The Toy Department – Episode 105

In Episode 105 Derek Madden finds Matt Kolsky freshly returned from Hawaii to discuss such delights as:

  • Super Bowl LII (0:45) and how any season where the Patriots don’t win is a relative success…
  • Justin Timberlake’s new album Man of the Woods (12:05) and how it seems to be a success despite being somewhat confusing…
  • The Netflix movie Mudbound (25:00) and how it’s a good example of quality bad-time entertainment…
  • Another Netflix film, A Futile and Stupid Gesture (30:55), which tells the story of the Doug Kenney and the rise of National Lampoon…
  • The season finalé of The Good Place (45:10) and the tremendous work of Michael Schur in the world of network comedy…
  • Homework for next week (52:00) wherein Madden pays off his losing Super Bowl bet and allows Kolsky to program the entire show, covering: the new superhero film Black Panther, the new Netflix sci-fi series Altered Carbon, and albums from Nai Palm (Needle Paw), Khruangbin (Con Todo El Mundo) and Ty Segall (Freedom’s Goblin)… Come back next week to hear about the torture!!

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 104

In a special, extra-long Episode 104 (hang in there, it’s totally worth your time) Derek Madden somehow earns another incomplete on his homework assignment, but he and Matt Kolsky still manage to dive DEEP into:

  • HBO’s Crashing (3:00) and the performance of Bill Burr on the excellent most recent episode…
  • The new Starz show Counterpart (9:15) featuring JK Simmons, and whether it’s compelling enough to convince people to pay for the network, which leads to a discussion of the modern TV landscape…
  • A check-in on Kolsky’s binge-watching of Parks & Rec (27:25) which is going swimmingly…
  • The Oscar-nominated film I, Tonya (33:15) and how its relationship with the facts and with real-life Tonya Harding might complicate a viewing of the film…
  • The new Paul Thomas Anderson film Phantom Thread (41:05) and all the things about it that are incredible, plus working through some thoughts and feelings about things that were confusing…
  • Super Bowl LII (1:13:35), specifically some of the delightful prop bets for this Sunday’s game, plus a fun bet on the game between Madden and Kolsky…
  • Homework for next week (1:39:05) including: Derek hopefully finally watching Mudbound and Darkest Hour, plus new albums from Justin Timberlake and Ty Segall and the new Netflix film A Futile & Stupid Gesture, about the early years of National Lampoon…

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 103

In Episode 103, Derek Madden has once again failed to do his homework, yet he and Matt Kolsky power through to cover:

  • The nominations (3:25) for the 2018 Academy Awards and how well-represented the year in movies is, for a change…
  • Kolsky’s experience at the St. Vincent concert (26:40) and how incredible her staging is versus other shows…
  • The return of HBO’s Crashing (32:15) and how it’s really cruising in the early parts of its second season…
  • The premiere of this year’s American Crime Story (37:15) and whether the Gianni Versace murder has enough to carry the season…
  • The results of the NFL Playoffs (44:40) and a look forward to Super Bowl LII…
  • A mid-season check-in on the NBA (55:50), including thoughts on the “collapsing” Cavs, Thibodeau’s T-Wolves and the Baby Bulls…
  • Homework for next week (1:10:25) including: Derek actually watching Mudbound and I, Tonya, plus everyone checking out the new Paul Thomas Anderson joint Phantom Thread to prepare for the Oscars, and checking back in on Showtime’s The Chi after four episodes…

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 101

In Episode 101, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky jump right in with a new un-produced segment:

  • What Does Kolsky Think About Some Stuff (2:00): including Making a Murderer and the college football National Championship game…
  • A wild Wild Card Weekend in the NFL (24:00) and a look ahead to the divisional round…
  • Episodes 3 and 4 of Netflix’s new season of Black Mirror (36:35), one very good and one very, very bad…
  • The series debut of The Chi (49:35) on Showtime, and how excited both Madden and Kolsky are for the future of this ambitious new show…
  • The two new Dave Chappelle standup specials (55:40) on Netflix, and the difficulty Kolsky is having with processing comedy in 2018…
  • Homework for next week (1:15:05) including: watching the Oscar-buzzed films Call Me By Your Name and The Post, the Netflix show The End of the Fucking World and the continuing drama of the NFL playoffs…

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 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 98

In Episode 98, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky have a lot to say, so they begin with purpose and discuss:

  • The new SyFy show Happy (1:15), which one of them REALLY did not like
  • U2’s new album Songs of Experience (10:20) and how it falls completely flat…
  • James Franco’s new film The Disaster Artist (26:20) and what a great job it does of telling a deeply human story…
  • A dip into the sports world (35:45) results in an aborted argument about baseball…
  • Conversation about the NFL proves more fruitful (39:10) and gets into the many problems the league has to confront in its near future…
  • Sports talk continues with some NBA thoughts (51:10), getting into the year’s most compelling storylines and projecting the rest of the season…
  • Homework for this week (1:22:45), including: a Best of the Year episode next week — Top 5 and 10 lists in TV, movies, music and sports, plus watching the new Star Wars film…

