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 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 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 65

In Episode 65, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky waste no time in jumping into:

  • A quick status check on Better Call Saul (1:10) before putting a deeper discussion off until next week (so Madden can actually watch the season premiere)…
  • Hip hop artist Kweku Collins (7:40) and how Kolsky and Madden have fundamental differences in their musical taste…
  • Father John Misty (16:05) and his new album Pure Comedy…
  • The new IFC show Brockmire (25:25) and its potential for greatness…
  • Louis CK’s new comedy special 2017 (30:25) and his habit of boundary-pushing…
  • An Esquire article about Dave Chappelle (38:00) and how we view what comedians say…
  • A deep dive into the NBA MVP debate (45:20) and how the guys would vote if they had ballots…
  • A couple quick homework assignments for next week (1:12:55): watching the new seasons of Better Call Saul and Fargo…

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 57

In Episode 57, Derek Madden allows Matt Kolsky to sneak in a bizarre tribute to Morris Day & the Time before diving in to:

  • General discussion of the Grammy Awards (2:10) and what an awards show is really for in our current popular culture landscape…
  • The new FX show Legion (23:55) and whether Madden was able to get past his anti-superhero stance and enjoy some high-quality new television…
  • The return of HBO’s Girls (33:20) and what exactly is going on with people who don’t like Lena Dunham…
  • The NBA’s recent twists and turns and soap operas: the return of Kevin Durant to Oklahoma City (40:10) and Charles Oakley’s tiff with the Knicks (49:10)

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 29

In Episode 29, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky are living in a Post-Game-of-Thrones-Season-6 World (and Kolsky is on the phone from his car) but they still manage to soldier on with a podcast discussing:

  • Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors — from where he might live in the Bay Area (1:45) to how the W’s and the league will look in the coming season (4:00) to the many haters and whiners in the aftermath of Durant’s free agency (17:05)…
  • Madden’s experience at the Adele concert (31:30) and just what it is about the “diva” singer that makes her so overwhelmingly popular…
  • Last week’s homework assignment (39:25) wherein Kolsky watched the first two episodes of the TV show Roadies so that Madden would have somebody with whom to discuss it…
  • And then of course there’s this week’s homework (49:00) which YOU should also do — watch the new HBO miniseries drama The Night Of…

Oh, 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 22

In Episode 22, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky begin by talking about music — or at least, about the way we consume music in 2016… It’s a brave new world with Spotify and their ilk, and these dudes have thoughts on it — thoughts that lead to a 25-minute conversation about music consumption and distribution. They move from there to sports with a conversation about the Rougned Odor-Jose Bautista baseball brawl (29:05) and some NBA Playoff talk (36:25). Then the show heads down Kelly Ripa road for the home stretch as Madden and Kolsky break down the ins and outs of ABC’s TV host debacle (43:50).

Oh, 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 21

In Episode 21, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky dive into the sports world early with a discussion of Steph Curry – his ridiculous playoff comeback, his MVP award, and just his greatness in general – which leads naturally into a broader discussion of the NBA Playoffs (8:30) and some of the officiating issues (12:00), and a quick chat about the outdated notion that players want to go to New York or LA teams (15:05). The podcast shifts to music for the guys to review Radiohead’s new album – A Moon Shaped Pool (21:00), and then to TV for a check-in on Game of Thrones (32:15) and a celebration of the delight of this year’s season of Silicon Valley (41:40).

Oh, 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.