Tread Perilously — Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak Parts 2&3

Tread Perilously makes one more FTL jump to Battlestar Galactica with its concluding episodes, parts 2 & 3 of “Daybreak.”

When the Galactica fleet learns the location of the hidden Cylon Colony where Boomer took baby Hera, Admiral Adama prepares one last mission for the increasingly decrepit battlestar. The rescue mission will decide the fate of human and Cylon alike, but the deeper mysteries of God, the Opera House Vision and Gaius Baltar’s haircare regime threaten to leave scholars baffled for centuries. If nothing else, one thing is certain: the meaning of “All Along the Watchtower” to a petulant and silent deity.

Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon joins Erik and Justin as all three try, once again, the exorcise their disappointment in the Galactica finale. Erik admits his shattered faith led him to sell his DVDs of the series, while Justin admits he doubted the series much, much earlier. Barbra recalls the one brief homosexual character on the show and mourns for Sam Anders. She also champions the Caprica prequel series and underlines the most important point of the series: it was all Helo’s fault.

Also: there was no plan.

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Tread Perilously — Supertrain: Hail to the Chief

Tread Perilously climbs aboard one of the worst broadcast television shows ever to air with the Supertrain episode “Hail to the Chief.”

A man (guest star Roy Thinnes) replaces his twin brother as the projected winner of the upcoming presidential election. Is he a communist? Was he bought off by a shadowy corporate interest? Is he a plant to get the nuclear launch codes? These questions become irrelevant when he falls in love with his brother’s wife (guest star Loretta Swit) and throws out the plan. What this has to do with guest star Billy Barty and guest star Victor Buono is anybody’s guess.

And in case you were wondering, the show does have a regular cast but they really don’t matter.

Failing their own guest star challenge, Erik and Justin take a break from watching a popular show on its worst day to examine a fundamentally flawed, unpopular and unmourned series. Erik compares Supertrain to the show it clearly wants to be, The Love Boat, while Justin comes to grips with the program’s dark, cramped sets. The pair also outline a fantastic plot for a Spike Lee train heist movie. Erik also attempts — and fails — to avoid “derailing” puns and to keep the discussion on track. Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys gets mentioned in a favorable light. Justin realizes the plot was later recycled in the film Dave and both he and Erik take the time to make fun of Needles, California.

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Tread Perilously — Friends: The One Where Ross & Rachel Take a Break

tp1400-1Tread Perilously plops down on the Central Perk couch for a pair of Friends episodes: “The One Where Ross & Rachel Take a Break” and “The One with the Morning After.”

Ross Geller has needs. He wants to celebrate his anniversary with Rachel, but she has to work late. This makes Ross angry. So he pushes past Rachel’s boundaries to bring her a picnic dinner at her office. He also manages to set the place on fire. Rachel suggests they take a break, so he sleeps with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl from the copy center. Rachel reconsiders the break, but Ross must decide whether or not to tell her about the copy center tryst. It goes about as well as you might think because Ross has needs and they are paramount above all other considerations.

Ross sucks.

Paula Dixon returns and Friends superfan Courtney Knopf joins Erik and Justin as they recall The Legends of White People. Justin reveals he has no concept of threesome etiquette. Erik declares that the Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s ideal man is, in fact, Ross Geller. The group debates whether or not Ross and Rachel were really on a break and offer up their least favorite Friends characters. While Courtney and Paula highlight the good qualities of Ross’s romantic rival Mark, Justin assumes he’s a serial killer. And Joey ends up becoming the team favorite Friend.

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Tread Perilously — Dollhouse: Instinct

tp1400-1Tread Perilously makes its final trip to the worlds of Joss Whedon with the episode of Dollhouse known as “Instinct.”

When Echo is uploaded with the memories of a recently deceased new mother, her maternal instinct goes into overdrive as she accuses the client of cheating on her and then fears for her life and the life of her son when she overhears the client saying “I want her gone.” But it doesn’t get any better when she’s wiped of everything but the instinct. Meanwhile, Tahmoh Penikett tahmohs all over the Dollhouse, Alexis Denisof speaks with an American accent and other long-term mysteries are explored.

Tahmoh takes a beating from Erik and Justin while they also try to determine if the show was shot in Vancouver or Los Angeles. Dollhouse gets blamed for both cancelling Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles and getting a reprieve from the Browncoats. The pair also enjoy the Lifetime and horror movie aspects of the episode, leading to Erik deciding the central idea is sound. Justin declares Orphan Black a better version of Dollhouse and finds himself more on Whedon’s side. He also compares the appeal of the series to The Room.

Wait, did Erik and Justin actually enjoy Dollhouse?

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Tread Perilously — Firefly: The Train Job

tp1400-1Tread Perilously draws a line in the sand and courts controversy with its first — and possibly only — trip to Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

When Captain Malcolm Reynolds agrees to steal an unspecified cargo from a mag-lev train on its way to Paradiso, he introduces his crew to the audience and reconsiders his moral flexibility when he learns the cargo is medicine for the townsfolk and sick orphans. Firefly was cancelled eight weeks later.

Erik immediately Godwins the Browncoats and discovers the core concept of the series is deeply troubling. Justin points out the lack of Alan Tudyk in the episode and the exposition anvil on display for much of its runtime. He also identifies the moment Firefly lost him. The presence of Creepy Foreigner stereotypes and the lack of Asian faces leads to a protracted discussion of the creeping segregation on television. Erik reveals his extended Dune-inspired philosophy. Noted political commentator Adam Baldwin gets name-checked and the loadstone of the show’s Civil War allegory becomes an unavoidable truth about the show: it is poison.

Yeah, we’re surprised by this revelation too.

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Tread Perilously — Angel: She

tp1400-1Tread Perilously faces Bai Ling once more in an episode of Angel known as “She.”

When Cordelia gets an eye-popping vision of a man burned to death, Angel investigates the case of a “Bringer of Chaos and Destruction” whose only crime is being born a woman. When men from her dimension attempt to kidnap her and remove the source of her power, agency and sexuality, the whole of Team Angel aid her in defeating the dudebros and saving several more women who also escaped from their home reality.

Justin and Erik gets lost talking about their favorite of the Joss Whedon series. Erik recalls the importance of co-creator David Greenwalt and his previous series, Profit. He also double-checks the geography of Los Angeles in the episode. Justin posits that the heavy serialization of Angel was a key to its success. The strange cellphone subplot gets called into question; as does the very obvious metaphor in this week’s story. Sean Gunn gets a namecheck and Erik negs Outback Steakhouse.

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Tread Perilously — Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Beer Bad

tp1400-1Tread Perilously cracks open some homebrew beer to take a look at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode known as “Beer Bad.”

Following a one-night stand, Buffy Summers attempts to drown her sorrows with Black Frost beer and a new crowd of well-read frat guys. Meanwhile, Xander gets a job at the campus bar and Willow notes Oz is no longer his happy-go-lucky self. When it turns out the beer has been cursed by a warlock, Xander has to keep Buffy out of trouble while the frat boys — now Cro-Magnons — roam the UC Sunnydale campus.

Oh, and Willow catfishes Buffy’s one night stand, who happens to look disturbingly like Jordan Catalano.

Justin defends the Buffy fight scenes from their primitive look and reveals why the episode exists at all. Erik admits his distaste for both Buffy Summers as a character and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar as a person. The two might be intertwined. Erik also envisions an Earth-36 where Bernie won, Joe Carnahan directed Suicide Squad and actor Adam Kaufman became the Joker. Justin notes the change in dating habits since 1999 and his own similarities to Xander. Both praise the comedic timing of Alyson Hannigan and Erik creates an unlikely Dwarvish proverb.

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