Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Earthshock

Doctor Who month brings Tread Perilously to “Earthshock,” the infamous Fifth Doctor episode in which we learn who really killed the dinosaurs.

When Adric and The Doctor have a fight about teenage angst, the TARDIS lands on 26th Century Earth, where the group encounters an army detachment investigating the recent deaths of paleontologists. Somehow, it all connects to a freighter light years away and crew worried about losing their bonuses. But is their cargo the real power behind these events? And will Adric chart his way home or will tragedy claim him?

Justin’s opinion of the Fifth Doctor remains unchanged. He also learns the truth about Tegan’s accent. John Nathan-Turner’s decision-making once again creates problems. Nyssa gets compared to Zoe. Her fashion choices also come into question. Erik defends Tegan and Peri as good characters. He also presents a new philosophy toward remakes. Justin is excited to see a quarry. The future guns and armor get positive remarks. The Room gets invoked to explain a point about directing. Justin comes to hate Adric and agrees with Steven Moffat’s opinion of the character. Erik’s “In the Year 2525” joke fails to land. He also learns about “insectivores.” Fridge logic gets applied to certain aspects of the story and the Cybermen make a special appearance.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Arachnids in the UK

Tread Perilously’s Doctor Who month continues with the recent “Arachnids in the UK.”

When the Doctor brings Yaz, Ryan, and Graham back to Sheffield, she meets Yaz’s family and discovers a mystery under the city. Large webs and giant spiders are infesting the area and it all seems centered near a new hotel built above a former mine. Yaz’s mother is to be the general manager of the new resort, but billionaire developer Mr. Robertson feels differently after he experiences her can-do spirit. Will the secret under the hotel kill them all before her sacking takes proper effect?

Erik and Justin try to name the Scottish exit from the United Kingdom while Justin tries once again to crown Karen Gillan as queen of a free Scotland. It leads to an oddly political discussion about Western Europe. They also get lost in memories of various creature features. Pulp proves not to be the Sheffield band Justin wants to hear. Erik tries to review “Planet of the Spiders” without revealing too much. Missing storytelling elements in the episode lead the pair to make certain conclusions about underwritten characters. Justin compares Chris Noth’s performance as Robertson to 30 Rock‘s Jack Donaghy. Erik tries to convince Justin he’s seen Noth before. The pair also imagines the Jedi Afterlife as a place where you keep your worldly injuries and accidentally pitch a Goop article.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Sun Makers

Tread Perilously comes home for a month of Doctor Who. First up, the Tom Baker era story “The Sun Makers.”

When the Doctor and Leela materialize on Pluto sometime in the future, they discover a human race crushed under a company store economy masquerading as heavy taxation. After they prevent one man from killing himself, they set out to discover the source of the problems on the planet. Could it be capitalism itself? Meanwhile, officious fee collectors and alien bosses plan to extract as much wealth from the workers as possible. But one man on Pluto may learn he is uniquely suited to remove the yoke from his people.

Erik and Justin end up questioning predatory capitalism. They also end up falling in love with a key guest character. The criticisms of Firefly resurface as Erik’s attempts to explain Blake’s 7. It leads to him mapping out a new version of that program. Justin praises the choices of the cast, but points out the Garth Marenghi quality of the production. Erik focuses on the misuse of the word “taxes” in story not actually about taxes. Margaret Thatcher comes up in the discussion. Louise Jameson’s performance gets high marks while Justin worries about her being cold in the English industrial wasteland. Also more “British” neologisms get invented.

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Tread Perilously — Manimal: Breath of the Dragon

Tread Perilously takes a one-week break from theme months to look at Manimal‘s penultimate episode, “Breath of the Dragon.”

When Manimal attempts to surprise Black Partner with a birthday party in Chinatown, he soon discovers a small-time protection racket terrorizing the community. The kingpin? A self-styled “Dragon” who takes in young men, teaches them some sort of martial art, and forces them to sleep in the training room. But will his zeal to torch a restaurant owned by the grandfather of his newest student prove to be his undoing?

