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The Incomparable

Author: Jason Snell

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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.
513 Episodes
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"Star Trek: Picard" season 1 - Engage! Season one of “Star Trek: Picard” is in the books, and so now it’s time to break it all down. Is Data’s death the overriding theme of the season? Does Picard’s final destination live up to the set-up? How did Hugh and Seven fare? Were the other visits from past cast members cheesy or good? How cool are Romulan warrior nuns? Who’s your favorite synth? And can storytelling ever be described as “lumpy?” Host Jason Snell with James Thomson, Jean MacDonald, Cicero Holmes, Anže Tomić and Erika Ensign.
"High Fidelity" (2000) - By the end of this episode we will sell several copies of “The Three E.P.s” by The Beta Band. It’s time to put on that horrible Cosby sweater and rearrange your record collection autobiographically. On the 20th anniversary of its release, we’re here to discuss one of our All-Time Top 5 movies featuring Lisa Bonet coming alive like Frampton, “High Fidelity.” Based on Nick Hornby’s novel, this film stars John Cusack as a bad boyfriend with a glimmer of hope at finding a clue, features a career-making performance from Jack Black as a gatekeeper fan with a surprising singing voice, and still resonates with us after two decades. Host Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Andy Ihnatko and Moisés Chiullan.
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" commentary track - In the interest of keeping you entertained if you’re locked indoors, here’s a full-length commentary track for one of our favorite movies, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” recorded in 2017. Play this commentary, press play on the movie when we tell you to, and it’ll be like you’re watching the movie with a bunch of friends! Note: You have to play it at 1x speed and with all silence-shortening features turned off on your podcast player or it won’t stay synced. (If you’re in the UK or elsewhere that has a sped-up PAL version of the movie, you can listen to the re-timed version of our commentary.) This track was originally made as a special for Incomparable members. We’ve done a bunch more since. If you’d like access to every members special we’ve ever done, consider becoming a member! Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr.
507: No More Death Stars

507: No More Death Stars

2020-03-2101:22:11

Where does "Star Wars" go from here? - The Skywalker Saga is over—so what’s next for “Star Wars”? This week we’re suggesting potential directions for the franchise to go, on both the big and small screens. What kinds of movies should come next? Is Disney+ a development platform or the next big thing? Our team of franchise fans has no fiduciary responsibility and plenty of ideas! Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Kelly Guimont and Monty Ashley.
"Star Wars" commentary track - In the interest of keeping you entertained if you’re locked indoors, here’s a full-length commentary track for one of our favorite movies, the original “Star Wars,” recorded in 2018. Play this commentary, press play on the movie when we tell you to, and it’ll be like you’re watching the movie with a bunch of friends! Note: You have to play it at 1x speed and with all silence-shortening features turned off on your podcast player or it won’t stay synced. This version has been edited to match the runtime of the Special Edition cut of “Star Wars”, which is the version you’ll find on DVD, iTunes, and Disney+. (We actually watched the “despecialized” edition that matches the original 1977 version of this film, and you can find that version of our commentary track here. If you’re in the UK or elsewhere that has a sped-up PAL version of the movie, you can listen to re-timed versions of our commentary for PAL special edition and PAL despecialized.) This track was originally made as a special for Incomparable members. We’ve done a bunch more since. If you’d like access to every members special we’ve ever done, become a member! Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Kelly Guimont, Monty Ashley and Shannon Sudderth.
506: Hold My Infinite Beers

506: Hold My Infinite Beers

2020-03-1501:39:11

"Doctor Who" series 12 wrap-up - This week we review the just-completed season of “Doctor Who.” It’s the second year for showrunner Chris Chibnall and star Jodie Whittaker, and this one felt like a real return to form after a tentative set of episodes in 2018. What do we make of the show’s canon-altering revelations? Which episodes were good and which ones were stinkers? How do you make the Cybermen interesting? How’s the fam holding up? Curl up in a haunted house—or just go sit on a lounge chair for three hours—and listen to this episode, followed by the Master’s TED Talk. Host Jason Snell with Annette Wierstra, Steven Schapansky, Jean MacDonald and Helene Wecker.
"Counterpart" season 2 - “Counterpart” is one of the best TV series in recent years, and in the U.S. it’s finally available in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video. In this episode, we generally discuss why this show is great and you should watch it, and then after the Spoiler Horn we dive in to discuss the show’s second and final season, how the world(s) come to be, and the meaning of the show’s final scenes. Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren and Moisés Chiullan.
"The Good Place" season and series wrap-up (bonus panel) - We love NBC’s “The Good Place” so much, we couldn’t restrain ourselves to a single episode about its final season. Straight from The Medium Place, another group of Incomparable panelists wrap up The Good Place’s four-season run by walking through each season and reminiscing about the characters’ arcs. Plus, how well was the final season paced? Did we need more time to say goodbye to Team Cockroach? Host Moisés Chiullan with Aleen Simms, Javier Matusevich and Kelly Guimont.
"The Good Place" season and series wrap-up - NBC’s “The Good Place” recently completed its fourth and final season. We send off this instant television classic with a discussion of its view of the afterlife, philosophy, and dumb jokes. Did the final season’s shift in perspective work? Did the final episode provide the closure we wanted? Shut up, Glenn! Host Jason Snell with Monty Ashley, Glenn Fleishman, Sarah Gardner and Kathy Campbell.
"House of X" and "Powers of X" - Make more mutants! Comic Book Club re-forms to discuss “House of X”/”Powers of X”, a paired set of comics miniseries that are an exciting new take on the X-Men. If you’re an old-school mutant fan who has been out of the business for years (like Jason), these 12 issues are a great read. They’re all available in a single collection, and the issues are also now rolling out weekly on Marvel Unlimited, so there are plenty of ways to partake. We discuss the politics of mutant separatism, the wisdom of backing up souls to a hard drive, the difference between Xavier and MLK, the many lives of Moira MacTaggart and how they free us from the burden of continuity, and much more. Finally, Moisés advises us on what to read among the follow-up series that were released in the wake of this book. Host Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Moisés Chiullan and Sarah Gardner.
"To Be Taught, If Fortunate" - Climb aboard your spaceship and prepare your skin to be sparkly, because we’re discussing “To Be Taught, If Fortunate,” a novella from Becky Chambers, a writer we enjoy quite a lot. This is a story about science, adventure, sacrifice, and the difficulty of being away from home for a very, very long time. An interesting crew of characters explores strange, new worlds—while trying to fit in biologically. Sometimes it goes really well, and other times it doesn’t. Also: What are we reading? Host Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Aleen Simms, Erika Ensign and David J. Loehr.
Episode D. - On the occasion of our 500th episode, our most prolific panelists of all time draft their favorite episodes of The Incomparable and suggest new drafts for future episodes of the podcast. Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Erika Ensign, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley, Lisa Schmeiser, Tony Sindelar, Scott McNulty, David J. Loehr and John Siracusa.
499: I Love Space Fedoras

