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.

358

I Kissed Them Both

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!

Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, Tiffany Arment, James Thomson, Brian Hamilton and John Siracusa


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Previous Episodes

357

It’s Above Average

“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.

Erika Ensign with Shannon Sudderth, David J. Loehr, Alyssa Franke, Kelly Guimont and Steven Schapansky


356

I’m Smart, Not Like Everybody Says

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.]

Jason Snell with Merlin Mann, John Gruber, Moisés Chiullan and John Siracusa


355

What Would Pop Do?

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.]

Jason Snell with John Gruber, John Siracusa, Moisés Chiullan and Merlin Mann


354

Sons of Caledonia

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.)

Jason Snell with Dan Moren


353

Young Sexy Harry Mudd

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.

Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Brianna Wu, Scott McNulty, Tony Sindelar and David J. Loehr


352

Hold My Space Beer

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.

Jason Snell with David J. Loehr, Kelly Guimont, Helene Wecker and Chip Sudderth


351

You’re Right, Father—Kill All Humans

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.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa and Moisés Chiullan


350

Magic Pixie Dream Girl

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.)

Jason Snell with Glenn Fleishman and Moisés Chiullan


349

I’ve Got a Creamy Nougat

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?

Jason Snell with Philip Mozolak, Nathan Alderman and David J. Loehr


348

He’s Way Better Than Fonzie

Old Movie Club

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.

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, John Siracusa, Lisa Schmeiser and Steve Lutz


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