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

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.

343: Billy Campbell's Soup  
"The Rocketeer" - Put on your helmet, strap on your rocket pack, and stash that chewing gum somewhere, because it’s time to discuss 1991’s throwback adventure film “The Rocketeer.” Timothy Dalton chews the scenery! Billy Campbell is a bad boyfriend! Every character actor ever makes an appearance! Gangsters join forces with the Feds to fight Nazis! Jennifer Connelly… is also present! And there’s a Zeppelin!

Host Jason Snell with Casey Liss, Dan Moren, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr.

342: Sad Superman  
"Unbreakable" - In the wake of the enormous success of “The Sixth Sense”, M. Night Shyamalan’s follow-up “Unbreakable” was seen as a disappointment, but we think it deserves a critical reappraisal. 2000 was a desert for superhero movies, but “Unbreakable” actually seems more impressive after 15 years of modern takes on the genre. We discuss the film’s interesting color palette, the weight of a full paint can, the water-resisting qualities of Bruce Willis’s green poncho, why anyone would like the colors rust and brown, and the practicality of Samuel L. Jackson carrying a glass cane. And stick around—I hear this one’s got a surprise ending.

Host Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Erika Ensign, Dan Moren and Justin Michael.

341: Might As Well Keep Going  
Rocket Surgery: "The Wizard of Mars" - Our survey of terrible movies from various decades returns with a stop in the 60s, to visit 1965’s low-budget spectacle, “The Wizard of Mars,” featuring John Carradine in the title role as one of the horrors of the red planet. How many parallels are there between this film and “The Wizard of Oz”, really? Why are caves on Mars so peaceful? How much oxygen does it take to stay alive on Mars? Join us as we laugh to keep from crying—we’ve come all this way, there’s no reason to turn back now!

Host Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr.

340: Give the Robots Some Time  
"Laputa - Castle in the Sky" - Our walk through the films of animation master Hayao Miyazaki continues with 1986’s “Castle in the Sky.” From floating princesses to angry pink pirates to exciting train chases, this film—set in a sort of steampunk Wales—has it all. Oh, and did we mention the airships? It wouldn’t be a Miyazaki movie without flying things and lots of clouds.

Host Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Erika Ensign, John Siracusa, Aleen Simms and Merlin Mann.

339: Burned Like Books  
"Fahrenheit 451" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four" - The Incomparable’s Book Club reconvenes to discuss two books from the past about future dystopias: Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Is Bradbury just angry about reality TV? Does Orwell just want you to read his essay about language? Can we read these famous books without bringing along our preconceived notions of what they’re supposed to mean? At what temperature do Kindles burn? Don’t worry—in the end this entire episode is going down the Memory Hole.

Host Jason Snell with John McCoy, Scott McNulty, Erika Ensign and David J. Loehr.

338: All About Evey  
"V for Vendetta" - Remember, remember, the fifth of November… We discuss the 2005 film “V for Vendetta” and the Alan Moore and David Lloyd comic series that inspired it. Who, if anyone, is the hero of the film? How did the Wachowskis adapt the 1980s comic’s sensibilities to the 2000s? What’s with the film’s strange structure and surreal visual choices? And, most importantly, is V a man, an idea, or both?

Host Jason Snell with Brianna Wu, Guy English, Brian Hamilton, Philip Mozolak and Chip Sudderth.

337b: ...But Too Much  
The rest of "Black Mirror" - You’ve heard us talk about the best of “Black Mirror”, now hear us talk about… the rest of “Black Mirror.” Cut from the main episode for time, here’s our (unedited) discussion of “Fifteen Million Merits”, “The Entire History of You”, “The Waldo Moment”, “Playtest”, “Men Against Fire”, “The National Anthem”, “White Bear”, and “Shut Up and Dance.”

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, David J. Loehr and Brian Hamilton.

337: 20 Minutes Into the Future  
"Black Mirror" - Charlie Brooker’s anthology TV series “Black Mirror” has been compared to “The Twilight Zone”, with its dark, twist-laden tales about the advance of technology and how it affects society. Does it live up to the hype? Our panel watched all 13 episodes—all currently available on Netflix—and is here to report back on the strengths and weaknesses of the series. We also discuss our five favorite episodes in detail, so you can skip to the highlights if you don’t want to utterly darken your soul.

Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Brian Hamilton and David J. Loehr.

336: You Had Me at 'Splorch'  
Comic book movie pitches - Comic book movies got you down? Too much of the same old thing? This episode has the cure for what ails you, as we pitch a bunch of great comics that we’d like to see get the big-screen treatment that would be guaranteed to enliven the genre. And maybe along the way, we’ll add to your comics reading list, too.

Host Jason Snell with John McCoy, David J. Loehr, Monty Ashley, Moisés Chiullan and Lisa Schmeiser.

335: Perfect Kid Logic  
"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" - Grab your flowerpot and engage the rainbow drive! It’s time to discuss Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” the film that eclipsed “Star Wars” as the biggest grossing film of all time. What makes the film a perfect time capsule of being a kid in 1982? Does it hold up to modern eyes? Is it science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, or something else? Where did all those frogs come from? Hey, he’s an alien, we don’t know what he’s capable of.

Host Jason Snell with David Sparks, Erika Ensign, David J. Loehr and Chip Sudderth.

334: Three Pillars of Batman  
Tim Burton Batman movies - We begin an ongoing series of looks at the Batman film series with the first two modern entrants, Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns.” Tony educates us on the most important traits of Batman. We recall the marketing campaign that put the bat logo on everything. We spend a lot of time breaking down the first film, and…. yeah… “Batman Returns” is also a movie that exists.

Host Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Shannon Sudderth, Chip Sudderth, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr.

333: That's How It Works  
Best of 2016 - It’s time to send 2016 into oblivion! Our four most commonly-heard panelists join Jason for a look back at our favorite media stuff of last year. Then we recall some of the best episodes and moments from The Incomparable in 2016.

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

332: She's the Han Solo  
"Rogue One" rebel podcaster opinions - Striking from a hidden base, our rebellious European podcasters have once again taken over the Incomparable Death Star—er, Zeppelin—to provide their own unique opinions on “Rogue One,” the latest Star Wars film.

Host Antony Johnston with Liz Myles, James Thomson and Dan Moren.

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