Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Robots of Death

Tread Perilously begins a new Doctor Who month with a return to the Tom Baker era and “The Robots of Death.”

When the TARDIS materializes on a giant, roving mineral scoop, the Doctor and Leela find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery. The suspects include an ambitious mining captain, an angry junior officer from a good family, an undercover investigator, a robotechnician, an engineer, and over 100 robots trained in the First Law of Robotics. While the title might feel like a dead giveaway, the Doctor learns the truth is far more complicated.

In a twist from format, Erik drops Justin into an episode without telling him if it is Perilous or Safe. His ultimate opinion may surprise you. But their criticism of the story’s model shots will come as no surprise. Justin decides writer Chris Boucher is a “ragin’ cajun” instead of a British man. Erik compares the titular Robots of Death to Styx’s “Mr. Roboto” and refuses to attempt an H.R. Giger impression. Justin compares the robots to Alien: Isolation‘s Working Joes. Both get lost in the weeds to discuss the real economic engine on Tatooine and questionable Weyland-Yutani business practices. They also cannot help but make fun of a meteorologist named Chub.

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Tread Perilously — Tequila and Bonetti: Teach Your Children

Tread Perilously’s Grab Bag Month concludes with a special look at CBS’s infamous cop dramedy Tequila and Bonetti.

Bonetti, Garcia and Tequila almost capture a notorious sex offender while on the undercover beat. But thanks to a procedural mistake which only occurs on television, he’s let go. Consequently, Garcia is targeted by the perp, who also happens to be a disgraced preacher. He manages to get Garcia’s daughter out of daycare to prove how easily he can become part of her life, so both Garcia and her daughter move to Bonetti’s dance studio/apartment. Meanwhile, Bonetti and Tequila stake out the preacher as he tries to sleaze on a new victim. Will they stop the preacher before he can exact his revenge? Will Garcia’s daughter ever enjoy Bonetti’s cooking?

Justin and Erik and reduced to their terrible Italian stereotype voices thanks to Jack Scalia’s performance as an Italian-American stereotype. They also try to make sense of the show’s cartoon premise; including which beach community Bonetti is supposed to be patrolling. They also find too much enjoyment in the weird details about Captain Midian Knight. The 80s get another trashing, despite the fact the show was made in the 1990s. Erik goes on a long walk to tie the Colonel Sanders-looking villain to a Game of Thrones Red Priest. He also explains the importance of a television child saying the phrase “I hate you forever.”

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Tread Perilously — Manimal: Illusion

Tread Perilously continues its grab bag month by returning to Manimal with an episode they had to call “Illusion.”

When Lt. Rivera, Police Woman and Manimal’s attempt to arrest Bulgarian crime boss Zoltan Gregory (Richard Lynch) fails thanks to his diplomatic immunity, Manimal follows him to a meeting with a Siegfried and Roy style magic act. Taking in the show, Manimal and Police Woman are present when the Roy analogue turns up dead; apparently mauled by his prized white tiger. With the animal’s life on the line, Manimal works his darndest to prove the tiger is innocent. The action leads to the magicians’ warehouse, where Manimal and Police Woman learn about Gregory’s connection to fur smuggling.

Erik and Justin fancast a Manimal reboot and creates a Cinematic Universe with spinoffs like “Manphibian,” “Man-atee” and “Shehorse.” They also recall the times Rambo and James Bond helped the Mujahideen fight the Soviets. Erik has strong reactions to Police Woman’s fashion choices. Justin warns against living with tigers and gets caught up with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Both are sad to see Manimal’s partner, Tyrone, has been recast with The Ice Pirates‘s Michael D. Roberts. They also give getting lost in the weeds a new name: “diplomatic immunity.”

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Tread Perilously — How To Tread Perilously

Recorded live at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con on October 28th, 2017, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbara Dillon joins Erik and Justin to discuss the show itself and the joy of watching bad episodes of good TV.

