Tread Perilously — Smallville: Lexmas

Tread Merrily continues with the team’s first foray to Smallville. Luckily, they arrived just in time for an episode called “Lexmas.”

When Lex Luthor’s attempts to get dirt on Jonathan Kent’s senatorial campaign, he ends up getting shot in the back. He awakens seven years later to discover he is married to Lana Lang and had a child with her with another on the way. As it turns out, he learns his ideal life will occur if he drops out of the senate race against Jonathan. But is all just in his head? Meanwhile, Clark and Chloe face a phony Santa who might just be the real deal.

Justin tries to figure out why the episode isn’t called “It’s a Wonderful Lex” while Erik doubts TV at the turn of the century could really support Smallville. The pair debate Tom Welling’s “fuck you” money and his current build — even if they get details of “Crisis” wrong. Erik gets lost in the eyes of John Schneider. The explosive chemistry between Lex and Clark gets examined, as does the magnetism of actor Michael Rosenbaum. Things get surprisingly political. Erik stumbles onto a Smallville story he’d like to write and Justin calls out The Karate Kid for presenting Ali as a prize.

And, yes, they talk about Allison Mack.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Next Doctor

Tread Perilously begins its annual Tread Merrily month with the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Next Doctor.”

When the Doctor arrives in 1851 London, he immediately hears his name being called from afar. But when arrives at the scene of distress, he finds another man calling himself “The Doctor.” Is he the Time Lord’s next regeneration or is the truth more complicated? But those questions will have to wait as the Doctors find the tell-tale signs of the Cybermen. Will it lead them to the mysterious Miss Hartigan and her alliance with the cybernetic invaders?

Erik and Justin discuss the problem with the phrase “what I have done is good.” Erik recounts his dinner with actor Bill Duke. Justin returns to the horrifying concept of the Child Compressor. He also claims Erik’s heart has grown three sizes, but his views on Tony Stark may leave some doubt. The pair debate the talents of actor David Morrissey and Victorian London is discovered to be a city of corridors. Erik tries to recall the one time he saw snow. Bane makes a special appearance to decry Batman’s failure to rebuild the Gotham City tram system. Erik explains his problem with the modern Cybermen and both discuss their hopes for the real next Doctor.

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Tread Perilously — 7th Heaven: Gratitude

Tread Perilously’s “Too Many Kids!” month concludes with the traditional Thanksgiving slice of 7th Heaven.

Despite Annie Camden getting her family Thanksgiving a week earlier, she’s decided to rush home from visiting her stepmother to experience a third Thanksgiving for the year. Unfortunately, Reverend Camden seems to be getting sick. Meanwhile back in Glen Oak, a pregnant Lucy tries to prepare the meal, but ends up in the hospital. Matt, still in medical college, second guesses her OB/GYN. Simon gets ready to tell the fam he knocked up a woman and Ruthie regrets her decision to spend Thanksgiving with Mary in Puerto Rico.

Yvette Nicole Brown becomes the episode MVP. Justin gets a quick recap of the previous Thanksgiving episode which precedes “Gratitude.” He also refuses to believe Catherine Hicks plays Annie Camden. His hatred of the Camden twins also continues unabated. Paul Rudd’s history of failed sitcoms comes into play. Justin drops the Byzantine Empire under the bus. Claudette from The Room gets examined as the film’s most developed character. Erik calls Simon’s haircut “The Nero” and promises never to ask Tyler Hoechlin about his time on 7th Heaven. T-Bone gets teased once again. The pair determine Lucy is a “Karen” and they try to figure out why Matt makes eyes at random women.

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Tread Perilously — The Partridge Family: Did You Hear The One About Danny Partridge?

Tread Perilously’s “Too Many Kids!” month makes its way to The Partridge Family with the episode called “Did You Hear the One About Danny Partridge?”

After Danny gets his leg caught in a mic cable during a performance, he flees the stage in embarrassment. But when Reuben Kincaid convinces him the audience believed it was part of the act, Danny decides to learn some classic comedy routines. It fails to go over during rehearsals, but the ever hopeful Partridge wants to find a tight five minutes of A-material before the family leaves for an engagement in Hawaii. Will a battle-hardened talent agent set him straight?

