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.

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


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Previous Episodes

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


347

I Tore My Pants

We draft our favorite episodes across every “Star Trek” series, to induct 35 episodes into the Trek hall of fame. Human Play Dom-Jot?

Jason Snell with David J. Loehr, Justin Michael, Aleen Simms, Scott McNulty, Joe Rosensteel and Dan Moren


346

Go to the Moon

Book Club

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?

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Scott McNulty and Erika Ensign


345

Evil Giggle

Rarely do we devote an episode to a television comedy, but “The Good Place” earned our love and your attention. It’s a single story told over 13 half-hour episodes, with twists and turns and a lot of laughs. Why has Eleanor been sent to heaven by mistake? Why did a 70s dude high on mushrooms figure out the secret to eternal life? Why do we keep being gently reminded of Douglas Adams? Why is there a lava man in the conference room? Why does purgatory feature warm beer and Eagles live albums? We break it all down, and leave space after the Spoiler Horn to discuss the many surprising plot developments as the season went along.

Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, David J. Loehr and Glenn Fleishman


344

Metaphors All the Way Down

Book Club

Tape plastic wrap to your windows and wear a heavy jacket, because we’re revisiting Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel “American Gods” (and its not-a-sequel, 2005’s “Anansi Boys”) before these books make it to TV screens. We appreciate Gaiman’s writing style and the tightrope he walks to tell the story he wants to tell, but have some questions about invisible gods, tall tales, roadside landmarks, and the rules of this world.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Monty Ashley, Glenn Fleishman and David J. Loehr


343

Billy Campbell’s Soup

Put on your helmet, strap on your rocket pack, and stash that chewing gum somewhere, because it’s time to discuss 1991’s throwback adventure film “The Rocketeer.” Timothy Dalton chews the scenery! Billy Campbell is a bad boyfriend! Every character actor ever makes an appearance! Gangsters join forces with the Feds to fight Nazis! Jennifer Connelly… is also present! And there’s a Zeppelin!

Jason Snell with Casey Liss, Dan Moren, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr


342

Sad Superman

In the wake of the enormous success of “The Sixth Sense”, M. Night Shyamalan’s follow-up “Unbreakable” was seen as a disappointment, but we think it deserves a critical reappraisal. 2000 was a desert for superhero movies, but “Unbreakable” actually seems more impressive after 15 years of modern takes on the genre. We discuss the film’s interesting color palette, the weight of a full paint can, the water-resisting qualities of Bruce Willis’s green poncho, why anyone would like the colors rust and brown, and the practicality of Samuel L. Jackson carrying a glass cane. And stick around—I hear this one’s got a surprise ending.

Jason Snell with Mois├ęs Chiullan, Erika Ensign, Dan Moren and Justin Michael


341

Might As Well Keep Going

Rocket Surgery

Our survey of terrible movies from various decades returns with a stop in the 60s, to visit 1965’s low-budget spectacle, “The Wizard of Mars,” featuring John Carradine in the title role as one of the horrors of the red planet. How many parallels are there between this film and “The Wizard of Oz”, really? Why are caves on Mars so peaceful? How much oxygen does it take to stay alive on Mars? Join us as we laugh to keep from crying—we’ve come all this way, there’s no reason to turn back now!

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley and David J. Loehr


340

Give the Robots Some Time

Our walk through the films of animation master Hayao Miyazaki continues with 1986’s “Castle in the Sky.” From floating princesses to angry pink pirates to exciting train chases, this film—set in a sort of steampunk Wales—has it all. Oh, and did we mention the airships? It wouldn’t be a Miyazaki movie without flying things and lots of clouds.

Jason Snell with Steve Lutz, Erika Ensign, John Siracusa, Aleen Simms and Merlin Mann


339

Burned Like Books

Book Club

The Incomparable’s Book Club reconvenes to discuss two books from the past about future dystopias: Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Is Bradbury just angry about reality TV? Does Orwell just want you to read his essay about language? Can we read these famous books without bringing along our preconceived notions of what they’re supposed to mean? At what temperature do Kindles burn? Don’t worry—in the end this entire episode is going down the Memory Hole.

Jason Snell with John McCoy, Scott McNulty, Erika Ensign and David J. Loehr


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