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.

380

Floppy Shark

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.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Allison Truj and Brian Hamilton


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379

High Fantasy with Muppets

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!

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Shannon Sudderth, Katie Mack, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr


378

A Parrot Bit Me

Old Movie Club

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.)

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Dr. Drang, Frank Wu, David J. Loehr and Monty Ashley


377

Kids Love the Kaiser (An Autumn Reading List)

Book Club

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.

Jason Snell with Scott McNulty, Erika Ensign, Dan Moren and David J. Loehr


376

Terrifying Fear of Clouds

Book Club

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!

Jason Snell with John McCoy, Brian Hamilton and Monty Ashley


375

Sentimental Spite

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.

Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, Monty Ashley, Brian Hamilton, Kathy Campbell, Kelly Guimont, Steve Lutz and David J. Loehr


374

Just Give Me 35 Years

Book Club

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.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, John Siracusa and Dan Moren


373

Great Joy and Gratitude

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.

Jason Snell with Helene Wecker, Jean MacDonald, Lisa Schmeiser and David J. Loehr


372

Jedi Inflation is a Serious Problem

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!

Chip Sudderth with Dan Moren, Liz Myles, David Sparks, Alyssa Franke and Tony Sindelar


371

Grandpa and His Musical Friends

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.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Erika Ensign, Aleen Simms and Moisés Chiullan


370

Someone We’ve Never Heard Of

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!

Jason Snell with Serenity Caldwell, Monty Ashley, Dan Moren, Guy English, David J. Loehr and Brian Hamilton


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