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 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 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 54

In Episode 54, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky return after a week off due to Kolsky’s infirmity to discuss MANY pressing issues, including:

  • Brent Musburger’s sudden retirement announcement (1:45) and his legacy as one of our greatest sports broadcasters…
  • Matt Ryan’s place in the NFL’s quarterback pantheon (8:10) and his MVP candidacy, as we head towards next weekend’s Super Bowl 51…
  • A favorite show of the show, The Good Place (17:35), and how it flipped its own narrative on its head in the season finalé… SPOILER ALERT: This conversation will spoil said finalé, so if you want to skip it, the short version is – Madden and Kolsky both liked it!!
  • HBO’s new series The Young Pope (24:10) and whether the visual spectacle of its first few episodes makes it worth sticking with as it finds its footing from a narrative perspective…
  • 2016 in Movies (33:50), viewed through the perspective of Tuesday’s Oscar nominations… Including thoughts on La La Land, Deadpool, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Lion and Fences, among others…
  • Some homework for next week (59:15): trying to get Derek to watch La La Land and/or Lion and/or Hell or High Water… and an episode of Blackish (specifically – Season 3, Episode 12, entitled Lemons)…

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 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 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 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 47

In Episode 47, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky briefly explore the details of California Proposition 64 before Kolsky puts the prop into action with some bong hits and they dive into:

  • The Golden State Warriors’ 149-point performance, from which Kolsky has just returned (6:50), and the Warriors’ early season performance in general… which somehow leads to…
  • An incredible fantasy matchup between the current John Calipari NBA All-Stars and the Golden State Warriors (27:45)…
  • Thanksgiving aka The Greatest of All Holidays (32:15)… The guys break down why Thanksgiving is clearly the best and also food and of course…
  • FOOTBALL!! and the NFL’s excellent Thanksgiving slate this year (38:00)…
  • A Tribe Called Quest’s new album We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service (41:50)… and the debut of a new (weekly?) segment we’re calling Toy Department Takes On The Classics (54:15) wherein we’ll talk about the classic album The Low End Theory on next week’s pod…
  • This week’s episode of Black Mirror, San Junipero (55:35)… arguably the most unique episode of the series thus far and a favorite of both of our hosts…
  • Homework for next week, where Derek assigns the PBS show Soundbreaking as homework (1:06:40)… specifically the episode entitled The World Is Yours about sampling in hip hop…
  • A quick debrief on the Kolsky-smokes-weed-during-the-podcast experience (1:10:00)…

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.

The Toy Department – Episode 43

In Episode 43, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky fight through a weird Lipton Brisk detour and some audio technology issues to bring you discussions about:

  • Last week’s homework assignment: the new Solange album A Seat at the Table (1:30)… specifically its originality and some general thoughts about the Indie R&B genre, and a new idea about future music homework (10:00)…
  • This year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees (12:20) and how the Hall decides who is an appropriate candidate for induction…
  • NFL replay review, specifically with regards to pass interference penalties (19:00) and the disappointing end to last week’s Falcons-Seahawks game… and some thoughts on using technology for sports officiating in general (27:30)…
  • The NBA’s upcoming season (31:00) and whether the fact that the Warriors and Cavaliers are prohibitive favorites is a problem for the entertainment value of the league…
  • A few general thoughts on movies and the movie business (46:55) after Kolsky noticed some things when he went out to see The Accountant…
  • Homework for next week (51:30): Madden assigns a particular episode of the IFC show Documentary Now! to Kolsky…

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.