Erik admits to feeling a kinship with Bea Arthur. He also threatens Justin with another screening of The Star Wars Holiday Special. Justin tries to discern the premise of The Partridge Family from this unfortunate episode. H.P. Lovecraft gets involved somehow. The Partridge title sequence gets appraised and the pair pronounce judgement on Reuben Kincaid. The president makes a rare appearance. Erik proclaims Danny Bonaduce the Corey Feldman of the 1970s, which leads to a closer examination of the former’s history as a public figure. Don Drysdale reappears as a cement salesman. The nature of comedy itself gets examined and Erik refuses to believe the rich use young people’s plasma to remain healthy.

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Tread Perilously — Eight Is Enough: Never Try Eating Nectarines Since Juice May Dispense

Tread Perilously’s “Too Many Kids!” month continues with the pilot episode of Eight is Enough — also known as “Never Try Eating Nectarines Since Juice May Dispense.”

Tom Bradford is an editor at a Sacramento, California newspaper. He is also the father of eight children. Oldest son David (Mark Hamill!) wants to move out of the house while youngest daughter Elizabeth gets busted for possession and obstruction. Youngest son Nicholas is getting ready for a tonsillectomy while Tom tries to figure out how he’s going to pay for all his unexpected expenses. It’s the sort of thing that happens when you have too many kids.

Justin hates the fact he now knows about the mneomic device Tom uses the remember his kids’ names. He also points out the tendency for “Too Many Kids!” shows to offer the oldest son a break-out role. It leads to a discussion of Family Ties and properly regulated businesses. Erik recalls entirely too much of Eight is Enough and equates Aaron Sorkin to Christopher Marlowe. The presence of Mark Hamill proves to be a major distraction, especially as David Bradford and Luke Skywalker are experiencing the same emotional journey in 1977. Performances get rated, Willie Aames gets mentioned, and the pair pitch Jessica Chastain as the director of a Mara Jade trilogy.

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Tread Perilously — The Bradys: Bottom’s Up

Tread Perilously ventures into the surprisingly large selection of dramas and sitcoms featuring surprisingly large families for a theme month we had to call “Too Many Kids!” Our first round: an episode of the short lived dramedy The Bradys called “Bottom’s Up.”

When Marcia feels sidelined by Carol and ignored by her husband Wally, she looks for a chemical way to alleviate her growing ennui. Will the demon liquor become her crutch? Meanwhile, Wally’s attempt to secure his position as Mike Brady’s assistant leads him directly into the cauldron of graft and corruption. Also, Greg, Jan, and Bobby put their heads together to solve a problem among the town’s various trauma centers.

Justin tries to understand why people would want to watch family dramas. A discussion of literary fiction ensues. The Brady Bunch phenomenon also gets examined. Erik recalls the afternoon broadcast schedules of KTLA, KTTV, and KCOP in the late 1980s. Justin tries to figure out why Marcia married Wally. He also realizes the actor playing Wally also played “Killer” Carlson in Slap Shot. Erik imagines a version of Dune in which Angela Lansbury played the Reverend Mother Helen Gaius Mohiam. Don Drysdale makes his Tread Perilously debut as an anti-masturbation advocate. Fake-Marcia gets discussed. The duo envision a family friendly teen comedy starring Christopher Knight and the episode’s ill-advised alcoholism plot leads to a discussion of a much better version of this story.

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Tread Perilously — Supernatural: Bugs

Tread Perilously winds down Horror Month with its annual visit to Supernatural. This year: a Season 1 episode called “Bugs.”

Sam and Dean’s search for their father takes a detour to Oklahoma, where a housing development is plagued by a series of mysterious deaths. Sam almost immediately bonds with the son of the local land developer, while Dean expounds on the benefits of lying. The investigation leads them to an old curse and an insurrection of insects. Will they be able to save the land developer and his family or will the curse claim them all?

Erik and Justin define their roles on the podcast, but Erik declines to start his own line of Crystal Skull beer. Guillaume the Guillotine makes his debut. The pair discuss successful television duos. They also get lost discussing The Shield‘s Armenian Jesus. Justin outlines a version of Supernatural featuring Marcia and Jan Brady. Erik rails against tract housing. Supernatural‘s first season comes under the microscope while Justin tries to define good creature features. Jared Padalecki’s babyface earns a discussion, as do the Winchesters’ Season 1 haircuts. Justin offers pick-up lines for the Brawny Man and the Pace Picante Sauce commercial suddenly matters again.

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