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.

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No One in a Powdered Wig is Scrappy

It’s taking the culture by storm, the biggest Broadway musical in years—and it’s about… the first U.S. secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton? It seems unlikely, but nothing about the “Hamilton” story is likely. Lin-Manuel Miranda took the biography of a lesser-known early American figure and turned it into a story full of catchy songs and social commentary, including the rapid-fire hip-hop lyrics and the casting of non-white actors in most of the parts. Four of our “Hamilton”-mad panelists discuss the appeal of the show and why it works so incredibly well.

(This we’ve also launched an entire podcast devoted to “Hamilton”, so if you want to hear various panels discuss the show song by song, you may want to subscribe to that, too.)

Piano intro and outro music from Hamilton played by Christopher Breen.

Jason Snell with Serenity Caldwell, Monty Ashley, David J. Loehr and Chip Sudderth

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Previous Episodes


The Answer is One Elephant

Comic Book Club

In this edition of Comic Book Club, we discuss one of Marvel’s newest heroes, Kamala Khan, the star of G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s “Ms. Marvel.” She’s a Muslim from New Jersey, so in some ways she’s a very different kind of Marvel super hero, but she’s also a tortured teen trying to come to terms with her identity—so in other ways, she’s very much the model of a Marvel super hero. Plus: What are we reading?

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Shannon Sudderth, Aleen Simms and Tony Sindelar


She Scullys Herself

Just as “The X-Files” is revived for a limited-run miniseries, we take time to look back at this classic TV series from the 90s. (With gorgeous new HDTV versions available on Netflix!) We discuss some classic episodes, the dynamic between Scully and Mulder that really made the show work, and a whole lot more. The truth is in here—you just have to want to believe.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, John Siracusa and David J. Loehr


The Stars Look Very Different Today

David Bowie

We celebrate the amazing life and career of David Bowie, from his stunningly varied music career (yes, including those collaborations with Queen, Mick Jagger, and Bing Crosby) to his film and theater roles. (And between Major Tom and the Spiders From Mars, who was more sci-fi than Bowie?)

Antony Johnston with Erika Ensign, Dr. Drang and David J. Loehr


Head Clara

Jump in your TARDIS, visit the Space Lions, and get prepared for a 24-year-long night! This week our panel takes on the recently-concluded ninth series of “Doctor Who.” How does this season measure up to the previous ones? Was the more character-focused conclusion a good change of pace? How did Missy, Ashildr, and Clara make things feel a bit different? And how well did the show handle the moment when Clara faced the raven? This episode is bigger on the inside.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Glenn Fleishman, Steven Schapansky and David J. Loehr


I Love a Lot of Awful People - The Best of 2015

In this year-end review episode, our panelists discuss their favorite bits of entertainment from 2015. When that’s done, we review the top moments from The Incomparable in 2015, complete with clips—and a mysterious visitor.

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


They’re Not Alone

Our many-part analysis of “The Force Awakens” continues. In this episode we praise the casting of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac, and ponder how the diversity of the “Star Wars” universe has increased. Plus, did Luke hide something in all the droids? Why does Finn hold a lightsaber like a baseball bat? Why would one of the Weasley brothers become a fascist? And ultimately, why is this film redemptive for the franchise as a whole?

Aleen Simms with Lisa Schmeiser, Erika Ensign and David J. Loehr


They Were Jerk Planets

In this installment of our continuing coverage of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” our East Coast panel gushes a little, complains about Starkiller Base a little, ponders “The Force Awakens” as a buddy movie, copes with death, and tries to imagine what it will be like to get a new “Star Wars” movie every year. Also, Scott keeps bringing up “Star Trek.”

Chip Sudderth with Andy Ihnatko, Shannon Sudderth, Scott McNulty and Tony Sindelar


Fake Jedi Boy

Lots of people have opinions about “The Force Awakens,” and it’s sort of our charter to overdo it when it comes to “Star Wars.” So this week we’re presenting several follow-up panels about this new film. In this installment, we travel across the pond for a panel predominantly made up of residents of the UK. Why are there Scottish people in space? Who is the face of fresh young fascism? Where can we get red replacement arms?

Antony Johnston with Liz Myles, James Thomson and Dan Moren


Stormtroopers Are People

After three years of anticipation, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is finally here, and our panel of “Star Wars” fans is ready to review it. So here we go.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Serenity Caldwell and Dan Moren


Don’t Drink the Bacta Tea

With “The Force Awakens” only a week away, we pause to ponder why we’ve anticipated this film release for more than three years. What spoilers have we avoided? (This episode certainly contains none.) What does it mean that “Star Wars” is now an extended film franchise releasing new films annually? How many times are we going to see the film next weekend, and how will we find time to podcast about it? And perhaps most importantly, can any new “Star Wars” movie ever possibly hope to capture the excitement we felt when we discovered these films as children?

Jason Snell with Serenity Caldwell, John Siracusa and Dan Moren

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