Topics include: how the show emerged from an earlier podcast Erik started, Erik’s love for Doctor Who and how he uses the show to force Justin into watching things like Star Trek: The Motion Picture and 7th Heaven. Both reveal which episode of Doctor Who they think is the worst in the show’s history and some of their favorite Tread Perilously moments thus far. Erik fails to remember the make and model of his broadcasting equipment and Justin explains why Webster is one of the most terrifying shows he’s ever watched. The pair also commits to watching the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Year of Hell” in the next year.

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Tread Perilously — Star Trek: Spock’s Brain

Tread Perilously rings in 2018 by getting back to basics: bad episodes of good television. And few episodes of Star Trek are as bad as “Spock’s Brain.”

When an ill-conceived civilization’s central processing unit — the Controller — begins to fail, it sends an attractive “Imorg” scout to find a suitable replacement. Identifying Spock (Leonard Nimoy) as a good candidate, she quickly detaches his brain from his body. Soon, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and the rest of the Enterprise crew are on a desperate search for Spock’s brain while Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) somehow keeps the autonomic functions of Spock’s body running. Will he be able to reconnect brain to body before time runs out? Also, what is “brain?”

Erik tries his best to say “Spock’s brain is missing” with a straight face. Justin recalls childhood visits to the Paramount studio lot. Both get distracted when the conversation leads to Jaws the Revenge and Grindhouse. They also posit a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called “Riker’s Brain.” Erik declares Kelley as the MVP of the episode for repeatedly referring to Spock’s brain without breaking into giggle-fits. Brain puns appear throughout the discussion while Erik and Justin declare the third season of Star Trek as a failed experiment. Erik has a hard time saying the word “autonomic.” And the appearance of hipster cavemen leads to Thag, the Neanderthal with a Sleep Number franchise.

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Tread Perilously: Special Review Unit — Ballerina

As it is the last episode of the year, Tread Perilously convenes the entire Special Review Unit for a very special episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit called “Ballerina.”

Manhattan SVU detectives find their way to the case of former professional dancer Birdie Sulloway (Carol Burnett) and a couple who died in one of her husband’s properties. When the husband falls from their penthouse apartment to the streets below, Birdie and her “nephew” Chet (Matthew Lillard) become the prime suspects. As it turns out, all of Birdie’s husbands have died in mysterious ways. Have she and Chet been on a twisted death spree all along? And what does this all have to do with obnoxious crime scene unit tech Stucky (Noel Fisher)?

Charlie Wright and Louis Allred join Erik and Justin to discuss one of the greatest episodes in SVU history. Justin learns about hostess bars and recalls the noirish hotel near his childhood home. Matthew Lillard is determined to be the episode’s MVP. Charlie compares his performance to his recent turn on Twin Peaks. Most of the Special Review Unit admit their ignorance of Bob’s Burgers. Justin gets distracted by the presence of Sopranos actor Vincent Curatola. Louis and Justin amuse themselves by saying “gabagool.” A connection between SVU and Josie & The Pussycats is discovered and the whole group realizes that Carol Burnett is the Punisher.

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Tread Perilously — Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage

Tread Merrily 2017 concludes with Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas-themed origin story, Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage.

When Tom (Jared Padalecki) and his brother Pat (one of the Ashmore Twins) come home for Christmas 1977, they discover their family cottage is under threat of foreclosure. Looking for quick cash to help with the bills, Tom gets a job painting a town mural on the side of one of the local shops. As he paints, the town’s colorful residents — and their “heartwarming” holiday conflicts — inspire him to add their likenesses to the mural. But will it be enough to save the Kinkade cottage in time for Christmas. And will Tom learn how to be the Painter of Light?

Erik and Justin get lost in the weeds as they discuss the film’s eccentric characters, the merits of other Christmas movies, and whether or not Erik will surprise Justin with another viewing of The Night They Saved Christmas. Justin suggests Kinkade’s work is for elderly racists. Erik defends Die Hard 2 as a worthwhile remake-sequel. He also suggests that Renny Harlin is sometimes the right choice. The Kiss The Girls trailer is declared the best trailer of all time. Justin creates Batman’s holiday vacation home: the Batcottage. Erik theorizes the origin of overwrought Christmas lawn displays and both are charmed by the performance of Richard Burgi as Tom’s drifter father.

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