Tread Perilously — Supertrain: The Queen And The Improbable Knight

Tread Perilously takes another trip aboard Supertrain with the episode called “The Queen And The Improbable Knight.”

When travel writer Barney Sweet (Paul Sand) settles in for a trip on Supertrain, he meets Ali (Mary Louise Weller), a perfectly delightful unemployed teacher who is way, way out of his league. But after a night spent dancing in the disco car, Ali vanishes — replaced by Alison, a woman who claims to have never met Barney. Soon, the Supertrain staff find themselves fielding his frantic claims that trouble is afoot. Will a contingent of representatives from Montenegro joining the train in Denver have something to do with it?

Justin declares his intention to become the Trivial Time Travel while he and Erik go on a journey to discover the truth about Paul Sand. Justin rates the attractiveness of 1970s male television leads. He also rates the best coach characters in cinema. The pair disagree on the intended tone of the episode. Erik feels “seen” when Barney reveals several too true things about writers. His amateur anthropology studies once again invade the discussion. The shocking lack of Latverian accents leads to a discussion of guest stars Kenneth Mars and Micheal V. Gazzo, and John Adams ends up on the hot seat.

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Tread Perilously — Manimal: High Stakes

Tread Perilously returns to one of its favorite terrible shows, Manimal, with the episode called “High Stakes.”

When Manimal and Black Partner head out to Aqueduct, their day at the races is disturbed by a faulty parachute and a horse owner who is convinced the winning thoroughbred of a high stakes race is the same horse kidnapped from her ranch a couple of years prior. Manimal gets on the case and enters the high stakes world of horse racing and studding. But he does not get studded himself when he turns into a horse to save the rancher and Black Partner from high stakes peril.

Erik and Justin try to define a real “dark past” versus the one Manimal claims. They also complain, once again, that setting the series in New York is silly. Erik confuses “the sport of kings.” He also has a hard time remembering a horse called “Papa’s Lad.” Justin champions the film Drop Zone. He also plans to name a horse “Sex Machine.” The pair note that it is really easy for rich people to get into human trafficking. Justin calls out the way the writers positioned Black Partner in this episode and both try to determine Andrew McCarthy’s best film.

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Tread Perilously — Step By Step: Double Date

Tread Perilously rounds out TGIF month with a look at the sitcom Step by Step, its pilot, and the second season episode “Double Date.”

When Carol volunteers Karen for a date with a new kid in town, Karen freaks out as it will upset her score in the Most Perfect Couple contest. The new kid, surprisingly, does not shoot up the school when she tries to wriggle out of the date. Meanwhile, Frank and the other kids try to install an after-market security system in Cody’s van.

Erik declares Sasha Mitchell as the series’s MVP. Justin praises Staci Keanan. The pair also declare that Step by Step is, indeed, a sitcom, but also point out the sort of plots one would expect to see from a sitcom episode called “Double Date.” Erik advocates for Jurassic Park to be taught in schools. Justin highlights a nerdy character who may or may not be the high school student body president. Erik and Justin pitch an alternate sitcom called “Rivals.” Patrick Duffy turns out to deliver the worst performance, Geography Corner invades the discussion thanks to Step By Step‘s exterior shots and Justin picks a new “Best of TGIF” series.

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Tread Perilously — Family Matters: Cheers Looking At You, Kid

Tread Perilously continues its examination of ABC’s TGIF lineup with its most iconic series, Family Matters. But will Steve Urkel’s media cred survive their look at the episode called “Cheers Looking at You, Kid?”

When Urkel discovers Laura’s cheerleading competition in Omaha will include some quality time with potential boyfriend Gary, he devises a way to join the trip and spy on Laura. Will Laura call him on his constant hounding and name it for what it is? Meanwhile, Carl and Harriet have the house to themselves and plan for a very romantic weekend. Will Urkel find a way to interrupt their plans as well?

