The Incomparable

The Incomparable

Canada

The Incomparable is a weekly dive into geeky media we love, including movies, books, TV, comics, and more, featuring a rotating panel of guests and hosted by Jason Snell.

Episodes

363: From Cold City to Atomic Blonde  
Antony Johnston's journey from graphic novel to feature film - “Atomic Blonde,” a major motion picture opening this summer, started its life as a graphic novel written by Antony Johnston. In this special episode, Jason and Antony discuss the origin of the graphic novel “The Coldest City”, why some stories fit better as graphic novels rather than serialized comics, the value of taking some time to indulge passion projects, the process of having Hollywood option your story, and the choices made when adapting a story from one medium into another. (This episode contains no spoilers for “Atomic Blonde” or “The Coldest City”, so listen without fear.)

Host Jason Snell with Antony Johnston.

362: An Old Man With Wings  
"Spider-Man: Homecoming" - Despite a lot of trepidation based on previous lackluster film efforts, our panel rushed out to their local cinemas to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and came away with a pleasant surprise! They made a good Spider-Man movie! But did Tony Stark save the day, or just get in the way? Does Michael Keaton give a better villain performance than he ever did as a superhero? Did Tom Holland wear the suit, or did the suit (which talks, by the way) wear him? Our very own sinister six take apart the highs and lows of this exciting new chapter in the cinematic life of our favorite wall-crawler.

Host Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, Moisés Chiullan, Brianna Wu, David J. Loehr and Guy English.

361: Things Inside Other Things  
"Doctor Who" series 10 - The latest season/series of “Doctor Who” is over, and there’s only one last Christmas special to go before Peter Capaldi leaves the role. In this episode, we take a look at the season as a whole, including analysis of the Doctor, Bill, Nardole, and Missy. We pick our favorite episodes and then throw our least-favorites on the bonfire, before turning our attention to idle speculation about where Capaldi’s final episode might take us.

Host Jason Snell with Alyssa Franke, Jean MacDonald, Glenn Fleishman and David J. Loehr.

360: A Dwarf Named Elwood  
Rocket Surgery: "Dungeons and Dragons" - Settle back with a bagel or two and get ready for a film that fails to bring all the excitement and world-building of fantasy roleplaying to life! Our brave panelists watch 2000’s “Dungeons & Dragons”, which features dungeons, dragons, a horribly unbalanced party, an infuriating lack of connection to the game, a set of polar-opposite performances by Jeremy Irons and Thora Birch, a six-foot-tall “dwarf”, political theater even more boring than The Phantom Menace, generous garnishes of racism and sexism, and a villain who wears blue lipstick. Oh, and did we mention that TV’s Doctor Who is in it as an exposition elf? Join us as we watch until the end and finally say, “Ugh, WTF?”

Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley, David J. Loehr, Tony Sindelar and Steve Lutz.

359: I Tried to Quit This Book Twice  
Hugo and Nebula novels 2017 - Looking for a good science fiction or fantasy book to read? Have we got a list for you. Our intrepid panel read all the novels nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards this year—eight in total—and has returned with the results. No spoilers, but we’ll share our feelings about all eight books. With any luck, you’ll come out with one, or four, or eight books to add to your reading list.

Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty and Aleen Simms.

358: I Kissed Them Both  
"Life is Strange" - Our video game club is back in session, having played “Life is Strange”, the story of two young women in a town on the Oregon coast who become enmeshed in the town’s surprisingly dark underbelly. Every choice you make and every fact you uncover could completely change the story… or more likely, change the details a little bit. Plus there’s school politics, young love (or not—you decide!), diner food, beached whales, evidence dungeons, and more than a little time travel. We had a hella good time playing, and you probably will, too!

Host Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, Tiffany Arment, James Thomson, Brian Hamilton and John Siracusa.

