Tread Perilously — Manimal: Female of the Species

Tread Perilously once again returns to its examination of NBC’s short-lived series Manimal with its fourth episode, “Female of the Species.”

When a young woman raised by wolves escapes from confinement, Manimal takes on the case. He’s convinced she had a human identity at one time and works to help her access it. Meanwhile, goons on behalf a mysterious businessman try to kill her. Is she the long-lost daughter of a well-to-do Manhattanite? Was the seemingly accidental destruction of her family’s boat more intentional than anyone thought? And will Manimal return her amorous advances once she decides he’s a worthy mate?

Erik and Justin dissect some of the inadvertent racist stereotypes on display during a film of Wolf Girl’s capture. Erik tries to determine the exact level of sleaziness in one of the supporting characters. Justin makes a bold stance on doggy-style jokes (for the duration of the episode). A group of goons become William H. Macy at various stages of his career. Justin spots Titanic‘s Gloria Stuart as a bag lady in one scene. Erik’s knowledge of Los Angeles geography trips him up as Manimal takes place in New York. Manimal’s home gets reviewed and Justin derails everything with “Johnson’s Johnson.”

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Tread Perilously — Tequila And Bonetti: The Rose Cadillac

Tread Perilously returns once again to the bizarre CBS series Tequila and Bonetti with its third episode, “The Rose Cadillac.”

When visiting Detective Nico Bonetti’s rose-colored Cadillac gets stolen by a car thief played by Star Trek: Voyager‘s Tim Russ, he blames his partner Tequila and sets off on an odyssey to retrieve it. Tequila, for his part, tries to make it up to Bonetti by pointing out clues. But being a dog, his surprising detective skills go unnoticed. Their attempts to find the car take them to a fortune teller/massage parlor/escort service run by a Voodoo priestess, a high class car dealership, and a film set. And as they leave a wave of comical destruction behind them, Captain Midian Knight tries his best to smooth things over.

Erik and Justin try to cast a remake of Xanadu. They also consider the work of director James Wan and break down the Tequila and Bonetti credit sequence. Erik analyzes Bonetti’s very specific Italian-American stereotyping. Justin pitches a new bike-cop show called Hart & Dong. He also plays a game of Secret Mexican. Erik is convinced Tequila and Bonetti was trying to create a cast of recurring characters a la The Simpsons and Justin tries to explain why hack screenwriters make poodles the “hot” dog in film and television.

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Tread Perilously — Baywatch: Now Sit Right Back And You’ll Hear A Tale

Tread Perilously introduces Baywatch into its repertoire with one of the most un-Baywatch episodes ever made: “Now Sit Right Back and You’ll Hear a Tale.”

When Eddie bumps his head on a station ramp, he awakens to a fantasy version of his life augmented by his favorite TV show: Gilligan’s Island. When he and Shauni investigate a nearby island, they find Gilligan and Mary Ann (guest stars Bob Denver and Dawn Wells). Returning them to the mainland just as Captain Thorpe wins the lottery, the group decides to go back to the uncharted isle and rescue the rest of the castaways. But when Captain Thorpe’s new yacht encounters a freak storm, Eddie Shauni, Garner, Harvey, and Thorpe — along with Gilligan and Mary Ann — find themselves in a very familiar setting.

Erik and Justin ask the most important question of the hour: where is David Hasselhoff? Ted Danson get evaluated on a number of metrics and Erik notices Baywatch predates the invention of ripped abs. Justin notes the cishet man’s ideal woman correlates with the health of the economy. The discussion somehow makes its way to Bill Clinton, Los Angeles traffic and the OJ Bronco chase. All of which should give you an idea of how successfully this episode Baywatch worked out.

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Tread Perilously — Supernatural: Clap Your Hands If You Believe …

Tread Perilously concludes its annual horror month with another annual Halloween tradition: an episode of Supernatural. This year, it’s the season six episode “Clap Your Hands If You Believe …”

When Sam and Dean follow the trail of disappearances to a town where everyone assumes its aliens, Dean ends up abducted and learns the truth: it’s not aliens, it’s fairies. Sam’s current lack of soul makes their quest all the more difficult as small folk prepare for war. Will he learn to fake empathy long enough to convince a local watchmaker to join their cause? Will Supernatural ever realize a better fight than Dean vs. a fairie?

