From The Incomparable on Feb. 9, 2019, 5:43 p.m.
Put on your fake beard and step out of a magic door, because 2004’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” is in the spotlight. Hayao Miyazaki adapts Diana Wynne Jones’s novel as an anti-war statement that also plays as a Miyazaki’s Greatest Hits collection. We discuss the choices of the English audio dub versus the original Japanese version, ponder the film’s many discarded story threads, note the lengthy scenes involving climbing and cleaning, and debate the true role of Calcifer the fire demon in Howl’s household.
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Shannon Sudderth, Moisés Chiullan and Steve Lutz.
From The Incomparable on Feb. 3, 2019, 5:04 p.m.
Unusual movie musicals - Our Old Movie Club visits two musicals—but they’re both unusual. From near the beginning of the sound era comes “Gold Diggers of 1933”, a Depression-era tale of showgirls and swells and misunderstandings with enormous Busby Berkeley production numbers. And from the early days of Beatlemania comes 1964’s “A Hard Day’s Night”, intended (at least by its financiers) to be disposable boy-band fluff, but ended up being one of the most influential films of the 20th century.
Host Jason Snell and Philip Michaels with Quinn Rose, Dr. Drang, Steve Lutz and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 26, 2019, 6:41 p.m.
"Batman Begins" - It’s time to dive in to the first film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, 2005’s “Batman Begins.” We discuss how it changes the tone after the embarrassing Joel Schumacher films, its remarkable roster of acting talent, the more grounded tone and technology, and a whole lot more. Plus, one panelist’s deep love of Michael Caine is revealed at last.
Host Jason Snell with Guy English, Christina Warren, Don Melton, Dan Moren and Tony Sindelar.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 19, 2019, 6 p.m.
"Cowboy Bebop" - We convene a special panel of anime mavens to discuss the iconic series “Cowboy Bebop.” Why has this series made such an impression? We cover all the best characters, episodes, and moments.
Host Tony Sindelar with Dan Moren, Moisés Chiullan, Aleen Simms, John Siracusa and Joe Rosensteel.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 13, 2019, 1:30 a.m.
Book-to-TV-series pitch session - In this era of peak TV, with more than 500 scripted English-language series on the agenda for 2019, what better time for our very well-read panel to suggest books and book series they’d like to see turned into new TV shows? If you’re a TV producer, you’d better act fast—since we recorded this episode, one of our picks has already been announced as a new project! If you’re not a TV producer, consider this a great reading list of books that you’ll like so much you’ll wish they were adapted into TV shows.
Host Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Monty Ashley, Moisés Chiullan, Alyssa Franke, Kathy Campbell, Dan Moren and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 6, 2019, 6:50 p.m.
The best stuff of 2018, plus clip show - Happy New Year! We take this opportunity to look back at 2018, as a collection of panelists shares some of their favorite works from the past year. Then a second group discusses their favorite Incomparable (and related podcast) moments and we play some classic audio clips.
Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Monty Ashley, David J. Loehr, Antony Johnston, Dan Moren, Chip Sudderth, Erika Ensign and Steve Lutz.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 31, 2018, 2:10 a.m.
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" - We all suspected Sony’s new animated Spider-Man movie would be a slapdash cash grab. Instead, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is one of the best animated movies of this or any other year, with great characters, an exciting story, and a mind-boggling visual style that changes the game for animation and superhero movies alike. We come in praise of Miles Morales, Peter B. Parker, and all the other spiders who populate this delightful gift of a film.
Host Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Kathy Campbell, Moisés Chiullan, Monty Ashley and Tony Sindelar.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 23, 2018, 3:25 a.m.
"Doctor Who" series 11 - The latest “Doctor Who” season—and the first featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor and Chris Chibnall as showrunner—is now in the books. In this episode we bring Doctor Who podcasters, experts, and fans to discuss what worked about the new season, what didn’t, and what our hopes are for the next series when the show returns in (gasp) 2020.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Alyssa Franke, Jean MacDonald, Steven Schapansky, Chip Sudderth and James Thomson.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 16, 2018, 4:25 p.m.
"Star Trek IV" - In this holiday season, what could be more emblematic of the spirit of Peace on Earth (of the past) and Goodwill toward men (who aren’t whalers or aquarium directors) than 1986’s “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”? We celebrate “the one with the whales”, an enjoyable romp through 1980s San Francisco that also features a soundtrack that sounds like a Christmas carol, nuclear wessels with terrible security practices, and Admiral Kirk’s to-go pizza box.
Host Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Jean MacDonald, Joe Rosensteel, Moisés Chiullan, Chip Sudderth and Scott McNulty.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 8, 2018, 7:41 p.m.
"Planet of the Apes" - Consult the lawgiver’s scrolls and watch out for talking dolls! It’s a madhouse! A madhouse! And also, the 50th anniversary of “Planet of the Apes.” Join us as we explore the world of spaceman Taylor (Charlton Heston) and his long journey through an empty desert into a land populated by officious orangutans, plucky chimpanzee scientists, and wry yet violent gorillas. Does it hold up? Why did such a dark vision generate kids’ lunch boxes and multiple sequels and spinoffs? And what are the intricacies of Ape Law?
Host Jason Snell with John Moltz, Jean MacDonald, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 2, 2018, 5:32 p.m.