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 91

In Episode 91, Matt Kolsky and Derek Madden lament the suddenly crowded entertainment landscape before soldiering on to actually talk about some of it, including:

  • Netflix’s new David Fincher-produced series Mindhunter (7:30) and whether it stands up to the impressive Fincher filmography…
  • Another new Netflix show, American Vandal (21:30) and how it plays to a fan of real crime shows versus someone who does not watch them…
  • Beck’s new album Colors (32:20) which surprised both Madden and Kolsky but only really appealed to one of them…
  • MLB’s World Series (41:30) because yes, it is happening RIGHT NOW, and baseball playoffs are pretty entertaining…
  • The NFL season (48:15) and how it has failed to produce any really good teams or much good football so far… Is this the “parity” we’ve been hearing about?
  • Homework for next week (1:09:00) including: Season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things, the Netflix film The Meyerowitz Stories, the return of The Walking Dead and catching up on all the many, many TV shows that have gotten underway this month…

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 89

In Episode 89, Matt Kolsky and Derek Madden have switched roles to some degree, as Kolsky records the audio from his home studio while Madden motors around the midwest in his new Lexus, but otherwise things are pretty standard as they discuss:

  • The US Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying process (3:05), specifically their game against Panama and what the talented, young roster means for the future…
  • The now seemingly inevitable intersection of sports and politics (18:25) and the specifics of the Jemele Hill suspension from ESPN and the current administration’s behavior towards the NFL and its players…
  • Two Netflix cartoons: Bojack Horseman (33:15) and Big Mouth (37:50), and the guys’ (but especially Kolsky’s) differing reactions to them…
  • A brief detour into James Harden’s appearance on NBC’s The Voice (44:40)… NOTE: The guy says he just looks like James Harden but he is pretty clearly actually just James Harden.
  • Two new albums: Alvvays’ Antisocialites (47:40) and Death From Above’s Outrage! is Now (51:15), both of which get pretty positive receptions…
  • Homework for next week (57:10) including: a new album from St. Vincent (nee Annie Clark) called MASSEDUCTION, the new Showtime show White Famous and of course the ongoing action in the sports world with NFL, MLB playoffs and the looming start of the NBA season…

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 88

In Episode 88, Matt Kolsky and Derek Madden get right into it with:

  • The passing of Tom Petty (1:25) and his place in the pantheon of American rock music, leading to…
  • A breakdown of the Mount Rushmore (7:15) of American rock artists…
  • The new Fox show Ghosted (20:05) starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson…
  • Another Fox comedy, The Mick (24:35) as it begins its second season…
  • The newest entry into the Law & Order canon – True Crime (28:55), focusing on the Menendez brothers murders…
  • The definitive debate about the all-time Law & Order fantasy cast team (39:00) – starring Lennie Briscoe, obviously, but WHO ELSE?!?!
  • Homework for next week (1:01:30) including: new albums from the bands Alvvays and Death From Above 1979, the USA v. Panama soccer game coming up on Friday, Episode 5 of Bojack Horseman and the new Netflix cartoon Big Mouth (from the mind of Nick Kroll) and revisiting The Deuce on HBO…
  • A few words on the NFL’s continued blackball of Colin Kaepernick (1:07:00)…

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 87

In Episode 87, Matt Kolsky and Derek Madden fight through a recording snafu to get to a variety of topics, including:

  • The unstoppable interaction between sports and politics (1:30) and where Donald Trump’s behavior has gotten us with the NFL…
  • The Netflix movie The Fundamentals of Caring (11:10) and the idea of the Netflix indie…
  • Rapper Leikeli47’s new album Wash & Set (16:30) and Madden’s seeming disinterest in female rap artists…
  • FX’s Better Things (25:15) and how the guys are feeling about it early in Season 2…
  • HBO’s Vice Principals (35:15) and whether the show will hold up through a second season… or that would have been the discussion but THE RECORDING CUT OUT!!
  • Several hours later, Kolsky and Madden reconvene (36:35) and begin with a brief discussion of Derek’s other podcast and their interview with Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield…
  • They revisit some of the topics from the lost recording (41:00) including: the Killers’ new album, lady rappers and NBC’s The Good Place…
  • Homework for next week (46:45) including: TV shows The Mick, Law & Order: True Crime and Ghosted, and a plan to pick favorite all-time Law & Order teams for next week… Plus checking back in with HBO’s The Deuce…

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.