Erik declares Urkel a stalker and decides Seth MacFarlane is better than Zach Braff. Justin refuses to refer to Carl Winslow as anything but Sgt. Al Powell. He also examines the changes in screen kissing over the decades. Erik gets confused about sports movies. Kellie Shanygne Williams gets MVP status thanks  to naturalistic approach to playing Laura. Erik and Justin discuss credit sequence formats from 20th Century sitcoms. Urkel’s stalker status leads to a new series pitch called the Snowbank Killer. Erik discusses the TV trope of the “dim” best friend and both find some virtues in the Family Matters pilot. Also, Urkel is a stalker.

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Tread Perilously — Full House: My Left And Right Foot

Tread Perilously’s examination of ABC’s TGIF lineup continues with an episode of Full House called “My Left and Right Foot.”

When DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy Gibbler make fun of her feet — which a shoe salesman tells them are slightly larger than average for a girl her age — Michelle gets extreme anxiety; leading to stress dreams and a radical solution. Meanwhile, Uncle Jesse has to tell Becky that she cannot be part of his trio with Joey and Danny because her voice is terrible. Will he be able to teach her how to harmonize?

Sarah Madden joins Erik and Justin for a stroll down dim 1990s memories. Justin freaks out when he realizes Full House is a Dune-sized epic. Erik refuses to use Dave Coulier’s catchphrase. Sarah schools Erik on his unkind use of “Yoko” as a verb. He conjures up memories of the short-lived sitcom You Again? while Sarah introduces an unseen terror lurking in Michelle’s dream. Justin discusses the relative ease in changing a diaper. The team decides the Tanner mom is from Perfect Stranger‘s Mypos and died in a comical accident either involving a fat fryer or many goats. They also come to the startling realization that Dave Coulier’s head does indeed look like a toe.

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Tread Perilously — Perfect Strangers: The Gazebo

Tread Perilously enters the realm of ABC’s TGIF sitcom block with its first series, Perfect Strangers and the seventh season episode “The Gazebo.”

Balki and Larry’s attempts to build a gazebo in the back yard remind their wives of a famous comedy duo from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Balki and Larry transform into Laurel and Hardy in a bizarre simulacrum devoid of humor. Faces get smashed, concrete gets poured and the construction project seemingly goes awry. Hilarity does not ensue.

Erik and Justin stare into the heart of darkness. Justin learns about Perfect Strangers key role in turning Friday into a family comedy night on ABC. Erik offers his first thoughts on Anson Mount as Star Trek: Discovery‘s Captain Christopher Pike. It leads to a digression about Star Trek. The pair end up watching the first episode of Perfect Strangers to figure out why “The Gazebo” was devoid of anything funny. Some classic comedy rules are defined while the fictional island of Mypos is explored. Erik co-opts a certain famous catchphrase to prove a point. An attempt at an Alfred Hitchcock impression fails miserably while Erik and Justin try to determine if Laurel and Hardy were actually funny. The ancient art of the Sick Burn returns and The Simpsons episode “Cape Feare” is praised as the pinnacle of half-hour comedy.

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Tread Perilously — Melrose Place: Catch Her In The Lie

Tread Perilously closes out its primetime soap month with a visit to Melrose Place and its fourth season episode, “Catch Her In The Lie.”

When Jake gets mad that Allison is spending too much time at the office while pregnant, he sets off on the road and ends up in a Central Coast town where one of his ex-girlfriends is raising a boy who might be Jake’s son. Meanwhile, Peter and Taylor try to carry on an affair, but are stymied by ex-wives, schedules and overly-concerned employees. Micheal agrees to sleep with Kimberly one more time before she dies, leaving Megan feeling like an afterthought.

Erik and Justin get into Los Angeles geography and the Melrose of the 1990s. Earth-tone lipstick, denim hats and Doc Martens are fondly recalled. Jake gets identified as the Wolverine of the cast while Grant Show gets identified as a prototype Jensen Ackles. Heather Locklear gets another spotlight. Erik discusses the backdoor pilot format of the 80s and 90s. The 4400‘s Billy Campbell ends up a topic thanks to a character name. Erik and Justin envision the Smuckers War. 1990s male hairstyles get reviewed and Justin irrationally decides Andrew Shue is the show’s real villain. Also, Kelly Rutherford always deserves better.

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