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Series / Tremors

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This TV series from the Tremors franchise, directly continues on from Tremors 3: Back to Perfection.

A new character, Tyler Reed, buys the Desert Jack Graboid Tour business and finds himself unintentionally partnering up with Burt Gummer, who has semi-officially become a go-to-guy for the government when Graboids are spotted in America. However, it turns out Perfection has some new monsters of its own crawling around, thanks to an abandoned governmental research lab and a mutagenic compound called "Mixmaster".


This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the first and third films Perfection is flat desert terrain with miles of cacti and other desert plants being the only things for miles in any direction. In the series (seen most obviously at the start of "The Sound of Silence") the town is situated in the base of a green valley, with hills directly around it.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: It's basically a huge Take That! to "eco-kooks" as a whole. Even beyond the fact that Graboids are clearly far, far too dangerous for it to be sane to let them live, "El Blanco", the "protected" graboid... is STERILE. The reason that the residents of Perfection have no trouble coexisting with it is because it will never complete its life cycle and produce shriekers, assblasters, and therefore more graboids, and as a result is capable of becoming full (unlike normal Graboids who hunt until they produce shriekers) simply by feeding off the animals present in the valley. The greens are bleeding their hearts out over a critter that is, in a genetic sense, already dead.
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  • Alas, Poor Villain: 4-12 may have killed people, but its handler genuinely loved it and, until the plant that kept its aggression under control became impossible to find, it was living peacefully with him. Unlike most monsters, its death is actually played tragically and it's even given a proper burial.
  • BFG: Burt has replaced his lost single-shot .50 BMG LAR Grizzly with an even-more-enormous magazine-fed semiautomatic Barrett M82 .50 BMG anti-materiel rifle. He later takes out a target several miles away with it, which is only a slight exaggeration of what that rifle can really do.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The TV series can get a bit more brutal than the movies. The deaths caused by the microbe swarm are unpleasant enough, but when you get to people dying via extraordinarily loud sounds you begin to think being eaten by a graboid might be preferable.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Rosalita's rants in Spanish can be pretty funny. Especially when they're trapped by Shriekers, and she's just learned that Burt does indeed have spare ammo...locked inaccessibly away in the safe room after a scientist's stunt of cooking off the first ammo stock to save a group of Shriekers left the door wedged shut.
  • Community-Threatening Construction: It continues from the end-point of Tremors 3, in which the residents of Perfection Valley refused to sell their land to be converted to a town and are backed up by the government declaring the area a nature preserve. Many of the episodes revolves around the residents resisting either the government's efforts to drive them out (for the safety of el Blanco, their resident graboid) or Melvin's attempts to buy them out in order to put up a strip mall he calls "Melville" In Episode 1 "Feeding Frenzy" Melvin secretly erects sound-generating devices the stimulate El Blanco's hunger to the point where the graboid becomes very dangerous, and Burt is nearly forced to shoot it. He does this because if El Blanco is killed the valley will no longer have government protection.
  • Continuity Nod: Several, both to the previous films, and, when viewed on DVD self-referencing.
  • Death by Irony: One of the earlier episodes seems built on this trope. The mob man who believed in the Graboid is the one eaten, not his disbelieving buddy. Then, in an effort to retrieve the key, their boss brought a harpoon to spear El Blanco, only for El Blanco to actually end up spearing him with the harpoon, instead.
  • Due to the Dead: 4-12 gets a proper burial, with a makeshift headstone reading "Best pal ever."
  • The End... Or Is It?: The end of the "Planimal" episode shows one last seed pod from the Planimal stuck on someone's jacket. The camera follows it as it gets caught in the breeze and starts drifting around... and then gets quite deliberately crushed under the sole of Burt's boot.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: The ass-blaster that was captured alive in the 3rd film escapes from captivity and menaces Perfection again.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Vegas gangster trying to kill El Blanco to get back the safe deposit key that was eaten several episodes earlier thought it was utterly cold of Delores to slip a radio onto a man and use him as Graboid bait.
  • Evolutionary Levels: In one episode, the Mixmaster substance has an adverse effect on a freshwater shrimp. Instead of turning it into a grotesque hybrid, it mutates into its giant prehistoric ancestor.
  • Expy: In the third film, Nancy sells a captured ass-blaster to Siegfried and Roy. The TV series changes the buyers' names to those great Vegas stage magicians Sigmund and Ray, presumably Writing Around Trademarks.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Discussed when the Monster of the Week made a wooden fence disappear and the idea that El Blanco ate it is shot down because Graboids don't eat wood, and it's mentioned that these are the same creatures that have been known to happily eat cars. (Granted, fences don't make noise and car engines do.)
  • Fanservice: Rosalita (who was a stripper before moving to Perfection) hid from an Ass-Blaster in the water trough. In the next scene, she walked around in a wet T-shirt, and no bra.
  • From Bad to Worse: In "Water Hazard," Melvin swipes water from the valley for his latest project. It has Mixmaster in it, leading to the Monster of the Week. Tyler is hired to deal with it quietly, but someone gets killed and Tyler gets arrested. Facing a government quarantine, Melvin leaks fuel into the shrimp's habitat to try to kill it. It turns out, though, the shrimp can breathe air, so it simply leaves the polluted water and gets into a nearby aqueduct.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Tyler remarks at one point, "God, I hate a smart animal... unless it's a dog."