Board Game Draft II - Break the shrink wrap and lift off the lid! It’s time to get together with friends and family to play some games. In this second Incomparable Board Game Draft, we’re allowing all sorts of tabletop (non-roleplaying) games. The result: 21 more games you might want to consider playing this holiday season—some classics, some brand new.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Dan Moren, Quinn Rose, Tony Sindelar, Monty Ashley and Brian Hamilton.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 24, 2018, 2:30 a.m.
Rocket Surgery: "The Black Hole" - Jason chose Disney’s “The Black Hole” for this edition of Rocket Surgery, and after viewing it, he’s pretty confident in his decision. But there is dissention in the ranks! Some panelists will stick up for Disney’s strange 1979 horror-as-sci-fi film, which features ranting scientists, robot ESP, laser contests, a giant rolling gumball on fire, a down-home robot prospector, and one hell of a chandelier. Oh, and did we mention there’s a black hole?
Host Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Erika Ensign, James Thomson, Philip Michaels, Kathy Campbell, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 18, 2018, 3:40 a.m.
Thanksgiving dinner draft - Gather ‘round the dinner table and prepare to partake in an amazing feast produced by your podcast pals. To celebrate Thanksgiving we’re drafting an entire meal, dish by dish. Kathy reveals her hands-off approach to Thanksgiving dinner. Phil has follow-up questions. Monty has a plan for immortality. Moisés implores you not to eat the Bay Leaf. And once we’re all full, Brian will bring you coffee. Pull up a chair!
Host Jason Snell with Kathy Campbell, Tiffany Arment, Philip Michaels, David J. Loehr, Jean MacDonald, Brian Hamilton, Monty Ashley and Moisés Chiullan.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 10, 2018, 5:41 p.m.
"2010: The Year We Make Contact" - Last week, we tackled the cinema classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” This week, we look at its sequel, 1984’s “2010: The Year We Make Contact.” There’s no denying it—this movie carries a heavy burden, and tries to explain a lot of things that fans of the original film didn’t need to have explained. And yet, at its core is a smart, entertaining mid-80s sci-fi movie with a great cast, some kitchen dolphins, and a few questionable Russian accents. Listening to this episode will be as easy as cake, comrade.
Host Jason Snell with Helene Wecker, Moisés Chiullan, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 3, 2018, 7:53 p.m.
"2001: A Space Odyssey" - Pick up a femur, order a moon sandwich, and always remember to bring your space helmet with you! On its 50th anniversary, we’re discussing Stanley Kubrick’s classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” What is the Monolith’s purpose? When and why does HAL become murderous? And why is there so much solarized stock footage of landscapes? Watch out for cheetahs!
Host Jason Snell with John Gruber, John Siracusa, Philip Michaels, Moisés Chiullan and Dr. Drang.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 28, 2018, 5:28 a.m.
Film score draft. - Sit back and let our panelists take you into the world of movie music, as we draft our favorite film scores. (Songs with lyrics not eligible!) Who is this John Williams guy and why is he hogging the limelight? If James Horner’s scores all sound the same, why do we keep picking them? This is one episode that wasn’t overproduced by Hans Zimmer.
Host Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Dan Moren, Joe Rosensteel, Kathy Campbell, Moisés Chiullan and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 20, 2018, 4:03 p.m.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" season 3 - Well, gosh! Our slow walk through all seven seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” reaches season three, full of extra slayers and friendly-but-demonic mayors and all the hallmarks of your senior year in high school. Is Faith a good addition or does she disappoint? Does Xander continue to stink or does he grow up? Was the introduction of Anya (and the vampire version of Willow) all we could wish for? Did the WB network demand all of the romance and love-triangle subplots? We talk about the season as a whole and our favorite (and least favorite) episodes.
Host Jason Snell with Jean MacDonald, Quinn Rose, Aleen Simms and Steve Lutz.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 13, 2018, 5 p.m.
The second beer episode. - Two years ago we drank beer on a podcast and talked about it, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re back for more beer! The Incomparable’s Oktoberfest returns with five polarizing beers chosen by listener (and Almanac Brewing co-founder) Jesse Friedman and mailed to all of our houses. We open them and drink them on air—in stereo, just like the flavor of a hazy IPA! Will we finally understand why people line up to drink Pliny the Elder? Who put coconut in our stout again? Why does Dan keep trying to ruin the podcast? Will the podcast get progressively sillier as we drink beer? The answer to that last one is “yes.”
Host Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Marco Arment, Jesse Friedman, Dan Moren, Brian Hamilton, Allison Truj, Kathy Campbell and Lauren Snell.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 6, 2018, 6:05 p.m.
Mary Robinette Kowal's "Lady Astronaut" novels - This summer we devoured two novels by Mary Robinette Kowal, “The Calculating Stars” and “The Fated Sky.” They’re both exciting tales of space exploration, with well-rounded characters having to navigate challenges both external and internal, cultural and scientific, personal and global. They’re set in an alternate timeline where the Space Race we know happened quite a bit differently, and at the center is the world-famous Lady Astronaut, Elma York. We seriously can’t recommend these books highly enough. Listen in to find out why, and then stick around for a list of other books we really enjoyed!
Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Kathy Campbell, Marisa McClellan and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 29, 2018, 4:47 p.m.
Rocket Surgery: "Equilibrium". - After “The Matrix” was a hit, we got the inevitable plague of Matrix-like tales of ultraviolent dark pop philosophy. Of these, 2002’s “Equilibrium”… was one. At the pleading of Dan Moren, our Rocket Surgery team disassembles this tale of totalitarianism and gun-based martial arts starring Christian Bale, Emily Watson, Taye Diggs, and Sean Bean. It’s a movie that thinks it’s very, very smart when it’s actually really dumb. Be sure to take your Prozium, or the Grammaton Clerics will set you on fire!
Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Erika Ensign, Jean MacDonald, Moisés Chiullan, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 22, 2018, 6:22 p.m.
"Dark City." - Look, the ’90s was a dark time, okay? A year before “The Matrix” there was another film about identity and memory and the meaning of reality, cloaked in noir tropes and gunfire and mind-blowing revelations. It’s 1998’s “Dark City”, directed by Alex Proyas and starring Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, and a heavy-breathing Kiefer Sutherland. This is a film that was a favorite of both Roger Ebert and European video pirates. Why is Kiefer Sutherland the only being alive who can use a syringe? Why is memory like paint? And can you tell us the way to get to Shell Beach?
Host Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Anže Tomić and Erika Ensign.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 15, 2018, 7:55 p.m.
"Princess Mononoke" - Grab your crystal dagger and leave your village forever! It’s time to discuss our latest Miyazaki movie, as selected by John Siracusa: 1997’s “Princess Mononoke.” We lend a certain ugly dignity to the proceedings by discussing this medieval fantasy tale featuring wolf gods, disgusting pig spirits, and the occasional cartoon beheading. Stand away from the leper holes!
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Steve Lutz, Merlin Mann and Aleen Simms.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 8, 2018, 6:57 p.m.
"The Expanse" season 3 - Thanks to Amazon, this most recent season of “The Expanse” won’t be the last! The show has been saved, and it’s a good thing, because we really enjoyed season 3. In this episode, we discuss how the show’s producers made some clever diversions from their source material, space spies, hallucinatory cops with hallucinatory hats, David Strathairn’s amazing Belter accent, amoral fathers and the rage-monster daughters who love them, and the plethora of stolen spaceships that populate the solar system.
Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Katie Mack and Dan Moren.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 2, 2018, 6:24 p.m.
Summer of Marvel finale - It’s been fun, but just as Labor Day Weekend is the traditional end of summer, so too is this the end of the Summer of Marvel! In this episode our panelists pitch Marvel movies they’d like to see in the future, and we save some time at the end to reveal the results of our poll of Incomparable panelists to see where all the MCU movies rank.
Host Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Moisés Chiullan, Dan Moren and Nathan Alderman.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 26, 2018, 9:31 p.m.
Revisiting "Guardians of the Galaxy" - Hang on to your cyborg limbs! As the Summer of Marvel winds toward a close, our penultimate installment has us revisiting the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. How do they hit us upon rewatching? How vitally important was the tone of the original film in terms of making the Marvel Cinematic Universe less of a snooze? What do the movies have to say about the power of sisterhood? Does Peter Quill have any internal life at all? Why does Jason dislike Ego’s Planet so much? And how does “Avengers: Infinity War” rely on the character development of the second Guardians movie? All that, plus a tree and a raccoon outwit a human repeatedly.
Host Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, Lisa Schmeiser and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 18, 2018, 11 p.m.
"Thor: Ragnarok." - There are Thor movies, and then there’s “Thor: Ragnarok.” From the liberal use of the Hulk to the perfectly bizarre Jeff Goldblum to the delightful villainy of Cate Blanchett, this is a wacky cosmic romp that’s a universe apart from the two previous Thor installments. Loki just wants to eat grapes, Valkyrie wants to be left alone, and Doug’s not here anymore, man. Pour one out for ol’ meow meow and join us for the Lord of Thunder—or is that the God of Hammers?—and his finest hour.
Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Jean MacDonald, Kelly Guimont and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 11, 2018, 6:10 p.m.
"Doctor Strange" - The Marvel Universe has wizards now? Yes, and “Doctor Strange” is the movie where we meet them. But more than anything, this is a character study of Mister Doctor himself, who is laid low by distracted driving and then has to rebuild his life by moving to Nepal, stealing books from a magical library, and getting half-frozen on the side of Mount Everest before being thrust into mystical battles against his will. Spectacular visuals! Mads Mikkelsen trapped in a wall! Tilda Swinton as a super weird ageless magical being (who was Asian in the comics)! Dormammu, we come to bargain.
Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Tony Sindelar and Nathan Alderman.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 5, 2018, 5:04 p.m.
"Ant-Man" and "Ant-Man and the Wasp" - Our Summer of Marvel rolls on with a movie we haven’t covered—2015’s delightful comedy heist film “Ant-Man”—as well as its brand-new sequel, 2018’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” We discuss de-aging Michael Douglas, the unlikely brilliance of casting Paul Rudd, the relentless competence of Hope Pym in the face of Scott Lang’s incompetence and the unpleasantness of her father, and everything we love about Luis.
Host Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Cicero Holmes, David J. Loehr and Chip Sudderth.
From The Incomparable on July 28, 2018, 5 p.m.
The Avengers, revisited - Order some schwarma, because we’ve assembled a powerful panel to discuss Earth’s mightiest heroes. Our Summer of Marvel continues with a re-examination of three films we originally reviewed when they were released: “The Avengers”, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and “Captain America: Civil War”, which is really an Avengers movie when you think about it. How do they hold up? What works and, in hindsight, what doesn’t? Which characters benefit from Joss Whedon’s screenwriting tics, and which do not?
Host Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Lisa Schmeiser, Dan Moren, Dr. Drang and Nathan Alderman.
