The Toy Department – Episode 107

In Episode 107, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky try to figure out what the NBA’s proposed 1-16 playoff seeding idea would look like before jumping into the day’s assigned topics:

  • Marvel’s new movie sensation Black Panther (9:20) and its quality and importance, plus the awesomely unfolding career of director Ryan Coogler…
  • The soundtrack to the aforementioned Black Panther (25:25) and how it really is a companion piece to the film…
  • The new Chris Rock standup special Tambourine (30:30), how good it is and how important it is for comedians to have their space to consider ideas…
  • NBC’s new sitcom AP Bio (42:50), and whether it is worth watching or stands out from standard network fare in an interesting way…
  • Netflix’s new Queer Eye (48:35) and how it distinguishes itself from other reality television…
  • Homework for next week (1:00:00), including: giving AP Bio a couple more episodes to hit its stride, watching some Top Chef, checking out the first two episodes of The Joel McHale Show on Netflix and Derek giving iZombie a try as it begins its fourth 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 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 102

In Episode 102, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky are a few minutes late and spent a few minutes discussing Kolsky’s new job situation and bad television commercials before jumping into:

  • The new Netflix show The End of the Fucking World (4:25) and whether or not its lead female character is charming or off-putting or a combination of the two…
  • Kolsky’s experience with Making a Murderer (10:20) after finishing the binge last week…
  • The final two episodes of the newest season of Netflix’s Black Mirror (21:15) and whether the show has maintained its high level of execution…
  • The new Steven Spielberg/Meryl Streep/Tom Hanks collab The Post (31:35) and its resonance in 2018 America…
  • The much-ballyhooed film Call Me By Your Name (41:55) and its basic unremarkability despite the efforts of its cast…
  • A quick chat about the NBA (52:50), including the Rockets’ attempted assault on the Clippers and the universal appeal of free t-shirts…
  • Homework for next week (1:04:05) including: the return of American Crime Story (The Murder of Gianni Versace), the return of HBO’s Pete Holmes-created show Crashing, and the movies I, Tonya and Mudbound, if Madden and Kolsky can work up the nerve for the latter…

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 99, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

In Part 2 of the Two-Part Holidaytastic Spectacular Episode 99, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky are back with the second half of their year-end discussions, covering:

  • The BEST OF 2017 in television (2:05), wherein Madden and Kolsky both struggle mightily to reduce their Top Ten lists to less than twenty shows…
  • The BEST OF 2017 in music (41:55), which turns out to have the most differentiation between the two hosts’ lists…
  • Homework for next week: HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR’S EVE!!! And get ready for Episode 100, which might be somehow special (and will definitely include the announcement of the Toy Department’s 2017 Spotify Playlists) and even if it’s not is a nice, big, round number…

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 96

In Episode 96, Derek Madden and Matt Kolsky have a prettty, prettttttty, prettttttttty good opening before discussions about:

  • Joe Morgan’s letter to the Baseball Hall of Fame (2:10) and how misguided his views on “steroid users” and “cheaters” are…
  • The Martin McDonagh film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (18:05), where it succeeds and where it maybe misses the mark…
  • Netflix’s new western series Godless (28:40) and how it elevates tropes from western films but still doesn’t appeal to Madden…
  • USA’s Mr. Robot (38:10), just what the hell is going on and how an increase in action has not led to an increase in Madden’s enjoyment of episodes…
  • Netflix’s new Spike Lee TV joint She’s Gotta Have It (45:30) and how it hits all the Spike Lee high notes with a great cast and thoughtful commentary…
  • Homework for this week (53:40), including: new albums from both Noel and Liam Gallagher, the Amazon Original show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the Netflix/Joe Swanberg show Easy and the Netflix documentary Jim & Andy about Jim Carrey’s performance as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon…

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 94

In Episode 94, the distinctly non-toy department intrudes yet again, as Derek Madde and Matt Kolsky discuss:

  • The confirmation of Louis CK’s sexual assault (0:55) and whether we can or should separate art from the creator…
  • The new 30 for 30 documentary Nature Boy (32:05) about all-time professional wrestling great Ric Flair…
  • The Showtime show Shameless (43:20) which was tough for a newcomer to get into…
  • Showtime’s new comedy/drama SMILF (48:00) and whether it is standard Showtime fare or something more interesting and impressive…
  • The series finale of HBO’s Vice Principals (52:45) and how the end of the season improved upon its shaky start…
  • Homework for next week (56:45) including: The Toy Department goes to the movies!! (specifically to see the films Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Kolsky is gonna start watching Justified, finally…

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 93

In Episode 93, Matt Kolsky is on the road for the first chunk of the podcast, then Derek Madden is at home for the final portion — it’s a real adventure!! Topics discussed include:

  • Revisiting Netflix’s American Vandal (4:00) and concluding that it really is quite enjoyable…
  • A check-in on FX’s Better Things (6:10) and how it is one of the best shows on television and deserves more attention…
  • The release of a new N*E*R*D song (11:20) and Madden’s experience interviewing Pharrell…
  • The new hit television show The Good Doctor (19:20), dealing with autism in television and how network shows can really be good…
  • The Netflix show Atypical (30:45), another show featuring a central character with autism, and Michael Rappaport’s surprising performance…
  • A few thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok (36:30) from Kolsky, the designated comic book movie viewer…
  • Homework for next week (39:20) including: the new 30 for 30 documentary Nature Boy about Ric Flair, and the Showtime shows Shameless and SMILF…
  • An interview with Emma Kolsky (44:15), Matt’s sister and an autism specialist, about the portrayal of people with autism in The Good Doctor and Atypical…

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.