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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Tread Perilously — Dark Shadows: Episodes 858 & 859

Tread Perilously travels through time to 1969 to watch episodes 858 and 859 of the cult classic gothy soap opera Dark Shadows.

In 1897, Quentin Collins continues to suffer in the body of Count Petofi, who in turn intends to marry Angelique by the end of the week. Although, his real plan is to use Angelique in a spell which will allow him to use Quentin’s body in 1969. Desperate, Quentin reaches out to Julia, another time traveler from 1969, who promptly disappears. When Kitty makes her way to Julia’s home, he uses her belief that he is Count Petofi to force her to search “Quentin’s” room for some time traveling McGuffin. Will she learn the truth about the body-switch before Angelique gets sacrificed to the timestream?

Erik and Justin try to make sense of two random episodes of Dark Shadows, the time-travel plot, and Erik’s knowledge of Days of Our Lives. He also recovers the reason he initially despised J.J. Abrams. It, of course, leads to a discussion of Star Trek. Count Petofi’s look gets dissected. Dan Stevens gets turned into a junior copywriter at Sterling Cooper. The pair recall their times in the CalTech steam tunnels and Babylon 5‘s Kosh Naranek becomes a lifeguard.

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Tread Perilously — Swamp Thing: A Jury Of His Fears

Horror Month brings Tread Perilously to the USA Network’s 1990s Swamp Thing series and an episode called “A Jury of His Fears.”

When Anton Arcane is electrocuted following Swamp Thing’s latest dismantling of his underwater lab, he finds himself in an in-between state. Unfortunately for Arcane, that place between living and dying presents itself as a courtroom — and he’s the defendant! A jury of his previous victims convenes to decide if the ends justified Arcane’s means. Will Anton atone for crimes at least one part of his soul is willing to admit he committed? Will the program itself atone for the hate crime it commits? And will anyone learn the lesson of the Swamp Thing?

Noted slashfic author Alan Moore gets referenced once or twice, as does Len Wein. Justin reveals why so many conspiracy theories are believable while Erik decides to believe Quincy Jones’s answer to the Kennedy assassination. The films of Edgar Wright get examined.The pair recall the various phases of the USA Network. Justin praises Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger for its translation of superhero costumes. Anton Arcane receives the full Fashion Police treatment. Erik recalls the working film studio at Universal Studios Florida and the hostilities toward Denmark resume.

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Tread Perilously — Tales From The Darkside: Auld Aquaintences

Tread Perilously continues Horror Month with the Tales from the Darkside episode called “Auld Acquaintances.”

When Mary and Elizabeth meet at the Essex historical society museum for their annual amulet swap, they relive their first meeting in 1692. At the time, Mary was a witch with Satan-derived powers and Elizabeth was a power-hungry woman masquerading as a maid of virtue true. But as both are accused of witchery, it may be the end for them. A last second deal secures their freedom, but will they be able to abide by the terms for 300+ years?

Erik and Justin throw the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under the bus. They also determine Essex is indeed a real city in that state and devise a new reality series called “Bedevil’d.” Justin regales Erik with the story of Giles Cory. Erik explains why Edward Woodward is named “Edward Woodward.” He also recalls the full name of Webster‘s Ma’am. Justin stumbles into a fantastic concept for one of his novels. The pair try to ignore the cheap production design, but call-out a poorly conceived special effect. Erik clearly explains his problem with former X-Men writer Chris Claremont and the sexual mores of the 1690s prove to be a source of several good gags.

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Tread Perilously — Tales From The Crypt: Mute Witness to Murder

Tread Perilously enters Horror month with their first visit to Tales From The Crypt and an episode called “Mute Witness to Murder”

When Suzy (Patricia Clarkson) takes a moment out from her wedding anniversary/Halloween party out on the balcony, she happens to see a man across the way killing a women. The grisly scene robs her of the ability to speak. Frantic, her husband (Reed Birney) finds Dr. Trask (Henry Thomas) — who just happens to be the murderer! He is also the owner of a nearby mental hospital, so he commits her in hopes of silencing the only witness to his crime. Will she figure out a way to speak again and stop Dr. Trask from getting away with murder?

Erik and Justin discuss the basics of Tales From The Crypt as a series and the merits of adapting five-page comic book stories to television. Erik mistakes Reed Birney for actor Ron Kuhlman (Jan Brady’s husband on The Brady Bunch spinoffs). Justin identifies when writers get bored with naming characters. He also identifies his own tendency to support an incipient monarchy. It leads to a digression of Ice and Fire. Both praise the 1996 thriller Mute Witness. The progressive content of the story turns out to be a positive and we learn Man Power Pills will cure Angina.

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