Erik and Justin praise writer Ben Edlund and finally make their views on The Tick very clear. Justin keeps delaying Erik’s discussion of the cornfield. Erik admits he cannot tell the difference between UFO experts Bud Hopkins and Stanton J. Friedman. A discussion of C-level Marvel characters ensues. Erik points out a nice detail on the beloved Supernatural motel set. Justin reveals the scene which won him over and why introducing Black Panther and Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War was the right call. A surprise review of the Spider-Man Playstation 4 game occurs and Erik offers an important warning about signing contracts with Fairies.

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Tread Perilously — Freddy’s Nightmares: It’s A Miserable Life

Tread Perilously’s horror month continues with the terror of terrible writing known as “It’s A Miserable Life” from Freddy’s Nightmares — A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series

When Springwood local Bryan Ross (John Cameron Mitchell) gets shot while covering the graveyard shift at his father’s hamburger stand, Beefy Boy, he enters a Jacob’s Ladder of his own fears about staying in town and taking over the family business. His understanding girlfriend (Lar Park Lincoln) gets whisked away to Springwood Mercy Hospital, where she has a dark night of the soul all her own. What this has to do with Fred Krueger (Robert Englund) is anyone’s guess.

Fanbase Press’s Barbra Dillon joins the gang for an hour which tests her love of the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. Justin discusses the homoerotic text of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Erik and Justin recall their biggest pop culture divide: Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone. Erik once again affirms that Johnny Depp is a nightmare. Barbara points out the shaky economics of Beefy Boy. An overview of Pasadena area burger stands and gaming stores derails everything. Chad Bullington, the surprisingly supportive bully, joins the Tread Perilously cast of characters. Erik tries to pitch Gimme Shelter vs. Twister as the most ridiculous versus movie Hollywood could produce. Barbara and Erik try to build backstories for the protagonists and Freddy’s puns get judged.

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Tread Perilously — Punky Brewster: The Perils of Punky

Tread Perilously continues its annual horror month with two episodes of Punky Brewster collectively known as “The Perils of Punky.”

When Punky, Mr. Warnimont and the gang head for a weekend in the woods, Punky and the kids discover a cave where an ancient evil exists. A group of “Injuns” name Punky the prophesied white hero who will combat the evil and restore the land. So Punky and her friends head into the depths of the cave to face spiders, poorly realized demons and the inevitability of death itself.

Erik reveals his extensive memory of Punky Brewster based on his one-and-only viewing of the series back in the 1980s. Justin devises Sicario Hall for wayward children to learn a trade in contract killing. He also tries to cast Soleil Moon Frye as the host of an Investigation: Discovery program. Both try to avoid talking about Small Wonder. They also name Punky’s friend Alan as “The Pride of Gilead.” Justin’s knowledge of 1940s Los Angeles baseball teams comes in handy. Erik reveals his objection to the Police Academy films. Justin notices certain similarities to the plot of the episode and Stephen King’s It. He also advises against loving clowns. Punky’s dog Brandon gets special mention as Erik attempts to understand why the gang hangs out with Margot.

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Tread Perilously — Nightmare Cafe: Aliens Ate My Lunch

Tread Perilously begins its annual horror month with a visit to the short-lived Wes Craven television series, Nightmare Cafe.

When Blackie (Robert Englund) moves the cafe out to the sticks, Frank (Jack Coleman) and Fay (Lindsay Frost) meet tabloid reporter Harry Tambor (Bobby Slayton), who must deliver a story about aliens to his editor or get fired. He plans to fake a close encounter utilizing three little people he picks up on the side of the road. While Frank, who loves Tambor’s work, is disappointed to meet his hero, Fay ends up part of events. Will she be able to stop a mob of yokels from taking Tambor’s fraud way too far?

Erik and Justin try to determine the best way to explain Nightmare Cafe‘s premise. They also introduce Cal, the post-ironic genie. Their attempt to figure out the appeal of Slayton’s comedy leads to a discussion of gay panic in 1980s stand-up. Erik has a hard time holding onto the character name “Frank” and explains his position on Tim Burton. Justin takes a close look at the episode’s Canadian yokels and the problems in appreciating the work of H.P. Lovecraft. The pair also discusses the morality of killing people impregnated with Aliens and why Wes Craven chose to write and direct this episode of Nightmare Cafe.

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