Tread Perilously — The Facts Of Life: It’s A Wonderful Christmas

tp1400-1Tread Merrily continues with The Facts of Life episode called “It’s A Wonderful Christmas.”

When Beverly Ann feels underappreciated by the girls, she wishes she never came to Peekskill. But it just so happens Santa Claus is hanging out at the center and grants her request. Now forgotten by Blair, Natalie, Tudy, Jo, Andy, and Pippa, she watches helplessly as their worlds implode because she wasn’t there to do a handful of innocuous things for the girls and one vitally important thing for Andy. Will it be enough for her to reconsider her words or will she be forced to return to Appleton, Wisconsin?

Paul and Cory Cross the Streams’ Paul Pakler returns for another Facts of Life episode. He immediately proves to be a big Frank Capra fan. Justin tries to figure out why he has warm feelings for the series. A Saturday Night Live sketch proves to be worthy of praise. Justin considers the three well-written 1980s sitcoms. 80s fashions are, of course, critiqued. Paul provides a surprising defense of the episode as a Christmas special. Justin’s experience working in commodities proves useful. Paul notes the falling stakes of the program overall. Pippa proves to be a difficult addition and the actual shape of Mrs. Garrett’s home/gift shop comes into question.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Twice Upon A Time

tp1400-1Tread Perilously’s annual Tread Merrily tradition returns with the Doctor Who Christmas special “Twice Upon a Time.”

As the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) resists his coming regeneration, the TARDIS lands him in a very peculiar place: Earth’s South Pole in 1985. There, he runs into the First Doctor (David Bradley) as he also tries to avoid regenerating. Soon, the two incarnations land in a heap of trouble, starting with the sudden appearance of a World War I British captain. But when the Doctors and the captain come into contact with Testimony, a memory-scraping AI from the far future, the nature of the problem leads to a startling revelation for both of the Doctors.

Justin declares Freddy’s Dead as the worst Nightmare on Elm Street movie. Erik’s frustration with ex-showrunner Chris Chibnall bubbles to the surface. The nature of Christopher Eccleston’s “return” to the Doctor is explored. Justin learns about the Fourteenth Doctor and the other extra Doctors played by David Tennant. Justin offers some James Bond opinions. Erik and Justin disagree if a person is the sum of their memories or not. World War I becomes an unavoidable topic. VR headgear is decried and “The Ankle-Touchers” makes its debut.

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Tread Perilously — The Wheel Of Time: The Eye Of The World

tp1400-1The Wheel turns as Tread Perilously wraps up its prestige fantasy month with The Wheel of Time‘s season one finale, “The Eye of the World.”

As Moiraine and Rand make the perilous trek to the Eye of the World, the Dark One tries to make contact with the Dragon Reborn. Also, back in Fal Dara, Egwene and Perrin discuss the best course of action and her love for Rand. In another room, Nynaeve and Lan almost admit their feelings despite their other devotions. Additionally, the Fal Dara leadership prepares for its own Battle of Helm’s Deep. But will it all be for naught when Rand confronts his own desires?

Justin reveals his previous fandom for showrunner Rafe Judkins. Erik discloses his utter distaste for the Dragon Reborn. He also tries to explain the premise of The Wheel of Time. The pair finally explore the origin of “Everything Will Be Fine If We Wake The Dragon.” They also discuss their favorite characters in the episode — none of which are Rand. The issue of pedigree gets aired. An attempt to recast Rand is made. The Andor talk continues, too. Erik accuses the Dark One of stealing his clothes and Justin’s knowledge of siege warfare comes in handy.

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Tread Perilously — The Sandman: The Doll’s House

tp1400-1Tread Perilously’s month of prestige fantasy series dreams of The Sandman and the episode called “The Doll’s House.”

While taking a census of the Dreaming, Lucienne hears tell of a Dream Vortex that could threaten the whole of the domain and the waking world. Morpheus is already aware of the problem and learns it is focused on a human woman named Rose Walker. For her part, Rose is grieving the recent death of her mother, looking for her estranged brother, and on a flight to England to meet Unity Kincaid, who has her own reasons for finding Rose and her brother. Will all these confluences matter or is it more of Desire’s petty scheming?

