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 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 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 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 92

In Episode 92, Matt Kolsky and Derek Madden waste no time with pleasantries as they jump directly into:

  • A heated debate over the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things (0:45) and whether it is in fact any good at all…
  • The new Noah Baumbach film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (27:15) and whether it qualifies as bad-time entertainment or somehow rises above that distinction…
  • Madden’s experience at the Arcade Fire concert (38:40) and how all things must end…
  • The 2017 World Series (48:10), the compelling storylines and the future of baseball…
  • The series finale of HBO’s The Deuce (58:55), Kolsky’s confusion over the length of the season and the storytelling style of David Simon and company…
  • The first two episodes of season eight of The Walking Dead (1:06:30) and how the show seems to have lost its direction and momentum…
  • Homework for next week (1:13:30) including: the new (apparent) network sensation The Good Doctor, the also-about-an-autistic-character Atypical, and finishing Netflix’s Mindhunter before an interview with Stacey Roca, the actress who plays Nancy Tench…

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 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.