Tread Perilously — Ally McBeal: Story Of Love

tp1400-1Tread Perilously’s Women First month concludes with an episode Ally McBeal called “Story of Love.”

When Ally kicks another woman while she’s down, she ends up defending her in court on a previous assault case. The eerie parallels to her own dilemma concerning sometimes client George Madison (guest star John Ritter) and Elaine are purely coincidental. Meanwhile, Cage is training his frog, Stefan, for the upcoming regionals. But when he ends up flushed down the toilet, it is up to the rest of the office to both let Cage know and help him grieve the sudden amphibious loss. But is this story meant to be as whimsical and funny as Ally’s plot?

Erik and Justin finally watch an episode of Ally McBeal and come away with some surprising takes. The coward David E. Kelly is once again tried for his crimes. Peter MacNicol proves a favorite. Justin notes the way Ally McBeal disappeared from television history. Erik recalls the years he stopped watching TV. The brief moment of Natasha Gregson Wagner gets examined, as does the phenomenon of “Hooked on a Feeling.” The pair also debate the merits of Courtney Thorne-Smith’s presence in film and television and Bing Crosby emerges as a villain.

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Tread Perilously — The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Son of ‘But Seriously, Folks’

tp1400-1Tread Perilously’s Women First month looks back at one of the greatest sitcoms of all time: The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Unfortunately, they do it with an episode called “Son of ‘But Seriously, Folks.'”

After quitting Chuckles the Clown and bombing out with Mary some months earlier, Wes Callison returns to take a job in the newsroom. Mary is initially thrilled as she always thought there was more to him than writing jokes, but it soon becomes clear he’s more fixated on her than bigger career horizons. Will Mary stop his increasingly creepy preoccupation with her or will it all end with comical results?

Despite loving the series overall, Erik immediately sees why this is the lowest rated episode on IMDb. Justin finds one laugh during its runtime. The blame is put squarely at the feet of Jerry Van Dyke. Chuckles the Clown makes a surprising on-screen appearance. Justin recasts one person in Ordinary People. The prominence of the flat-fronted toupee in the 1970s gets examined. A surprising number of Marvel characters make their way to Minneapolis. The pair come to terms with the new definition of “drip” and a Chuck Cunningham sighting gets confirmed.

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Tread Perilously — Designing Women: The Pride of Sugarbakers

tp1400-1Tread Perilously’s Women First month continues with a Designing Women episode called “The Pride of Sugarbakers.”

When Sugarbakers sponsors a junior league softball team, Mary Jo agrees to coach. Unfortunately, her style is more suited for a Pee Wee team. After they lose six straight games, Julia suggests a more aggressive approach which favors her protegee, Randa. Will it work? And will Mary Jo discover she needs to be more competitive? Will it have an effect on her son, Quinton, a comically inept ball player? Meanwhile, Suzanne tries to protect her new Cadillac from foul balls and Charlene recalls her childhood days of playing ball with a “puhtatuh.”

Erik immediately recalls the temperature on talk radio in the early 1990s. He also empathizes with Delta Burke. Justin recalls fond memories of watching the series as a child — one of the few he was allowed to see at the time. Gerd Shockley comes out against Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason for surprising reasons. Justin’s memories of Dixie Carter’s time on Diff’rent Strokes gets confirmed by Erik. A discussion about The Big Lebowski breaks out. Memories of the Thomasons’ connections to the Clintons lead down a very specific rabbit hole and character actor Dennis Burkley gets a special spotlight.

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Tread Perilously — The Golden Girls: Mister Terrific

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Tread Perilously’s Women First month continues with an episode of The Golden Girls called “Mister Terrific.”

After meeting him at the mall, Rose starts dating local afternoon children’s show host Mister Terrific. He’s not a DC superhero, but he does seem to believe in his television persona to an unsettling degree. When Dorothy laments her summer job prospects, Mister Terrific suggests she try out as his show’s educational advisor. Her comments lead to a change in the program’s direction and Mister Terrific is swiftly fired. Can Dorothy get him his job back? Will his reality break? Will Rose acknowledge his major problem?