From The Incomparable on July 21, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
"Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Captain America: Winter Soldier" - Thaw yourself out of the ice and wave a flag, because we’re revisiting “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as we continue our walk through the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We discuss the charismatic power of Chris Evans, the smoothness of the Red Skull’s face, the unrecognizability of the Winter Soldier, our lack of trust in Robert Redford, and how Black Widow splits time between setting Steve Rogers up on dates and changing all the sizing tags on his clothing. Buy some war bonds and join us as we discuss that star-spangled man with a plan!
Host Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Joe Rosensteel and Aleen Simms.
From The Incomparable on July 14, 2018, 7:07 p.m.
"Thor" and "Thor: The Dark World" - Take off your pants and prepare a long scene-setting speech about space mythology, because it’s time to discuss “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World” as we continue our Summer of Marvel. We praise the excellent casting of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, as well as smaller players Stellan Skarsgård and Kat Dennings, while wondering about what went wrong with Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. (Hint: It’s mostly the writing.) Perhaps most importantly, Jason finally sees what other people see in “The Dark World” that he doesn’t… even if he remains unconvinced.
Host Jason Snell with John Moltz, Joe Rosensteel, Dan Moren and Dr. Drang.
From The Incomparable on July 7, 2018, 5:28 p.m.
"Hulk" and "Incredible Hulk" - The Summer of Marvel continues our walk through the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008’s “Incredible Hulk,” starring Edward Norton. Released weeks after “Iron Man”, it’s often ignored, and yet it’s a fascinating look at the decisions Marvel did (and didn’t) make as it built its film franchises. Also just for kicks, we compare and contrast with Ang Lee’s 2003 “Hulk” starring Eric Bana, because gamma dogs.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Guy English and Tony Sindelar.
From The Incomparable on June 30, 2018, 4 p.m.
"Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2" - The Incomparable’s Summer of Marvel begins with a look back at 2008’s “Iron Man” and 2010’s “Iron Man 2.” How unlikely was it that a B-list Marvel Comics superhero nobody had ever heard of would end up kicking off one of the most successful film franchises of all time? How did perfect casting and a light touch with the subject matter pay off in this unlikely success? And how does the sequel balance being a second “Iron Man” film and the launch of a much larger franchise?
Host Jason Snell with Brian Hamilton, Chip Sudderth, Jean MacDonald and Dan Moren.
From The Incomparable on June 23, 2018, 6:22 p.m.
Hugo Award nominees 2018 - The Incomparable’s Book Club reaches the finish line of our annual SF/Fantasy award read, as we discuss the six nominees for the Hugo Award for best novel. From new series to concluded trilogies to standalone epics, this year’s list had a lot of variety. And for good measure, we throw in a few of the short-fiction nominees that we really liked.
Host Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Erika Ensign and Aleen Simms.
From The Incomparable on June 17, 2018, 6:48 p.m.
1980s album draft - Put on your leg warmers, insert your shoulder pads, and warm up your synthesizers. It’s time for us to take a time machine back to the 1980s, where our panelists will participate in a draft of their favorite musical albums from that decade. This is one episode that is guaranteed to be totally awesome.
Host Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Antony Johnston, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley and James Thomson.
From The Incomparable on June 9, 2018, 4:39 p.m.
"The Simpsons" quote draft - Inflammable means flammable? What a country! It’s a perfectly cromulent thing to do, to pick quotes from “The Simpsons” in draft form. So we have assembled a learned panel of people who haven’t seen the show in years, bribed them with plenty of Malk (with Vitamin R!), and set them to choose their favorite lines from the most quotable TV show of all time. We hope you find this episode excellent. If you don’t, don’t blame us—we voted for Kodos.
Host Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman, Philip Michaels, John Siracusa and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on June 2, 2018, 7:05 p.m.
"Casablanca" - Endlessly quoted, residing on every list of the best films of all time, you might think that “Casablanca”—released 75 years ago—is overrated and played out. Nope! It’s a fun film with romance, snappy ironic dialogue, and a stunning cast. And it’s also a fascinating historical document, given that it was written before Pearl Harbor and produced in the early days of America’s involvement in World War II, when the end of the war was anything but a foregone conclusion. We discuss the magical letters of transit, Captain Renault’s jocular amorality, Victor Laszlo the speechifying drip, Ilsa’s piercing stare, Major Strasser’s favorite cereal, Sam’s implausible piano handwork, the Ken Cinema in San Diego, and how the war was like a rap battle.
Host Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Monty Ashley, Moisés Chiullan, Dan Moren and Dr. Drang.
From The Incomparable on May 27, 2018, 4:07 a.m.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story" - Fresh from the movie theaters, here’s our flash review of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” In a world where there’s a new “Star Wars” movie every year, sometimes it’s a relief not to have the fate of the galaxy at stake. What are the rules of Sabacc? Are references the lowest form of fan service? Will casual fans be more enthusiastic than hard-core ones? Why watch droids fighting for entertainment when you have holograms? From train heists to floating space yachts to surprise cameos, we break it all down.
Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, John Siracusa, Erika Ensign, Kelly Guimont, Tony Sindelar and Philip Michaels.
From The Incomparable on May 19, 2018, 5:10 p.m.
Nebula Novels 2018 - Our Book Club has reconvened to take you on a tour of the seven novels nominated for this year’s Nebula Awards, honoring the best in Science Fiction and Fantasy. After you listen your summer book list will be replenished! We liked almost all of these books, so there’s a lot to choose from—and only one of the six is a later book in a series, so you won’t have to do homework to get reading. Read them all and Jason will give you a gold star and a pizza party, but he’s eating all the pizza.
Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms and Scott McNulty.
