The Incomparable / by Erin Wade


I sat down recently and forced myself to sit through Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith(1), a movie so painfully bad it makes me question important components of my childhood.

Why would I do this to myself?

The Incomparable podcast.

This show is hosted by Jason Snell, former Editorial Director of MacWorld Magazine. It has nothing in particular to do with Apple Computers, or technology, however. The podcast is essentially a labor of love.

Love, that is, for a variety of very geeky things.

Whether it's books, TV shows, movies, comic books, or video games, The Incomparable tackles it with a rotating panel of tech luminaries - Dan Moren, Erica Ensign, John Siracusa, Andy Ihnatko, and Merlin Mann among several others. While the format varies somewhat from episode to episode, it frequently involves all of the panel reading, watching, or playing a given bit of media, and then talking about it. If you like geeky stuff, it's like sitting in on a conversation with like minded friends.

The variety in panelists and topic matter is a boon for discovery of new material. I've learned about new comics, movies, books, and TV shows that I've loved by listening to the show. Sometimes the topic matter is grand in scale - in episode #153 - Monkey with a Tinfoil Sandwich the crew covers three different time travel movies in extensive detail(2). In other cases the topics are minuscule. When the trailer for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released The Incomparable covered it, spending an hour and 12 minutes on 80 seconds of video.

The crew has also tackled each of the Star Wars movies in great detail which, of course, is why I was watching the execrable third of the (chronologically) latter three Star Wars movies. In some ways, listening to the podcast is like being part of a very good book club - one wants to be sure to have done the requisite reading to be sure of being able to participate fully.

1 - About an hour into this movie LB said to me "would you mind if I went and watched Juno"? It failed to maintain the interest of a 13-year old science fiction fan. That pretty much says all that needs be said about this movie.

2 - I re-watched Twelve Monkeys, and watched both Looper and Primer for the first time because of The Incomparable. As I discussed a little while ago, I thoroughly enjoyed two of those three activities.