Tread Perilously — Seinfeld: The Finale

Tread Perilously’s tour of controversial finales continues with Seinfeld‘s final episode, “The Finale.”

When Jerry and George get a call from NBC about their long-shelved “Jerry” pilot, their dreams come true. The network wants to put the show on the air and gives Jerry and George prominent positions as writer-producers. To celebrate, they also offer Jerry the use of the private NBC plane. Jerry and his pals decide to fly to Paris, but they’re waylaid in a small Massachusetts town with a good Samaritan statute. Soon, they find themselves on trial for failing to help a carjack victim (played by the late John Pinette) and all of the people they’ve wronged come out of the woodwork to testify against them.

Erik and Justin get immediately derailed by discussion of NBC executive offices, Manimal and cocaine. Erik compares Kramer to a Hanna-Barbera cartoon character and introduces another Jacob’s Ladder scenario regarding the NBC plane. Justin calls out the Seinfeld writers for the poor quality of their fat jokes. Both decide special guest Philip Baker Hall is the funniest performer in the entire episode. Erik points out the preponderance of Twin Peaks actors throughout the episode. He also admits he found the Soup Nazi unfunny.

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Tread Perilously — The Sopranos: Made in America

Continuing a month of controversial finales, Tread Perilously heads for New Jersey to witness The Sopranos‘ final episode, “Made in America.”

Tony’s war with a rival family takes him to the mattresses. Meanwhile, AJ has a crisis of faith about anything and everything. Oil dependency comes up prominently. Meanwhile, Meadow prepares for her wedding while her future in-laws inspect the china at the Soprano’s home. Back on the battlefront, Tony connives a way to end the war and secure the future. Promises are made, a few people die and AJ’s car explodes. Oh, and Tony dies in the end.

Erik and Justin attempt to properly identify Tony’s accent. They also praise the work of actor Frank Vincent. Justin creates the notion of “Sulu’s Gun.” Erik attempts to do two stereotypical Italian American accents at the same time. It goes about as well as you’d expect. Justin takes AJ to task. At. Length. Erik reveals a fondness for Donna Pescow, but explains why he’s never seen Saturday Night Fever. The Infinity Stones derail the conversation, but Erik’s quest to become the Mexican Charlie Day continues as he presents his “Jacob’s Ladder” style explanation of The Sopranos ending. Was Tony always dead?

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Tread Perilously — How I Met Your Mother: Last Forever Parts 1 & 2

Tread Perilously begins a month of controversial finales with the two-part ending of How I Met Your Mother.

On the night of Robin and Barney’s wedding, sad sack Ted Mosby leaves early to catch a train back to New York. But while waiting on the platform, he encounters the bass player of the wedding band. This is how he met the titular mother. Decades later, he tells his children about how much he loved Robin and why their mother is a post-script in his life. Y’know, despite spending a good fifteen years with the woman.

Justin invokes the right of kanly as it still has its admirers in the Empire. Erik goes into diabetic shock from amount of saccharine used in the finale of the long-running sitcom and begins his quest to become the Mexican Charlie Day. He’s also convinced Robin is really Maria Hill, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Justin imagines the private screening room of noted feminist Joss Whedon and inadvertently reveals Tread Perilously’s enemies list; which includes Outback Steakhouse, Milo Ventimiglia and Tyne Daly. He also assumes one cannot drunkenly find themselves involved in human trafficking. Erik praises the acting ability of Cobie Smulders, but nevertheless obeys the forms of kanly and plots his own revenge against Justin. Spoiler alert: it involves 7th Heaven.

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Tread Perilously — Supernatural: All Dogs Go To Heaven

Tread Perilously’s TV Horror month concludes with a visit from Sam and Dean Winchester for the Supernatural episode known as “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”

Crowley sends Sam and Dean to Buffalo in order to investigate a rash of deadly maulings. Crowley suspects it might be an Alpha werewolf, which he needs for his plans. After meeting a man seemingly involved in the earlier attacks, the Winchesters realize the perpetrator is the family dog. They soon uncover a pack of Skinwalkers plotting some sort of slow-motion invasion. Can Sam and Dean convince the family dog to let his family live?

Erik declares “All Dogs Go to Heaven” to be the worst episode of Supernatural. Jared Leto intrudes on the proceedings. Justin explains the mistakes made in Supernatural‘s sixth season; from bad pacing to flat jokes. Erik identifies one of the guest actors as “Canadian Lois Lane” only to discover that she’s related to Margot Kidder. Justin notices that Sam standing in a park at night is more terrifying than the monster of the week. Both applaud the episode for making the right choice in the end, but Sam’s soullessness leaves Erik remembering other times Dean ended up in Hell.

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Tread Perilously — Friday the 13th The Series: Cupid’s Quiver

Tread Perilously visits Curious Goods for a TV Horror episode of Friday The 13th: The Series known as “Cupid’s Quiver.”

When Canadian Jack Marshak reads about a murder at a nearby motel, he sends Curious Goods owner Micki Foster and her milquetoast friend Ryan Dallion to collect a stature of Cupid spotted at the scene. Their investigation leads them to a local Canadian college frat house, where the statue ended up. But a wannabe frat brother discovers the statue’s mysterious power: it will allow him to sleep with anyone he wants, provided he kills the person right after. So he sets his sights on a Canadian woman who resembles Robyn Lively. Will Micki and Ryan stop him in time?

Erik and Justin make a special point about episode director Atom Egoyan. They also make a number of jokes at Canada’s expense. David Cronenberg gets pulled into the fray. They also explain how the show ended up being called Friday the 13th despite having nothing to do with the Friday the 13th film series. Justin points out that Tread Perilously is an “onion of nerdery.” He also debates whether to introduce his daughter to Santa or the Krampus. Erik declares his hatred for white pizza while he and Justin stumble onto a pilot for “Cook Perilously.” And yes, they got lost in the weeds again.

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Tread Perilously — Supertrain: And a Cup of Kindness Too

Tread Perilously’s month of TV Horrors continues with a return trip aboard Supertrain for an episode called “And a Cup of Kindness Too.”

When Jack Nordoff (guest star Larry Linville) helps Waldo Chase (guest star Dick Van Dyke) up from the steps of the train station, he offers to kill Jack’s soon-to-be ex-wife. Jack laughs its off, but Chase books a seat on Supertrain to meet Myra (guest star Barbara Rhoades) and remind her of better times with and without Jack. But is Chase really the Specter of Death? Meanwhile, Supertrain’s nurse (Nita Talbot) deals with the hellion grandchildren of Supertrain owner Winfield Root. Pranks are involved.

Erik and Justin discover a true TV horror as Dick Van Dyke brings a chilling edge to his performance. Justin takes a few more shots at the show’s romantic lead Dave Noonan (Patrick Collins), who happens to look like a baby man. Erik appreciates the panicky performance of guest star Larry Linville. Justin outlines a Manimal/Supertrain crossover. Erik points out a character he calls “Alpha Texas.” Gaslighting appears once again as a character’s superpower and the pair attempt to figure out why Jack and Myra decided to get divorced in the first place. Erik also reveals he cannot tell the difference between Patrick Dempsey and C. Thomas Howell.

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Tread Perilously — Manimal: Pilot

Tread Perilously starts a month of TV horrors with the second worst television show NBC ever aired: Manimal.

When Officer Brooke McKenzie’s spots a panther on the night her partner gets shot, she is referred to leading criminologist and veterinary researcher Dr. Jonathan Chase. He gives her the runaround as she’s stumbled onto his current case. For when trouble strikes, Chase turns into the Manimal! A wondrous hero with the ability to turn into any animal he chooses, though it’s typically a large cat species or a hawk. He’s on the trail of a crooked colonel selling arms to a mysterious group of terrorists. Will Manimal, his Black Partner and Brooke foil the colonel’s plans to steal a shipment of nerve gas?

Though intended to be a horror situation, Erik and Justin find Manimal a delightful romp of bad choices featuring guest star Terry Keiser. They arbitrarily decide the panther is a “pyuma” for reasons that eventually become clear. Erik praises character actor Ed Lauter. Justin defines the role of Black Partner in 80s TV shows. Both point out that Manimal’s main ability is gaslighting. He also has separate rooms for scarves and robes. Justin points out that Manimal’s clothes are fine when he transforms despite being depicted as ripping and Erik spots the Howling Mad Murdoch costume on a random goon. Also, Erik and Justin witness the greatest scene in Tread Perilously history.

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