From The Incomparable on May 13, 2018, 6:48 p.m.
"The Magicians" season 3 - Climb aboard your sentient sailing ship, put on a high-fashion eye patch, and prepare for the big musical number—it’s time to talk about Season 3 of “The Magicians.” This is a series that just keeps getting better, and for our money, this was one of the best and most unexpected seasons of television we’ve seen in a long time. Along the way we mention Buffy, Star Trek: TNG’s “Darmok” and “The Inner Light”, and how the journey can be appreciated even when the story doesn’t quite stick the landing.
Host Jason Snell with Mikah Sargent, James Thomson and Glenn Fleishman.
From The Incomparable on May 6, 2018, 9:47 p.m.
Childhood canon, part 2 - It’s time for the second episode in our series on “childhood canon”—the works we encountered as children that set us on the pop-cultural path we walk to this day. For the purposes of this discussion, “works” may also include furniture.
Host Dan Moren with Quinn Rose, Kathy Campbell, Lisa Schmeiser, Shannon Sudderth, Chip Sudderth, David J. Loehr and Brian Hamilton.
From The Incomparable on April 30, 2018, 4:27 a.m.
"Avengers: Infinity War" - After seeing opening-weekend showings of Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” our panelists got together for a quick discussion of our first impressions, favorite moments, key complaints, and thoughts about where the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes from here. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t listen!)
Host Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Alyssa Franke, Tony Sindelar, Dan Moren and Chip Sudderth.
From The Incomparable on April 21, 2018, 9:05 p.m.
Childhood canon, part 1 - What were the works we encountered as children that set us on the pop-cultural path we walk to this day? We begin a two-episode series on our individual childhood canon. Also, John McCoy would really like you to find a movie he remembers seeing as a kid.
Host Jason Snell with Liz Myles, Jean MacDonald, Tony Sindelar, John McCoy and Joe Rosensteel.
From The Incomparable on April 14, 2018, 7:15 p.m.
"Counterpart." - Check that your documents are in order and prepare to make an unusual border crossing. “Counterpart” is a spy thriller with a science fiction twist. Featuring a great lead performance from J.K. Simmons and an incredibly strong supporting cast, this is a show that features exciting spycraft mixed with some serious questions about identity, the sum of our experiences, and the road not taken. We discuss the first season, with a spoiler horn before we get to the most surprising plot twists that lead into the show’s forthcoming second season.
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Erika Ensign, Dan Moren and Moisés Chiullan.
From The Incomparable on April 8, 2018, 10:06 p.m.
Harlan Ellison short stories - His reputation precedes him. Harlan Ellison is probably one of the best writers of the last century, but he may be more famous (or infamous) for his irascibility, his lawsuits, and his reputed bad behavior. In this episode, six people (two of whom are Ellison novices) read six of his most lauded short stories and discuss the man and his words.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Rhias Hall, Lisa Schmeiser, Chip Sudderth, David J. Loehr and Scott McNulty.
From The Incomparable on April 1, 2018, 7:09 p.m.
Four drafts - It’s our 400th episode. What better way to celebrate than with a draft featuring some of our most prolific panelists? We pick topics both impractical and practical, and works both unrealized and culturally vital. (Don’t ask questions.)
Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, John Siracusa, David J. Loehr, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley, Erika Ensign, Glenn Fleishman and Lisa Schmeiser.
From The Incomparable on March 24, 2018, 6:37 p.m.
"The Prisoner" - Fifty years ago Patrick McGoohan fascinated and confused us with “The Prisoner”, a 17-episode TV series about a man stripped of his name, given a number, and held captive in an idyllic village that doubles as a bizarre surveillance state. It’s allegorical and metaphorical and downright mind-bending, with a baffling conclusion that we’re still scratching our heads about today. What makes this show so great? How does it hold up so well to this day? And have you ever really looked at your hand? We want information, and by hook or by crook, we’ll get it.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Kathleen Schowalter and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on March 18, 2018, 7:13 p.m.
Ursula K. Le Guin - Our Book Club returns to discuss two late 1960s works by the legendary Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away earlier this year. We tackle the fantasy novel “A Wizard of Earthsea” and the science fiction novel “The Left Hand of Darkness”, both deeply influential in different ways. The works were new to some of our panelists and old favorites for others, so we discuss both what they represented at the time and how we view them from the perspective of 2018.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty, Antony Johnston and Glenn Fleishman.
From The Incomparable on March 11, 2018, 9:44 p.m.
"Black Panther" - It’s already one of the most successful superhero films of all time, but it’s so much more than that. Our topic this episode is “Black Panther,” which dives into issues from feminism to the long-term effects of imperialism to the legitimacy of monarchies. Plus there’s spectacular production design, some amazing action scenes, and one of the most memorable (and sympathetic) villains in recent movie history. Wakanda Forever!
Host Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Mikah Sargent, Lisa Schmeiser and Moisés Chiullan.
From The Incomparable on March 5, 2018, midnight
"The Incredibles" - Put on your super suit, but be sure to take off the cape! We discuss Pixar’s “The Incredibles”, a spectacular story of superheroes, being your best self, family, mid-life crises, and the dangers of machine-learning AIs.
Host Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, John Siracusa, Joe Rosensteel and Steve Lutz.
From The Incomparable on Feb. 24, 2018, 9:08 p.m.