Although Justin and Erik love The Golden Girls, the episode leaves a few things to be desired — even if it is better than its IMDb rating suggests. The New Gods come up thanks to switched wires. The death of Roy Fokker also comes into play for some reason. The pair try to recall what 1980s sitcoms were really like. It eventually leads to some ’80s horror movie appreciation. Erik does his very specific Goofy impression. Justin offers some good trivia answers. They also outline the perfect design of the main characters and discuss the reasons a Golden Girls reboot would be nearly impossible today even if it can be easily cast.

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Tread Perilously — Maude: The Slumlord

tp1400-1Tread Perilously begins a month of Women First television shows with an episode of Maude called “The Slumlord.”

When a man pickets in front of Maude’s house, she discovers Walter invested in a slum. After inviting the man in, she harangues Walter into divesting his interest in the building. But the news spreads quickly around the neighborhood with her grandson unable to go to school and frenemy Dr. Arthur Harmon congratulating Walter on his choice to get into property. But what will Maude do when she learns she also signed the papers to the deal?

Erik and Justin pick apart the Maude theme song. They also try to determine if the show knows Maude is wrong in this situation. Florida Evans (played by the great Esther Rolle) proves to be the MVP with just two short scenes. Erik determines the Two Absolutes. Justin offers a timely Eurovision update. Maude and Walter’s socioeconomic status comes into question — as does Tread Perilously’s adherence to the Podcaster Handbook. The styles of the early 1980s get properly criticized. Both Erik and Justin praise the episode’s overall message — being a slumlord is bad — but debate how well it lands. Erik invokes Richard Stark’s Parker for an explanation of TV inflation and learns a surprising fact about Taxi.

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Tread Perilously — Baywatch: We Need A Vacation

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Tread Perilously’s Grab Bag month concludes with a return to Baywatch for “We Need A Vacation.”

When Craig complains about splitting his time between being a lifeguard, a lawyer, and a husband, John D. Cort suggests going to Mexico for a quick vacation. As it happens, he’s already planning to take Eddie there to teach him some surfing. Instead of surf and relaxation, they end up in the mythical Mexico that only exists in film and television. Meanwhile, Hobie gets the hots for Shauni, but Mitch Buchanan is too busy dealing with Captain Thorpe’s marital troubles to notice. Will Mitch ever take an interest in his son?

Justin and Erik are thrilled to return to the Ballad of John D. Cort, even if he’s more douchebag than good guy this time around. Hobie proves to be more emotionally mature than Eddie, but his storyline still ends up in the hot seat. Erika Eleniak’s qualities as a TV presence are examined. Justin suggests the notion of a biblically-accurate Saruman. Day and night once again fail to have meaning. Erik suggests the episode may be a backdoor pilot for a new series for John Allen Nelson, Parker Stevenson, and Billy Warlock. Also, the love affair with John Allen Nelson continues.

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Tread Perilously — Tequila And Bonetti: A Perfect Match

tp1400-1Tread Perilously celebrates its 350th show with a return to Tequila and Bonetti for the episode called “The Perfect Match.”

When an apparent female serial killer starts leaving victims down by the South Coast pier, Bonetti goes undercover at the video dating service all the men used before their untimely deaths. He uses this as an opportunity to degrade everyone in his orbit — particularly Garcia. Meanwhile, Captain Midian Knight meets the perfect woman, but his relationship can’t possibly be tied to the case, can it? Sure, she might be from the same video dating service and she dated all the dead men, but what are the chances she’s involved?

Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon joins Erik and Justin for her first episode of the talking dog show and is immediately taken aback by the tonal whiplash. She also lays out a theory about how the program came together in the first place. Erik spots the notable voice of a guest actor. South Coast suddenly seems more local to Justin. Barbra outlines the “90s Woman.” Justin and Erik attempt to explain the Tequila and Bonetti piano montage. Justin prepares for WorldVision. Erik makes a brief mention of curling. The Book of Boba Fett discussion comes to its final end and a poor day-for-night scene leads to a lot of discussion.

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