357: It's Above Average  
"Wonder Woman" - “Wonder Woman”, the first female-led superhero movie in ages, has arrived! After praising director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Godot in a pre-spoiler segment, we discuss the necessity of the post-“Batman v. Superman” framing sequence, the choreography of the fight scenes, the innate humanity of Gal Godot’s Diana, how this compares to recent superhero fare, the World War I setting, and maybe even Chris Pine’s watch.

Host Erika Ensign with Shannon Sudderth, David J. Loehr, Alyssa Franke, Kelly Guimont and Steven Schapansky.

356: I'm Smart, Not Like Everybody Says  
"The Godfather Part II", Part Two - Our discussion of “The Godfather Part II” concludes with coverage of the street parade in Little Italy that leads to Vito’s murder of the previous Don, a peculiar congressional hearing, Fredo’s ultimate betrayal, Vito’s revenge, and the widening chasm between the approaches Vito and Michael take to being the head of a crime family. [Part two of two.]

Host Jason Snell with Merlin Mann, John Gruber, Moisés Chiullan and John Siracusa.

355: What Would Pop Do?  
"The Godfather Part II", Part One - We take a deep dive into Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part II”, which is really two movies in one. Robert De Niro stars as young Vito Corleone, who comes to America and learns how to become The Godfather. And Al Pacino stars as Michael Corleone, trying to live up to the standard set by his father in the first film. In this episode we talk about its overarching themes, the two-timeframe approach, and the first portion of the film itself, including a visit to pre-revolution Cuba and Lee Strasberg as a grumpy old man who really wants you to look at his cake. [Part one of two.]

Host Jason Snell with John Gruber, John Siracusa, Moisés Chiullan and Merlin Mann.

354: Sons of Caledonia  
Dan Moren wrote a book! - A panelist from the very first episode, Dan Moren is now a published science-fiction novelist. Dan’s book, “The Caledonian Gambit,” was released today. Seven years ago, before The Incomparable even existed, Jason read a draft of Dan’s book… proving that sometimes the road to having your book published can be a long one, but with talent and perseverance it can be done. In this special episode, Jason talks to Dan about how he started writing novels, when he started working on what would become “The Caledonian Gambit”, how he got an agent, the revision process, and where his novel-writing career takes him from here. (The episode doesn’t have any spoilers for the book.)

Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren.

353: Young Sexy Harry Mudd  
"Star Trek: Discovery" trailer - The first footage from the new Star Trek series, “Star Trek: Discovery” has arrived, and our crew of Trek fans has assembled to break down the details from the trailer and gauge their expectations. New Klingons! Mysterious alien objects! The potentially doomed crew of the USS Shenzhou! A holographic Sarek (and a lousy childhood on Vulcan)! A creepy alien who senses that death is near! In true Incomparable style, we talk for an hour about 143 seconds of trailer.

Host Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Brianna Wu, Scott McNulty, Tony Sindelar and David J. Loehr.

352: Hold My Space Beer  
The Guardians of the Galaxy are back, and so we’ve convened our panel of moviegoers to break down the good and bad of “Vol. 2.” Ego’s weird art collection! Yondu’s true status as a Space Dad! Sylvester Stallone being himself! Fighting sisters, deadbeat dads, and Fleetwood Mac. We break it all down, as usual.

Host Jason Snell with David J. Loehr, Kelly Guimont, Helene Wecker and Chip Sudderth.

351: You're Right, Father--Kill All Humans  
AMC and Channel Four's "Humans" season 2. - Channel Four and AMC’s “Humans” intrigued us with its classic sci-fi premise—what if human-like androids integrated throughout society suddenly become sentient?—when it premiered in 2015. The show’s second season recently completed on American screens, so we’ve gathered to discuss the latest developments. It’s a unique mixing of big ideas and domestic life, but does the second season suffer from the show’s reluctance to make major changes at the end of season one? What made this season so frustrating, so often? Which storylines worked—and which ones were missed opportunities? Why does Carrie Anne Moss keep talking to blades of grass stored on a server? Why would any human want to be a Synth? What’s Mark Zuckerberg doing here? We cover it all.