"The Cosmic Man" (1959) - We return to bad 1950s science fiction for our latest Rocket Surgery installment, which features 1959’s “The Cosmic Man.” There’s a UFO the likes of which we’ve never seen, in the form of a ping-pong ball in a canyon. Army men and a world-famous scientist that even little kids recognize joust over whether the UFO should be used as a weapon or to benefit all of humanity. And meanwhile, there’s John Carradine checking in to a mountain lodge in an outfit that is not at all like what an alien would wear his first time on Earth.
Host Jason Snell with Jean MacDonald, Steve Lutz, Philip Michaels and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on Feb. 17, 2018, 5 p.m.
"Star Trek: Discovery" season one - Hop into your spore chamber and prepare for Black Alert — “Star Trek” has returned to television, and we’ve got our overview of the first season of “Star Trek: Discovery.” Did it meet our expectations? Was it more comfort food or modern TV drama? “Star Trek” shows live or die by their characters, so did Burnham, Saru, Tilly, Stamets, and company find their way into our hearts? Why were there so many plot twists? And what are we hoping for in season two? We break the whole thing down.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Mikah Sargent, Aleen Simms, Joe Rosensteel and Scott McNulty.
From The Incomparable on Feb. 10, 2018, 5:44 p.m.
"The Good Place" season 2 - “The Good Place” just finished its second season, and we still couldn’t love this show more. We discuss the moral growth of all the show’s characters in season two, break down the meaning of the final episode, and float a bunch of theories about where the show might be headed next.
Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Glenn Fleishman, Kathy Campbell, Chip Sudderth and Brian Hamilton.
From The Incomparable on Feb. 3, 2018, 5:54 p.m.
"Midnighter" - Step through a teleportation door and boot up your brain’s fight computer, because our Comic Book Club has returned to discuss DC’s “Midnighter.” He’s was once a Batman analogue but now he’s his own man, with no secret identity, a penchant for strategic violence, and an amazing dating profile. And thanks to three recent trade-paperback collections written by Steve Orlando, you can get to know this singular superhero as he journeys from Oakland to Boston to various made-up DC Comics cities.
Host Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser and Joe Rosensteel.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 27, 2018, 9:05 p.m.
"Doctor Who" story draft - In the 54 years of “Doctor Who” there have been roughly 275 different stories. We collected seven “Doctor Who” fans and forced them to pick favorites in a draft format! The result is a great selection of 28 stories from both the classic and modern eras, unless you’re a fan of the single Doctor who did not have a single episode picked.
Host Jason Snell with James Thomson, Liz Myles, Alyssa Franke, Erika Ensign, Chip Sudderth and Steven Schapansky.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 20, 2018, 6:11 p.m.
"Travelers" - Welcome to the 21st! Your mission is to listen to us discuss “Travelers”, an enjoyable time-travel TV series available in most of the world on Netflix. With a twisty science-fictional premise, some fascinating character complications, and a dose of humor, this Canadian import is worth your time. We discuss the basic premise of the show and why we like it a lot, and then fire off the Spoiler Horn to discuss the details of the show’s first two seasons.
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Erika Ensign and Lex Friedman.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 14, 2018, 5:33 p.m.
"Spirited Away" - Our survey of the films of director Hayao Miyazaki continues with 2001’s “Spirited Away.” It’s a real weird one, and sure to be turbocharged nightmare fuel for kids… but as adults, we have more capacity to appreciate a film as absolutely bugnuts as this. (Some downloads of this file contained an audio error at 32 minutes, with multiple overlapped voices. Re-download the file to get a corrected version, or just skip ahead about a minute.)
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Steve Lutz, Aleen Simms and Moisés Chiullan.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 6, 2018, 8:06 p.m.
TV Theme Song Draft - Here’s the story Of nine lovely people Who were picking songs from favorite TV shows It was a very short draft Just four rounds With some picks no one knows
Host Jason Snell with Brian Hamilton, Dan Moren, Jean MacDonald, Moisés Chiullan, David J. Loehr, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley and Kathy Campbell.
From The Incomparable on Jan. 1, 2018, 8:01 a.m.
Our favorites, plus our annual clip show! - Happy New Year! We take this opportunity to look back at 2017, as our top hosts and panelists of the year talk about their favorite stuff from the year gone by. And then it’s time to list our favorite Incomparable moments and play some clips.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Dan Moren, Monty Ashley, Tony Sindelar, David J. Loehr, Brian Hamilton, Aleen Simms, Steve Lutz and Glenn Fleishman.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 23, 2017, 12:21 a.m.
"The Last Jedi", a third view - Our (increasingly inaccurately named) team of rebel UK podcasters takes on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Join us for another deep dive into the themes, performances, and surprises of the latest “Star Wars movie.” We promise not to mention Porgs until the very end!
Host Antony Johnston with Serenity Caldwell, James Thomson and Moisés Chiullan.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 21, 2017, 2:22 a.m.
"The Last Jedi", a second view - “Time and Relative Dimension in Space” meets “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” as a hardy rebel band of podcasters who are “Doctor Who” fans form The Incomparable’s second panel about “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. We take on the themes of failure and redemption, the unexpected fan reactions, and specious comparisons between “Doctor Who” showrunners and Star Wars directors. And porgs. Always porgs.
Host Chip Sudderth with Erika Ensign, Steven Schapansky, Alyssa Franke and Warren Frey.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 16, 2017, 9:52 p.m.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" - Grab a porg, put on your matching necklaces, and get out your ancient Jedi texts—it’s time to discuss “The Last Jedi,” episode VIII of the “Star Wars” saga. (And if we missed something, please understand that we’ve only seen it once so far!)