499: I Love Space Fedoras

2020-02-0101:17:41

"The Expanse" season 4 wrap-up - Step into the alien architecture and watch out for death slugs, as we discuss season four of Amazon Prime Video’s “The Expanse.” We’re happy to have our characters saved from the clutches of the SyFy channel, but how has the transition to streaming been? Why are alien planets so much like quarries? Why is Avasarala so competent and unelectable? What shenanigans is Bobbie Draper getting into on Mars? Listen, or be spaced. Host Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, Aleen Simms and Moisés Chiullan.
"The Mandalorian" - Grab a tracking fob and saddle up a bluurg, because it’s time to discuss “The Mandalorian,” the first live-action Star Wars TV series. Why is the show’s main character always wearing a mask? How much merchandise money did Disney forego in order to keep Baby Yoda a secret? Is the Mandalorian capable of providing an environment in which Baby Yoda can thrive? Why is serving tea so civilized? We’ve got to get us one of those jet packs. Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Helene Wecker, Chip Sudderth and Aleen Simms.
"For All Mankind" - Hi Bob! We continue our early 2020 survey of late 2019 TV favorites with “For All Mankind”, an Apple TV+ series from Ron Moore about a NASA space program that has taken some dramatic turns since Soviet Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first person to set foot on the moon. We discuss the show’s balancing modern themes with its alt-historical context, how purely fictional and fictionalized historical characters fare, the merits of a weekly episode drop, lunar FaceTime and fax machines, and where it all might be headed in as the show’s second season (perhaps) reaches the 1980s. Host Jason Snell with Stephen Hackett, Kathy Campbell, Dan Moren and Moisés Chiullan.
HBO's "Watchmen" (2019) - There was a lot of great TV released in 2019, but if you ask us, there was none better than HBO’s “Watchmen”, which took a classic comic and tried to match it as a modern TV series. We discuss how the series dealt with race, superheroes, empire, masks, eggs, and legacy. Also: Will there be a second season? Should there be? Nothing ever ends, Adrian, especially if the spin-offs remain profitable. The initial file upload was broken in a spectacular way. Delete and re-download if you experience weird audio after 29 minutes. Host Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Merlin Mann, Joe Rosensteel and Aleen Simms.
Our favorite works and audio clips of 2019 - Happy New Year! Another year has gone by, but we don’t want to miss the opportunity to take one last look back at 2019, as our most frequent panelists of the year share some of their favorite works and discuss their favorite Incomparable moments while we play some classic 2019 audio clips. Host Jason Snell with Dan Moren, David J. Loehr, Erika Ensign, Moisés Chiullan, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz.
494: No Sith For You

494: No Sith For You

2019-12-3102:07:48

"Rise of Skywalker" Jedi Panel - Our trilogy of panels about “The Rise of Skywalker” concludes with a discussion of the film’s themes, how Kylo Ren keeps sliding into Rey’s DMs, whether you can ever have enough “Star Wars”, and how “Star Wars” is a little bit like “Seinfeld.” Host Moisés Chiullan with Tiffany Arment, Marco Arment, Cicero Holmes and David J. Loehr.
"Rise of Skywalker" Rebel Panel - Our panel of rebel podcasters, striking again from their hidden base, present another perspective on “The Rise of Skywalker.” Why does James want to see evil droids? Does Liz find Ben Solo or Kylo Ren more intriguing? Can Chip be satisfied with the ending to this generation-defining saga? Why are we in the midst of a global Porg shortage? Guest host Antony Johnston will seek the answers. Host Antony Johnston with Lizbeth Myles, James Thomson and Chip Sudderth.
492: The Sith You've Dated

492: The Sith You've Dated

2019-12-2202:39:34

"Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker" - The Dead Speak, and so do we! It’s our first panel reviewing “The Rise of Skywalker.” Can this film bear the gravitational pull of the eight previous Skywalker Saga films? Does it provide a proper ending? We discuss Rey’s parentage, Finn’s increasing abilities, Poe’s lessons in leadership, whether Kylo Ren can possibly be redeemed, Zen and the Art of X-Wing Maintenance, how the film balances honoring Carrie Fisher with serving Leia’s character arc, and much more. Host Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Erika Ensign, Tony Sindelar, Kelly Guimont and Aleen Simms.
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