The Incomparable Retired

The Incomparable

An award-winning podcast about pop culture. Jason Snell talks with a rotating panel of regular guests. For new episodes, visit

Hosted by Jason Snell.

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#190: The Cloud is Run by Hydra

April 12, 2014 at 12:15PM • 1 hour 7 minutes

Grab your shield, steal your old uniform, and hop on your motorcycle, because it's time for us to discuss "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." It's the latest Marvel movie, and even though Steve Rogers is the title character, there's an awful lot of SHIELD in this movie, too. Does the franchise aspect of these films help or hurt? Are the action scenes more interesting than the urban disasters featured in most recent superhero movies? And is the Falcon really Cap's only friend outside SHIELD? Also, we reveal the Hydra secret handshake.

Featuring panelists Dan Moren, Tony Sindelar, Guy English, Rene Ritchie, and Moisés Chiullan.

#189: Using Computers to Impress Girls

April 5, 2014 at 3:00PM • 2 hours

Warm up your modem and turn your nuclear-launch key--it's time to play Global Thermonuclear War! We discuss "WarGames," the 1983 John Badham film starring Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, and Ally Sheedy. Is this the ultimate film for computer nerds like us? How do the film's Cold War themes contrast with its anti-technology themes? Can a computer make moral decisions? Why is there so much nerd shaming and sexism? And why do they let tour buses into the heart of America's nuclear command? So many questions, Professor Falken, and so few remote-controlled pterodactyls.

Featuring panelists John Siracusa, Andy Ihnatko, Greg Knauss, and David J. Loehr.

#188: Game Show II

March 29, 2014 at 7:00PM • 1 hour 36 minutes

In the spirit of April Fool's Day, we present the second edition of The Incomparable Game Show. Two teams match up in a battle of trivia and pointlessness. (Or is that redundant?)

Team Pacific Time: Glenn Fleishman, Greg Knauss, Philip Michaels, Monty Ashley, Steve Lutz.

Team East and Also Canada: John Siracusa, Dan Moren, Scott McNulty, Erika Ensign, David J. Loehr.

#187: Man versus Mars

March 22, 2014 at 8:15AM • 1 hour 13 minutes

Our Book Club reconvenes to discuss "The Martian" by Andy Weir. It's a nuts-and-bolts adventure about a stranded astronaut who uses his botany and engineering skills to stay alive on Mars. Did we mention botany? And engineering? There's a lot of both. Also, we tell you what we're reading.

Featuring guests Lex Friedman, John Moltz, Lisa Schmeiser, and Scott McNulty.

#186: Kazoo Parade

March 15, 2014 at 3:00PM • 1 hour 24 minutes

We reconvene our Old Movie Club to watch two gritty early-1970s films that have been unfortunately remade in the last decade: "Get Carter" starring Michael Caine, and "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" starring Walter Matthau. We learn about slide-based pornography, metaphors involving stick-shift cars, angry New York transit officers, kazoo parades, and so much more.

Special guests David J. Loehr, Philip Michaels, and Steve Lutz.

#185: A Three-Edged Sword

March 7, 2014 at 4:45PM • 2 hours 9 minutes

It was the dawn of a new age--the rise of sci-fi shows with story arcs, complex characters, and computer-based special effects. "Babylon 5" was a trailblazing TV series and we give it the treatment it deserves in this double-sized episode. The curious can join us for a lengthy pre-Spoiler Horn conversation about why we like the show, and the veterans can stick around for detailed, spoilery conversations about where the show went during its five seasons on the air.

Special guests Andy Ihnatko, Chip Sudderth, Erika Ensign, and Michael Gartenberg.

#184: Genius Edition

March 1, 2014 at 12:00AM • 1 hour 24 minutes

Do you love cardboard and hate sanity? Then join us for our draft of favorite board games! We do some uranium mining on a donkey, propose a new trivia-themed podcast, debate the merits of Sanka versus Yuban, and discuss two different versions of Risk--three, if you count the version Tony invented where each Risk battle is settled by a full game of Monopoly.

Special guests Dan Moren, David J. Loehr, Erika Ensign, Monty Ashley, and Tony Sindelar.

#183: How I Sold Your Mother

February 22, 2014 at 1:45PM • 1 hour 26 minutes

Do you like sand? Then you may get upset as we conclude our discussion of "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones," in which we ponder the mystery of droid consciousness, fail to get excited about seeing our old friends from Episode I again, open a Variety Pack of monsters, debate Yoda's fighting strategy, and talk John Siracusa off the ledge. Finally, we ponder whether it's worse for a movie to be bad or boring. (Part 2 of 2.)

Special guests Dan Moren, John Siracusa, Monty Ashley, Serenity Caldwell, and Steve Lutz.

#182: Full-Fledged Force Mullet

February 14, 2014 at 8:15PM • 1 hour 23 minutes

Against the advice of our doctors, we're back with more prequels. This time it's "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones." With three different opening statements, our podcast is about as bureaucratic as the Imperial Senate. We also discuss R2's incompetence as a security system, ponder Anakin's puzzling pick-up lines (and haircut), sympathize with the boring job of the Jedi, and question the plight of the Fett family and the clone troopers. (Part 1 of 2.)

Special guests Dan Moren, John Siracusa, Monty Ashley, Serenity Caldwell, and Steve Lutz.

#181: You're the Christopher Reeviest

February 8, 2014 at 2:00PM • 1 hour 21 minutes

Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones, but will he always be? We discuss the interesting problem of replacing the face of your franchise, whether it's Doctor Who or James Bond or Captain Kirk or Batman or Superman. Fortunately, we leave plenty of time for digressions into old TV shows (including "Three's Company," "Bewitched," and "Magnum P.I.") and anger the internet's foremost Robocopians. Spoiler: In the end, Hollywood ruins everything.

Special guests Andy Ihnatko, David J. Loehr, Erika Ensign, and Jason Brightman.