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Kelly Guimont, Aleen Simms and Tony Sindelar.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 11, 2017, 1:49 a.m.
Holiday Traditions - In this special episode we discuss our personal holiday traditions, including foods, travel, gift-giving, decorations, and media. We also debate the reality of tofurkey and learn many things about legendary bearded gift-giving characters courtesy of a country that’s shaped like a chicken.
Host Jason Snell with Antony Johnston, Anže Tomić, Kelly Guimont, Kathy Campbell, Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Dec. 2, 2017, 7:33 p.m.
"It's a Wonderful Life" - Stand above the icy river waters and ponder what life would be without 1946’s holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Would you be shocked to discover that not everyone likes it? In this episode we’ve got two fans of the film to tell us why it’s great, and a detractor who is attempting to crash this car into the town’s oldest tree. What are the pros and cons of one of the definitive Christmas movies of all time?
Host Jason Snell with David J. Loehr, Dr. Drang and Brian Hamilton.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 26, 2017, 1:47 a.m.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" season 2 - Yeah, baby, we’re back! It’s time to return to Sunnydale and discuss the second season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” considered by many fans (including Jason) to be its best. The main adversaries are a trio of vampires, including Billy Idol, the bizarrely insane Drusilla, and Angelus—because Latin names are more evil. Plus there’s an evil smurf, a tragic rendezvous at Giles’ apartment, a big rock, inexplicable gypsy ensoulment curse strategies, and a whole whiteboard full of classic horror tropes.
Host Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Quinn Rose, Jean MacDonald, Steve Lutz, John McCoy and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 19, 2017, 8:50 p.m.
"What Remains of Edith Finch" and "Tacoma" - Our Video Game Club is back in action as we play two short artsy-fartsy narrative games. “What Remains of Edith Finch” is a game about a young woman returning home to the Pacific Northwest and exploring the mysteries left behind by her family—which sounds an awful lot like other games we’ve played, but it’s very different! We also played “Tacoma”, by the developers of “Gone Home”, which (despite its title) is not set in the Pacific Northwest but in outer space. Both games have interesting approaches to immersive storytelling, and they’re both worth playing.
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Allison Truj and Brian Hamilton.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 12, 2017, 7 p.m.
"Labyrinth" - Eat a peach, put on a white ball gown, and join us as we enter a fantasy world full of puppets and David Bowie musical numbers. In 1986’s “Labyrinth”, a teenager accidentally gets her baby brother kidnapped by goblins. To get him back, she has to enter a magical world and meet many strange creatures along the way. The credits are full of notable names, including Jennifer Connelly, Jim Henson, George Lucas, and Terry Jones. It’s Erika’s favorite movie, but Jason has never seen it! Are puppets people too? Let’s find out!
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Shannon Sudderth, Katie Mack, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Nov. 5, 2017, 6:11 p.m.
"The Third Man" and "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" - Old Movie Club returns with two paranoid films set amid the intrigue of postwar Europe: 1949’s “The Third Man” and 1965’s “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.” The former features Orson Welles, a collection of suspicious characters in Vienna, and a whole lot of zither music. The latter features Richard Burton mixing insobriety with spycraft, and a very peculiar library. (This episode is presented in black and white.)
Host Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Dr. Drang, Frank Wu, David J. Loehr and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 28, 2017, 3 p.m.
A list of books! - Here in North America, the leaves are brightly colored and there’s a chill in the air. What better time to stay inside, make a warm pot of tea, and curl up with a good book? Our panel has many suggestions for excellent books to read if you or a friend is looking for a good science fiction or fantasy novel.
Host Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Erika Ensign, Dan Moren and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 22, 2017, 5:19 p.m.
The books of Roald Dahl - Beloved (yet creepy?) children’s author Roald Dahl is in our spotlight this week, as we talk about some of our favorite books by Dahl, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “James and the Giant Peach”, “Danny, the Champion of the World”, and “Matilda.” We also discuss film adaptations and all the uncomfortable bits that have been cut out of new editions of Dahl over the years. Look for the golden ticket inside this podcast!
Host Jason Snell with John McCoy, Brian Hamilton and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 14, 2017, 3:55 p.m.
Disney Animated Features Draft - Join us for a draft of animated Disney movies! From across 80 years of Disney history, our panel will pick 24 of our very favorites.
Host Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, Monty Ashley, Brian Hamilton, Kathy Campbell, Kelly Guimont, Steve Lutz and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 8, 2017, 2:06 a.m.
The Dark Tower novels - It took thousands of pages over seven novels, but eventually Stephen King finished his genre-busting series, The Dark Tower—and eventually we finished it too! Join four faithful readers who have taken the journey with Roland and his Ka-Tet and are ready to report back. We’ve got 30 minutes of non-spoiler discussion for prospective readers, followed by a lightning-round palaver about all seven main-sequence books, and how they link with other parts of King’s work.
Host Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, John Siracusa and Dan Moren.
From The Incomparable on Oct. 1, 2017, 8:35 p.m.
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" at 30 - On the 30th anniversary of the debut of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, we watched the show’s first and last episodes and used them to appreciate what worked right out of the gate (casting) and what took a bit longer to jell together into one of the great science fiction TV series of all time.
Host Jason Snell with Helene Wecker, Jean MacDonald, Lisa Schmeiser and David J. Loehr.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 23, 2017, 6:40 p.m.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels overview - With Jason away “on assignment,” a Rebel force of podcasters takes over The Incomparable’s transmission tower to celebrate (and introduce you to, if you haven’t watched them yet) Lucasfilm’s animated extensions to the Star Wars canon: the six-season Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, which is entering its fourth and final season. Why do adult fans love them? Did they actually redeem the prequels? Who are the breakout characters who became as important as anyone in the movies? We steer clear of the big spoilers!