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa and Moisés Chiullan.

350: Magic Pixie Dream Girl  
"The Magicians" - This week we draw your attention to another excellent TV series that recently concluded a run of episodes: SyFy’s “The Magicians”. Based on a series of books by Lev Grossman, this is a show that starts out as a mash-up of Harry Potter and Narnia and goes in some very surprising directions while continually improving in quality. Love, war, sex, fairies, gods (some evil, some capricious, some just annoying)—there’s a lot to love about this show. In the first half of the episode we talk generally about the show and why we like it; the second half, after the Spoiler Horn, is devoted to breaking down the events of its just-completed second season. (Content advisory: “The Magicians” contains a couple examples of sexual assault/abuse. And we talk about them.)

Host Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman and Moisés Chiullan.

349: I've Got a Creamy Nougat  
FX's "Legion" - FX’s “Legion” TV series is based on a character from the X-Men comics, but knowing the backstory isn’t important. This isn’t another superhero comic adaptation, but something unlike anything we’ve seen before—a visual and auditory feast, great actors, and smart writing that will make sure you sit up and pay attention. If you’ve written off comic-book TV shows and movies, time to circle back and appreciate this eight-episode first season from writer/producer Noah Hawley (“Fargo”). Expensive music! Beautiful sets! And actors who used to be in “Downton Abbey”, “Parks & Recreation”, and “Designing Women”! What more could you ask for?

Host Jason Snell with Philip Mozolak, Nathan Alderman and David J. Loehr.

348: He's Way Better Than Fonzie  
"American Graffiti" and "Breaking Away" - A bunch of people born in the 1970s discuss two films from that decade about young people coming of age: 1973’s “American Graffiti” and 1979’s “Breaking Away.” The first is a film (set in 1962) featuring young people driving around a northern California town on the last night of summer before reality sets in; the second is about young people riding bikes (and swimming in a quarry) in Indiana. The first comes from the future director of “Star Wars”; the second comes from the future director of “Krull”. Both are full of faces you will recognize. And both have interesting things to say about being young and the prospect of growing up.

Host Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, John Siracusa, Lisa Schmeiser and Steve Lutz.

347: I Tore My Pants  
Star Trek Episode Draft - We draft our favorite episodes across every “Star Trek” series, to induct 35 episodes into the Trek hall of fame. Human Play Dom-Jot?

Host Jason Snell with David J. Loehr, Justin Michael, Aleen Simms, Scott McNulty, Joe Rosensteel and Dan Moren.

346: Go to the Moon  
The books of N.K. Jemisin - Our Book Club reconvenes to discuss the works of novelist N.K. Jemisin, specifically her most recent books, “The Fifth Season” and “The Obelisk Gate.” We also discuss the Inheritance Trilogy, which started with “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.” Plus, what are we reading now?

Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Scott McNulty and Erika Ensign.

345: Evil Giggle  
"The Good Place." - Rarely do we devote an episode to a television comedy, but “The Good Place” earned our love and your attention. It’s a single story told over 13 half-hour episodes, with twists and turns and a lot of laughs. Why has Eleanor been sent to heaven by mistake? Why did a 70s dude high on mushrooms figure out the secret to eternal life? Why do we keep being gently reminded of Douglas Adams? Why is there a lava man in the conference room? Why does purgatory feature warm beer and Eagles live albums? We break it all down, and leave space after the Spoiler Horn to discuss the many surprising plot developments as the season went along.

Host Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, David J. Loehr and Glenn Fleishman.

344: Metaphors All the Way Down  
Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" - Tape plastic wrap to your windows and wear a heavy jacket, because we’re revisiting Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel “American Gods” (and its not-a-sequel, 2005’s “Anansi Boys”) before these books make it to TV screens. We appreciate Gaiman’s writing style and the tightrope he walks to tell the story he wants to tell, but have some questions about invisible gods, tall tales, roadside landmarks, and the rules of this world.

Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Monty Ashley, Glenn Fleishman and David J. Loehr.

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose