Tread Perilously — Supertrain: Superstar

Tread Perilously’s Grab Bag month gets derailed by one of the worst episodes of Supertrain ever aired by the National Broadcasting Company. An episode they had to call “Superstar.”

When Hollywood con-man Jack Hogarth (Dennis Dugan) gets in bed with a mafioso-turned-producer, he boards Supertrain to convince his ex-wife, a bankable star, to appear in his production of “The Lady Was a Cop.” Along the way, we meet street urchins, an impressive set of comedy goons, a former hairstylist sleeping his way into Hollywood, and an adorable old lady with a passion for mysteries played by Sylvia Sidney. But will Hogarth find himself thrown of the train by paid assassins or sharing a drink with them in the bar car?

Erik vows to come back to Dugan’s TV series, Richie Brockelman, Private Eye. He and Justin discuss the merits of working with Adam Sandler. Erik declares Jack Hogarth to be the worst Supertrain protagonist he’s seen so far. Justin declares Sylvia Sydney the MVP of the episode, even if he goes on and on about the deadfaced comedy goon played by Timothy Carey. He also asks to do an episode Mrs. Columbo. Erik offers a geography corner segment about the former MGM studio lot. Justin gets confused when Erik tells him Archie Andrews was mauled by a bear and the secret history of Bo Hopkins’ character is revealed.

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Tread Perilously — Manimal: Scrimshaw

As the Grab Bag month continues, Tread Perilously returns to Manimal for an episode that could only be called “Scrimshaw.”

When Manimal, Police Woman, and Corky (special guest star Meeno Peluce) go for a day trip to nearby islands, they discover a scrimshaw with curious details. Corky’s grandfather Sea Dog (special guest star Keenan Wynn) realizes it is the key to a lost treasure, but others also know about the scrimshaw and will stop at nothing to retrieve it. The adventure takes Manimal to a bar by the docks where plays pirate, a north Atlantic island filled with sinkholes, and the depths of Sea Dog’s shaggy sea stories.

Erik and Justin determines that Jason Todd sucks. They get their from a discussion about Corky. Erik offers a brief review of Dark Phoenix; suggesting Onslaught would’ve been a better story to adapt. Justin discusses the difficult in writing flirting for television. He also learns a surprising truth about Meeno Peluce. His specialization in aquatic life allows him to get a good “Well, actually…” on Erik. The YouTube algorithm serves up some questionable videos. Erik’s dislike of Adrian Brody comes to the surface once again. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra returns and the pair suspect Corky and Sea Dog were meant to get their own television series.

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Tread Perilously– Starman: The Return

Tread Perilously begins a Grab Bag Month early with their first look at Starman, a sequel series to John Carpenter’s 1984 classic film.

When Starman receives a telepathic message from his son Scott Hayden, he returns to Earth just as Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Paul Forrester dies on the side of a fictional volcano in Washington state. Taking Paul’s form, Starman soon finds Scott Hayden in a Seattle youth home, but immediately discovers 14 years have passed since his first visit to Earth and his son knows nothing about him. Meanwhile, Federal Security Agent George Fox never stopped looking for Starman and manages to appropriate enough funding to locate Scott. Will he get to him before Starman can convince him of their bond?

Erik once again mispronounces the name of director Charles S. Dubin. Justin questions why television adaptations of films generally reboot the premise. They debate the merits of jellyfish as the ultimate form of evolution and recap the plot of the film. It’s kind of important. A discussion of the show’s bizarre timeline leads to a survey of Cardassian literature and the time jumps in the Terminator, Omen, and Friday the 13th franchises. Erik has a hard time keeping actor Robert Hayes’s name straight and the pair introduces a new product: Man Power Pills.

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Tread Perilously — The Orville: Sanctuary

Tread Perilously takes its annual look at The Orville with “Sanctuary.”

When the Orville takes on two Moclan passengers, Bortus learns they are harboring an infant female. Soon, he assists them in their escape from the law against female Moclans on their home planet. When Captain Mercer finds out, he leads the ship into a nebula and discovers an entire colony of female Moclans. Now discovered, their leader Heveena plans to move their entire group, but Mercer suggests taking their plight to the Union Counsel and apply to be recognized as an independent world. And while the Orville remains in orbit over the colony to defend it from a Moclan ship, the Union worlds debate the issue of their sovereignty. Also: Dolly Parton is the voice of the revolution.

