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.

501

The Kickstarter of Space Exploration

Book Club

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?

Book Club Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Aleen Simms, Erika Ensign and David J. Loehr


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Previous Episodes

500

Amalgamated Zeppelin Monocle Company

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.

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

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.

Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, Aleen Simms and Moisés Chiullan


498

That Puppet Has an Agent

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.

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Helene Wecker, Chip Sudderth and Aleen Simms


497

A Concerning Amount of Tootsie Rolls

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.

Jason Snell with Stephen Hackett, Kathy Campbell, Dan Moren and Moisés Chiullan


496

Get Into the Elephant Stuff

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.

Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Merlin Mann, Joe Rosensteel and Aleen Simms


495

Congratulations, You’re All Pregnant - The Best 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.

2019 meme

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, David J. Loehr, Erika Ensign, Moisés Chiullan, Monty Ashley and Steve Lutz


494

No Sith For You

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.”

Moisés Chiullan with Tiffany Arment, Marco Arment, Cicero Holmes and David J. Loehr


493

Maybe They’ve Got Evil Droids

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.

Antony Johnston with Lizbeth Myles, James Thomson and Chip Sudderth


492

The Sith You’ve Dated

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.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Erika Ensign, Tony Sindelar, Kelly Guimont and Aleen Simms


491

The Yellow Ones Don’t Stop

Get out your flask of maple syrup, warm up your Lite Brites and Etch-A-Sketches, and check the Clausometer, because it’s time to tell the story of Buddy the Elf. It’s 2003’s “Elf”, the modern Christmas classic starring Will Ferrell. What are the theological implications of the seven levels of the candy cane forest? Why so many “Lord of the Rings” references? How can James Caan and everyone else at the publishing company be so bad at their jobs? Wait a second… this isn’t maple syrup!

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Kathy Campbell, Annette Wierstra, Steve Lutz, Brian Hamilton and Joe Rosensteel


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