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Tread Perilously – ‘Mercy Reef: Pilot’

Tread Perilously is a podcast in which hosts Erik Amaya and author Justin Robinson watch the “worst” episodes of popular TV shows, attempting to determine if they would continue to watch the series based on the most off-key moments.

This Week: Mercy Reef s “Pilot”

Tread Perilously continues its month of failed TV Pilots with the 2006 pilot for Aquaman — a.k.a. Mercy Reef.

Occasional SCUBA instructor and animal liberator A.C. (international heartthrob Justin Hartley) spends his days as a lovable rogue and helping his friend Eva (Amber McDonald) run her seaside bar until forces from Atlantis arrive in town to deal with loose ends. When a siren (guest star Adrianne Palicki) makes killing A.C. a priority, he must finally face the truth of his past and take hold of his destiny. Luckily, a friend of his parents (Ving Rhames) appears to train him, not unlike a Watcher, and aid him in freeing Atlantis. Meanwhile, Air Force pilot Lt. Rachel Torres (Denise Quiñones) is out of her depth despite being headhunted by an X-Files-type agent interested in the mysterious goings-on in the Bermuda Triangle.

Justin and Erik invent a more standard drama series called Mercy Reef about broken people trying to rebuild their lives in a scenic paradise. They also get lost in the ethnic ambiguity of actor Lou Diamond Phillips. Justin complains that international heartthrob Justin Hartley stole his allotment of hotness. An in-depth discussion of Jaws 3D and Jaws: The Revenge breaks out. The use of “A.C.” reminds Justin of Al Cowlings. Erik praises McDonald’s performance as one of the pilot’s highlights and Hartley as its winning feature. But, is it possible this vision of Aquaman isn’t sexy enough?

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