  • Hidden Depths: Twitchell frequently expresses annoyance with Perfection residents (especially Burt) and his job, but he won't quit.
    Twitchell: I could, but I chose a wife and kid. And taking care of them is more important to me than some dream job or a sailboat or a house in Big Sur where I can sit around and play my guitar all day.
    Jodi: Wait, you play guitar?
  • Hollywood Acid: One episode features a plant/reptile hybrid that sprays a potent "acid" that skeletonizes a person in mere seconds. In the episode they say it is a much stronger version of the digestive juices of the Pitcher plant.
  • Hope Spot: Two in "Project 4-12." The first is when El Blanco eats the creature, only to spit it back up. Later, Cletus tries to reason with 4-12, and it looks like it's working, but then the creature attacks again.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • One episode has the team go out to a town filled solely with UFO-revering conspiracy theorists. Burt finds them all utterly ridiculous, at one point verbally proclaiming they are "all nuts". Then again, they actually accused Burt of being a government cover-up agent, so he kind of had a point.
    • In "Ghost Dance," Tyler and Burt debate what it was they saw in the mine. Tyler says he sees Rosalita's point that it was a ghost, but Burt disagrees completely—saying it was the product of the secret underground biosynthetic lab.
      Burt: For God's sake, be reasonable.
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": The Planimal was essentially a biological version of a mine field, complete with squelchy noises in place of the usual ominous "click" associated with this trope.
  • LEGO Genetics: Mixmaster, a compound capable of hybridizing the DNA of any plant and/or animal the government tested.note  Notable in that the guy who created it states that +99% of the monsters would die at birth - it's the rare few that got something useful out of the mess they have to worry about; Invisibat, Giant Shrimp, Termaggots, Plantimal, Microbe Swarm, Project 4-12...
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: El Blanco is only a mild annoyance most of the time and shares no behaviors with other graboids. However, it's stated that, unlike normal Graboids, El Blanco is capable of getting full (presumably due to being sterile and thus doesn't need to feed nonstop in preparation for producing Shriekers), and thus will happily feed off the animals in the valley and leave the humans alone most of the time.
  • Magic Bullets: Lampshaded. Tyler points out that water is really effective at stopping bullets.
  • Monster of the Week: Mixmaster was introduced to aid in this, making the series recapture some of the allure of the movies where people have to learn about and then cope with monsters they know little about. Not every episode deals with a previously unknown creature but many do.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rosalita is clearly there to provide something for the lady-lovers to look at. The series even tries to justify how attractive she is by saying she used to be a showgirl who became a farmer to get away from creeps. This does not really explain why she rarely wears a bra and is show wearing stuff like shiny lip gloss while shovelling hay. It's also quite odd that she always wears thin T-shirts, as judging by her chest it's very cold in Perfection. This is taken to its logical extreme in one episode where she dives into a watering trough to avoid being eaten. She actually spends the next few scenes in a soaked white t-shirt. Amazingly, not a single character draws attention to this.
  • Mutagenic Goo: Mix Master, a substance created by scientists for the sole purpose of combining DNA from different animals to create new life.
  • Out of Order: Most infamously, "Project 4-12" was shown after "Ghost Dance" despite the former introducing and explaining Cletus. Production had to film quick book end scenes with Tyler and Larry to make "Project 4-12" a Whole Episode Flashback. Averted with the DVD release, which has the episodes in the proper order, though the altered "Project 4-12" remains.
  • Picky Eater: In "Blast from the Past" the Ass-Blaster captured from the third movie escapes and the characters try to catch it by baiting a trap with Burt's MREs. Unfortunately it doesn't work because it's spent several years being fed gourmet meals specially cooked for it by top chefs and as a result it's no longer attracted to field rations.
  • Planimal: The Trope Namer. It's a plant/root/thing, but also has a circulation system. Created via Mixmaster.
  • Properly Paranoid: Whenever Burt is concerned about something, he's usually waved off, despite the fact that he's usually right. Tyler eventually remarks that he finds it scary how often Burt ends up being right.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Mixmaster, a virus designed to mix DNA of different species, remained buried in an underground lab for decades until it ended up being released into the valley. Cletus theorizes that the valley's natural barriers will serve as a larger can, though Melvin's actions in "Water Hazard" gives everyone a close call.
  • Spit Out a Shoe: In one episode a Graboid eats a woman alive and spits out her rather expensive looking necklace.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In one episode they encounter a scientist whose demeanor and views are remarkably similar to Burt's. Burt was absent at the time (due to Michael Gross filming the fourth film). Lampshaded by a few of the characters when the encounter her. She, however, feels that Burt is "a stiff".
  • Swallow the Key: Not done intentionally, but El Blanco the Graboid ate a gangster in an early episode of Tremors: The Series, who happened to have the key to a mob safety-deposit box around his neck at the time. In a later episode, the gangster's surviving associate returns to try to kill El Blanco and retrieve the key, hoping to empty the deposit box of its millions. At the end of this episode, Larry (unaware of the larger story) ends up finding the key and thinks little of it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite living through the original Graboid attack the town of Perfection seems to have forgotten just how deadly they can be and just how close they came to getting eaten. Though this is averted with El Blanco, who is shown to be MUCH easier to deal with and far less dangerous than other Graboids.
  • Wall of Weapons: In the Attack of the Town Festival episode, the heroes have to scrounge weapons from a house in which this trope also applies... with antique black-powder firearms.


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