Erik and Justin immediately get lost talking about the original Watchmen and the Sandman comics. Erik recalls some of his comic book origins. An explanation of the Endless leads in strange directions. Accents are criticized. Justin finds fault with the actors playing Rose and Lyta. He also offers an odd alternative casting choice for Gilbert. John Galt turns out to be the truest nightmare. Yet more Andor discussion occurs. The pair introduce new rules for talking to certain writers. Philosophies are discussed and Gerd Shockley begins a startling transformation.

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Tread Perilously — House Of The Dragon: The Princess And The Queen

tp1400-1Tread Perilously’s month of prestige fantasy makes haste for Westeros and the House of the Dragon episode called “The Princess and the Queen.”

After giving birth to her third child, Princess Rhaenyra faces rumors and accusations about its father. The source of those whispers? Queen Alicent. The situation leads to tension between Rhaenyera and her husband, Prince Laenor, and a situation in the yard while their boys train with Alicent’s sons. Meanwhile in Pentos, Daemon and Laena consider an intriguing opportunity from the local aristocrats — but will Laena’s own pregnancy put the kibosh on whatever Daemon truly wants? Also, why is Larys Strong so interested in aiding Alicent?

Erik and Justin immediately resume their Ice and Fire nerdery, starting with a look into Game of Thrones‘s endgame and the other spinoff. Justin champions King Viserys’s long, lingering death. Erik once again offers his support to fanfic writers. He also briefly forgets the name of his “favorite” Ice and Fire character. Justin tries to piece together the political situation in King’s Landing based on a single episode of House of the Dragon. The architectural design of Harrenhal comes into question. Erik dives into the dynamic between Alicent and Larys Strong and some Star Wars talk happens.

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Tread Perilously: LOTR The Rings of Power: The Eye

tp1400-1Tread Perilously begins a month of prestige fantasy series with an episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power entitled “The Eye.”

In the wake of Orodruin’s eruption, Galadriel, Theo, Queen Regent Míriel, and Elendil attempt to make their way back to the Númenórean encampment on the edge of the Southlands. Will they find loved ones waiting for them there? Meanwhile in Khazad-Dûm, Durin and Elrond make one last impassioned plea to the king so the Elves can receive shipments of mithril. But when it falls on deaf ears, the prince takes matters into his own hands.

Erik and Justin break the “three year rule” to talk about the current golden age of fantasy television. They also try to outnerd themselves with role playing game experience and other knowledge. Opinions of sixties British rock are aired. Erik recalls a story from San Diego Comic-Con about Galadriel’s armor. Justin makes an interesting assessment of the show’s title theme. He also finds some great nicknames for the characters. Erik offers a few key corrections about the story. The pair debate how much the show wants to echo The Lord of the Rings films in terms of casting. Erik makes room for Glorfindel and Justin makes an attempt to find Sauron.

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Tread Perilously — Supernatural: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

tp1400-1Tread Perilously wraps up Halloween month with its annual visit to Supernatural. This year’s episode: ” It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester.”

When a loving family man is killed via mysterious razor blades hidden in a piece of candy, Sam and Dean follow up and discover a witch’s hex bag as the root cause. Suspects immediately become apparent via the family babysitter and her skeevy art teacher. But when Castiel (finally) and Uriel (Robert Wisdom!) arrive, it becomes clear the Halloween hex is related to the seals and the angels’ mission from Heaven. Will they eradicate the town to stop Samhain from rising or is there more to their orders?

Erik is happy to see Castiel appear in an episode. Justin outlines his problems with later seasons of Supernatural. The pair also finally confront the show’s myth-arc and debate the pronunciation of “Samhain.” History Corner crosses the Rubicon and Andor gets a mention or two. The team also discusses Halloween Ends and any number of other horror movies. They also attempt to work out if Damien Thorn would’ve had a different life with another name. Justin tries to find more roles for Robert Sheehan. The connection between Mexicans and the Irish is reaffirmed and a surprise comic book writer discussion breaks out.

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