Host Chip Sudderth with Dan Moren, Liz Myles, David Sparks, Alyssa Franke and Tony Sindelar.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 16, 2017, 5:19 p.m.
"Whisper of the Heart" - Our survey of Miyazaki movies crosses over with Anime Club in this episode, where we discuss Studio Ghibli’s 1995 film “Whisper of the Heart.” Written by Miyazaki but directed by Yoshifumi Kondô, it’s a coming-of-age story with some resonance with “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” except there’s no magic and the cat doesn’t talk. But it’s still one magical cat.
Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Erika Ensign, Aleen Simms and Moisés Chiullan.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 9, 2017, 7:07 p.m.
"Star Wars: Episode IX" Director Draft - This week we learned that Lucasfilm has parted ways with Colin Trevorrow, who was previously slated to write and direct 2019’s installment in the “Star Wars” saga, and realized that the absolutely dumbest way to react to the news would be to draft a bunch of possible replacements. So in this episode we present our suggestions to fill that director’s chair, from the real to the ridiculous to the ones from beyond the grave! Along the way we take time to discuss the challenges of finding ways for creative people to mesh with big studio-controlled franchises. And all without a single “Star Wars” spoiler!
Host Jason Snell with Serenity Caldwell, Monty Ashley, Dan Moren, Guy English, David J. Loehr and Brian Hamilton.
From The Incomparable on Sept. 3, 2017, 7:14 p.m.
"Game of Thrones" season 7 - The penultimate season of “Game of Thrones” is in the books, and we’re here to wrap the entire thing up. All of that slow travel and scene-setting from the previous seasons is swept away, and this is our reward. Reunions! Death speeches! Dragon-on-dragon action! And we discover the secret of Jon Snow—no, not his actual parentage, but the fact that he’s best when paired with other, more interesting characters.
Host Jason Snell with Liz Myles, Monty Ashley, Erika Ensign, Kelly Guimont and Kathy Campbell.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 26, 2017, 4:45 p.m.
"Batman & Robin" - Time for 1997’s “Batman & Robin”, featuring George Clooney as Batman, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, and Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. At least we can laugh about it now… to keep from crying. (Part two of two.)
Host Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Moisés Chiullan, Steve Lutz, David J. Loehr, Monty Ashley and Joe Rosensteel.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 19, 2017, 4 p.m.
"Batman Forever" - So when Batman won our Summer Superhero Spectacular, we embarked on a quest to talk about all the Batman movies. Which leads us to the unfortunate spectacle of us watching both “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin.” This week, it’s the Val Kilmer Era, so let’s go back to 1995 and marvel at Jim Carrey’s understated performance as the Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones’s equally subtle performance as Two-Face. We are so, so sorry. (Part one of two.)
Host Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Joe Rosensteel, Moisés Chiullan, David J. Loehr, Tony Sindelar and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 12, 2017, 5 p.m.
"The Tick." - Destiny has her hand on our backs, and she’s pushing! That’s why we’re talking about The Tick, Ben Edlund’s hilarious superhero satire, in all its forms. From the original comics to the groundbreaking animated series to the 2000s live-action series to the all-new series premiering on Amazon Prime Video this month, we’ll cover it all. The night is young and we have umbrellas in our drinks. Evildoers, eat our justice!
Host Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman and Tony Sindelar.
From The Incomparable on Aug. 5, 2017, 6:44 p.m.
TV Hall of Fame Draft, Part 2 - We return to our first wave of inductees into The Incomparable’s Television Hall of Fame, as we enshrine 10 more series that our panelists consider among the greatest of all time. This second batch spans seven decades and includes sketch comedy, animation, sitcoms, dramas, and even a show that premiered less than a year ago. [Part two of two.]
Host Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Dan Moren, Dr. Drang, John Siracusa, Erika Ensign, Andy Ihnatko, Moisés Chiullan, David J. Loehr and Glenn Fleishman.
From The Incomparable on July 29, 2017, 5:57 p.m.
TV Hall of Fame Draft, Part 1 - Using our authority as a podcast about popular culture, The Incomparable has established a new Television Hall of Fame. Enshrined within will be the greatest TV series of all time, as chosen by a panel of 10 Incomparable experts in draft format. New inductees include shows created across six decades, and in every conceivable genre. [Part one of two.]
Host Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman, David J. Loehr, Moisés Chiullan, Andy Ihnatko, Erika Ensign, John Siracusa, Dr. Drang, Dan Moren and Monty Ashley.
From The Incomparable on July 22, 2017, 7:10 p.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on July 15, 2017, 6 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on July 9, 2017, 6:05 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on July 3, 2017, 6:19 a.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on June 24, 2017, 6:19 p.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on June 17, 2017, 10:18 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on June 10, 2017, 4:54 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on June 3, 2017, 6:45 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on May 28, 2017, 7:43 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on May 23, 2017, 8:01 a.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on May 20, 2017, 7:11 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on May 13, 2017, 7:08 a.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on May 7, 2017, 5:58 p.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on April 29, 2017, 5:01 p.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on April 23, 2017, 8:04 p.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on April 16, 2017, 2 a.m.
"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.
From The Incomparable on April 8, 2017, 5 p.m.
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.
From The Incomparable on April 1, 2017, 7:19 p.m.
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.