentary film Scratch (56:25)… and the guys will also do some year-in-review stuff with music and tv and possibly movies (57:10)… and will also discuss the new Run the Jewels record RTJ3 (58:35) now that Derek has figured out how to acquire it… ALSO – not mentioned, but the guys will also finally get around to revisiting the Clash’s London Calling in next week’s pod!!!!!!!!!! (they forgot this 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.

The Toy Department – Episode 41

In Episode 41, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky open with a brief digression into Peaches & Herb before diving headlong into TONS of topics, including:

  • Recently-retired future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Kevin Garnett (1:45) and how Derek Madden (wrongly) hates him with a passion and Matthew J. Kolsky (with great taste and even better judgment) rightly respects him as the all-time great that he is… (Bonus points if you can figure out who writes these descriptions…)
  • The quarter-pole of the NFL season, particularly the impressive start of the Minnesota Vikings (17:45)… This is really little more than Madden’s attempt to re-ingratiate himself to the Minneapolis community after his KG slander…
  • This past Saturday’s college football MADNESS (27:45) and Kolsky’s continued lack of interest despite the wild excitement of the finishes…
  • HBO’s new series Westworld (41:30) and how the guys feel about it after its complex and thought-provoking premiere episode…
  • Noname’s album Telefone (49:20) which Madden FINALLY listened to after being assigned it as homework… The boys discuss the album itself, their differing tastes and music in general…
  • A quick pop-in on FX’s Atlanta (58:45) and the [SPOILER ALERT] Black Justin Bieber episode…
  • Some thoughts on future homework assignments (1:04:15) and some assigned homework for next week 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.