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.

446

Allergic to Brands

Book Club

Clip the labels off your clothes and put on a World War II replica bomber jacket—it’s time to revisit one of our favorite novels of this century, 2003’s “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson. It was Gibson’s first book to be set in the present day, and yet 16 years later it still feels like a work of science fiction, with a very modern story about brands and viral marketing and our desperate search to find meaning in a world that may have none. If all you’ve read of Gibson is “Neuromancer”, it’s past time that you visited the post-9/11 world of cool-finder Cayce Pollard, the mysterious internet video clips known as The Footage, the global marketing firm Blue Ant, and a series of increasingly lonely international hotel rooms.

Book Club Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Fred Kiesche, Antony Johnston and Monty Ashley


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Previous Episodes

445

It’s Probably Going to Be Weird

Put on your fake beard and step out of a magic door, because 2004’s “Howl’s Moving Castle” is in the spotlight. Hayao Miyazaki adapts Diana Wynne Jones’s novel as an anti-war statement that also plays as a Miyazaki’s Greatest Hits collection. We discuss the choices of the English audio dub versus the original Japanese version, ponder the film’s many discarded story threads, note the lengthy scenes involving climbing and cleaning, and debate the true role of Calcifer the fire demon in Howl’s household.

Rolling Dog

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Shannon Sudderth, Moisés Chiullan and Steve Lutz


444

Why People Don’t Like Musicals

Old Movie Club

Our Old Movie Club visits two musicals—but they’re both unusual. From near the beginning of the sound era comes “Gold Diggers of 1933”, a Depression-era tale of showgirls and swells and misunderstandings with enormous Busby Berkeley production numbers. And from the early days of Beatlemania comes 1964’s “A Hard Day’s Night”, intended (at least by its financiers) to be disposable boy-band fluff, but ended up being one of the most influential films of the 20th century.

Jason Snell and Philip Michaels with Quinn Rose, Dr. Drang, Steve Lutz and Monty Ashley


443

Right Off the Bat

It’s time to dive in to the first film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, 2005’s “Batman Begins.” We discuss how it changes the tone after the embarrassing Joel Schumacher films, its remarkable roster of acting talent, the more grounded tone and technology, and a whole lot more. Plus, one panelist’s deep love of Michael Caine is revealed at last.

Jason Snell with Guy English, Christina Warren, Don Melton, Dan Moren and Tony Sindelar


442

Sword is Definitely a Personality

We convene a special panel of anime mavens to discuss the iconic series “Cowboy Bebop.” Why has this series made such an impression? We cover all the best characters, episodes, and moments.

Tony Sindelar with Dan Moren, Moisés Chiullan, Aleen Simms, John Siracusa and Joe Rosensteel


441

Evil Dukes Are the Worst

Book Club

In this era of peak TV, with more than 500 scripted English-language series on the agenda for 2019, what better time for our very well-read panel to suggest books and book series they’d like to see turned into new TV shows? If you’re a TV producer, you’d better act fast—since we recorded this episode, one of our picks has already been announced as a new project! If you’re not a TV producer, consider this a great reading list of books that you’ll like so much you’ll wish they were adapted into TV shows.

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Monty Ashley, Moisés Chiullan, Alyssa Franke, Kathy Campbell, Dan Moren and David J. Loehr


440

Full Disclosure - The Best of 2018

Happy New Year! We take this opportunity to look back at 2018, as a collection of panelists shares some of their favorite works from the past year. Then a second group discusses their favorite Incomparable (and related podcast) moments and we play some classic audio clips.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Monty Ashley, David J. Loehr, Antony Johnston, Dan Moren, Chip Sudderth, Erika Ensign and Steve Lutz


439

Dad Bod Spider-Man

We all suspected Sony’s new animated Spider-Man movie would be a slapdash cash grab. Instead, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is one of the best animated movies of this or any other year, with great characters, an exciting story, and a mind-boggling visual style that changes the game for animation and superhero movies alike. We come in praise of Miles Morales, Peter B. Parker, and all the other spiders who populate this delightful gift of a film.

Jason Snell with Kelly Guimont, Kathy Campbell, Moisés Chiullan, Monty Ashley and Tony Sindelar


438

There’s a World of Biscuits

The latest “Doctor Who” season—and the first featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor and Chris Chibnall as showrunner—is now in the books. In this episode we bring Doctor Who podcasters, experts, and fans to discuss what worked about the new season, what didn’t, and what our hopes are for the next series when the show returns in (gasp) 2020.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Alyssa Franke, Jean MacDonald, Steven Schapansky, Chip Sudderth and James Thomson


437

Whale Logistics Movie

In this holiday season, what could be more emblematic of the spirit of Peace on Earth (of the past) and Goodwill toward men (who aren’t whalers or aquarium directors) than 1986’s “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”? We celebrate “the one with the whales”, an enjoyable romp through 1980s San Francisco that also features a soundtrack that sounds like a Christmas carol, nuclear wessels with terrible security practices, and Admiral Kirk’s to-go pizza box.

Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Jean MacDonald, Joe Rosensteel, Moisés Chiullan, Chip Sudderth and Scott McNulty


436

Most Important Chimpanzee

Consult the lawgiver’s scrolls and watch out for talking dolls! It’s a madhouse! A madhouse! And also, the 50th anniversary of “Planet of the Apes.” Join us as we explore the world of spaceman Taylor (Charlton Heston) and his long journey through an empty desert into a land populated by officious orangutans, plucky chimpanzee scientists, and wry yet violent gorillas. Does it hold up? Why did such a dark vision generate kids’ lunch boxes and multiple sequels and spinoffs? And what are the intricacies of Ape Law?

Jason Snell with John Moltz, Jean MacDonald, Joe Rosensteel and David J. Loehr


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