Erik and Justin confront Manimal‘s accidental racism and laud Big Trouble in Little China for not making similar mistakes. Justin considers the racist origins of pulp. Erik declares himself the Latinx Kwisatz Haderach and points out why the Los Angeles Chinatown cannot play the New York Chinatown. The pair praise actor James Hong, who does a lot with a thin character. They also discuss the Ninja Empire and Hong Kong filmmaker Godfrey Ho. Erik invokes El Zorro, which leads to a discussion of why the character lacks staying power. The Dragon’s low-rent casino leads to an exploration of his very sad attempt at a criminal empire, even as actor George Cheung brings a swagger to the role. Justin casts a Manimal for the 21st Century and Erik details how Manimal is a more ethical hero than the Batman.

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Tread Perilously — How To Get Away With Murder: I’m Going Away

Shoduary concludes for Tread Perilously with an episode of How to Get Away with Murder episode called “I’m Going Away.”

With her house burned down, the insurance payout frozen, one of her students dead, and a disciplinary hearing in her future, Annalise Keating goes home to Memphis. But the visit is fraught with tension as she tries to convince her mother to move into a nursing home. Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, Keating’s other students plan for futures both separately and together. But will their initiatives survive a surprise dinner with their professor?

Erik and Justin try to outline the precepts of “Manda-law” and how it relates back to Pedro Pascal. Erik immediately finds one of the characters utterly despicable. Justin tries to remember why the internet fell out of love with Matt McGorry. Hawaiian “Ass-Kicker” moonshine becomes the spirit of the episode. The show gets praised for using Benito Martinez, Esai Morales, and Jimmy Smits in one 42-minute period — even though they only get one scene each. It, of course, leads to a discussion of The Shield. Erik makes some huge guesses about the show’s premise and status quo. The campaign to get actors properly hydrated continues and Justin calls out “cook your own steak” restaurants.

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Tread Perilously – Scandal: Say Hello to My Little Friend

Tread Perilously‘s Shonduary continues with a trip to Scandal and the episode called “Say Hello to My Little Friend.”

Olivia Pope’s latest case sees her managing a murder trial of a sitting senator. Key to the defense is a statement from his wife (Melora Hardin). But when the US Attorney digs up more dirt on the senator’s philandering ways, will the wife still get on the stand and exonerate her husband? Meanwhile, Huck tries to comes to terms with be reactivated by B613, and Jake tries to dig up evidence on the organization.

Erik forgets why he hated Scott Foley and J.J Abrams once upon a time. Elsha Wolf joins him and Justin to guide them through the wild world of Washington D.C. fixers and shadowy groups charged with defending the Republic. Elsha realizes her contempt for Scandal‘s President Grant. Justin determines Darth Plagueis the Wise would back Bane’s health care plan. He also calls out “liberal” Hollywood writers and their fantasy version of the Republican Party. Joe Morton is declared a natural treasure. The group determines Scandal is made of almost every popular ABC TV genre and discuss the decorum in sending dick picks. Also, Alf and Mr. Meatloaf make special appearances.

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Tread Perilously — Private Practice: The Next Episode

Shonduary continues as Tread Perilously takes a look at the Season Six Private Practice episode “The Next Episode.”

Dr. Sam Bennett’s plan to shoot a reality show pilot at the practice takes a left turn when his mother and her former boss, Raymond, come in for a consult. Sam sees more than he wants — as do the reality show cameras — and it leads to him discover Raymond is more than just a friend of the family. Will it destroy the pilot or will Sam learn a valuable life lesson during the production? Also, Brian Benben appears.

Erik and Justin debate the spelling of “Shonduary” and Justin extols the virtues of Ladyhawke. Erik’s dislike of Brian Benben gets explored. The pair also decide they like Private Practice, so they keep detouring into Star Wars discussions. They also dissect some of the good writing in “The Next Episode” and point out a few of its directorial shortcomings. Justin’s incredibly obscure sports joke fails to land, but he also breaks down why Private Practice‘s cast is hotter than the Grey’s Anatomy ensemble. Alfre Woodard, Richard Roundtree, and L. Scott Caldwell prove to be MVPs, of course, and Erik advocates for alternative film cuts. Also, Justin and Erik begin workshopping their “Sexy Palpatine” jokes.

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