Erik immediately gets distracted by the surprising guest cast and the show’s expanded connections to Star Trek: The Next Generation — including episode director Jonathan Frakes! Justin notes some of the ways The Orville hits on subjects TNG was squeamish about. He also explains Moclan biology and society. Erik names one character “Alexander Rozhenko” and admits to getting distracted by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s very handsome Agent Keller. Sci-fi aliens get an examination and Erik expresses his worries about Star Trek: Picard.

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Tread Perilously — Star Trek Discovery: New Eden

Tread Perilously takes its annual look at Star Trek: Discovery with the Season 2 episode “New Eden.”

When a Red Angel signal sends the U.S.S Discovery to a planet in the Beta Quadrant, they discover a colony of humans resettled there in the midst of World War III. How they got half across the galaxy will lead Captain Christopher Pike, Commander Michael Burnham, and Lieutenant Joann Owosekun into a conflict of faith and science. Meanwhile, Commander Saru, Ensign Tilly and the rest of the Discovery crew must stop one of the planets outer rings from raining radioactive dust on the planet and the away team.

Justin distracts Erik by pointing out his love for Captain Christopher Pike. But he gets distracted himself by a guest actor who offers a Mass Effect Andromeda style performance. The behind-the-scenes staff changes become more apparent as Erik notes the Red Angel is clearly different from what it ultimately became. Justin admits he found the season-long plot less engaging. Thoughts inevitably turn to Star Wars. The Beta Quadrant gets examined as a poorly thought-out element of Star Trek‘s universe. Erik realizes Taoism would’ve solved everything and praises the competent Discovery crew under Saru’s command. Also, Justin reminds Erik of A Song of Ice and Fire‘s Lord Manderly and both celebrate the wealth of various Sci-Fi properties in various formats.

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Tread Perilously — 3rd Rock From The Sun: The Thing That Wouldn’t Die

Tread Perilously’s month of series finales goes into overtime with one last installment: 3rd Rock From The Sun‘s final two-part episode, “The Thing That Wouldn’t Die.”

When Mary learns the truth about aliens, Dick and the rest of the team are recalled to their homeworld. Dick wants to bring her with him — well, once she’s okay with him being an alien — while Sally wants to help Don find his way back to being a cop after an incident leaves him doubting his initiative. Tommy fights his conflicted feelings about leaving and Harry has a crappy subplot about dating someone he believes to be twins.

Erik and Justin speak from the past and the future as this episode was recorded long ago. Erik tries to develop a John Lithgow impression, landing on Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo, Master Thespian, and Brian Blessed instead. He also defends Lithgow’s right to ham it up. Justin defends Blade and Wesley Snipes. Jane Curtin becomes the episode’s MVP thanks to one scene in which she recalls the entire series. Justin theorizes Thanos was behind the disappearance of belly chains in the late 2000s. Erik remembers a number of Elvis Costello songs — but not the one featured in the episode — and a case of mistaken identity leads to a discussion of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine executive producer Ira Steven Behr.

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Tread Perilously — The Big Bang Theory: The Change Constant/The Stockholm Syndrome

Tread Perilously’s month of series finales nears the finish line with a look at the final two episodes of The Big Bang Theory — an ending so epic, it required 12 writers.

When Amy and Sheldon win the Nobel Prize, Sheldon’s selfishness goes into overdrive. He hurts Amy when she decides to get a haircut and becomes afraid of all the changes coming to his group of friends. But matters only get worse when he forces Penny into revealing her pregnancy; leading to all his friends threatening to bail out of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Lessons may or may not be learned as the series draws to a close.

In an attempt to avoid talking about The Big Bang Theory, Erik and Justin discuss other towns South Pasadena has played in movies. Erik reiterates his issues with three-camera sitcoms not called One Day at a Time. The films of the Wachowskis are discussed. Erik tries to point out local Pasadena customs the show doesn’t quite get right. Erik mistakenly calls Johnny Galecki’s character “Luther.” Justin tries to compare The Big Bang Theory to comfort food and tries to recall a Latinx Marvel superhero. Raj gets a spotlight; leading to a discussion of assimilation. We promise there are at least a few jokes during the proceedings.

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