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David Hines [userpic]

CUPID, take 2

April 1st, 2009 (09:20 pm)

Back on rec.arts.sf.tv, we would occasionally joke around with the idea that the posters had accidentally slipped into an alternate universe -- just like our own, except something awesome was on TV that wasn't in ours. Like, SLIDERS never aired and George R.R. Martin got the greenlight for DOORWAYS, stuff like that. (I recall doing such a post about a universe where Doc Savage had become a successful adventure movie franchise in the James Bond mold, with occasional recastings and reinterpretations. Ron Ely did several movies, and I think Marc Singer did one (he was sort of the George Lazenby Doc), and Arnold Schwarzenegger did several more Arnold-ish action movies in the eighties -- like that. Michael Clarke Duncan had just been signed as the first black actor to play Doc.)

Anyway, one alternate universe I wished I could've tapped into was the one where CUPID never got cancelled. Jeremy Piven starred as a delusional man who just might really be the god of love, with Paula Marshall as his psychiatrist, a well-known relationship expert who constantly butts heads with her patient about what love really is, and Jeffrey D. Sams as a bartender who wound up working and living with Piven's character, often being reluctantly dragged into his roommate's matchmaking efforts. It was a brilliant show, brilliantly cast, magnificently written. Naturally, it got deep-sixed. But ABC decided to give the concept another shot, so they got Rob Thomas to haul his series format out of mothballs.

I tried watching it last night. I fell asleep. In all fairness, I was really tired, but it had a hell of a lot of work to live up to its predecessor and it didn't. The guy playing Trevor (the Cupid figure) was okay, but the female lead wasn't, and the two of them really didn't have scene chemistry. (Also, there was a strange choice: the original opened with Claire, the psychiatrist, so when we saw Trevor for the first time it was with her, so she was the viewpoint character for our introduction to him. The remake opens on Trevor trying to launch a big love declaration for a guy and getting arrested in the process, making him the viewpoint character. I think that's a mistake: he's the funnyman, and as such works better if the audience sees the world as the straight man does. This may actually be one of my problems with CASTLE, which doesn't do anything for me. I think it might be that there's too much Castle in it.) So, um, I'll tune in again and try to stay awake, but I really wish I could tap into that alternate universe where Piven and Paula Marshall did seven seasons.


Posted by: riah_chan (riah_chan)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Al hmmmmm...

I loved that show! I thought I was the only one who remembered it (like Strange Luck...)

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)


(My favorite episode may be the crazy MacGuffin one, where everybody's chasing after the box, and the motorcyclist collects it at the end, and you NEVER KNOW WHAT'S IN IT.)

(My friend Gharlane had a great comment on STRANGE LUCK: "That is the best car on a television show since COLUMBO. And this one is BETTER.")

Posted by: amonitrate (amonitrate)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)


I loved Strange Luck. It ran far longer than I ever expected it too, poor show.

Posted by: beamjockey (beamjockey)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)

AOL, dude.

Posted by: Elleria (elleria)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)

I remember Stange Luck! I love that show.

Posted by: amonitrate (amonitrate)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)


Posted by: beamjockey (beamjockey)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)

It was really startling to see a promo for this, and search in vain for Jeremy Piven within it. At first, I though ABC might be showing old episodes in place of some newly-canceled show. Gradually it dawned on me that this was a revival.

In 1998, I thought the premise sounded profoundly unpromising, but I tuned in anyway. I loved the writing. I loved the long tracking shot as the characters conversed in witty dialogue along the sidewalks and bridges of Chicago. I loved watching Piven.

I do not believe for a moment that the new version can be that good. Nevertheless, I shall watch some episodes. It still has a chance to be better than most other 2009 television.

Posted by: Elleria (elleria)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 05:44 am (UTC)

I argued with my sister for ten minutes about Cupid being a remake of the same show. I finally had to go to IMDB to show her that it was on in 98-99. And I agree with you about this new version. I really was sad when they cancelled the original and this new version is just not as good. Paula Marshall was much better than the new actress and the same with Jermey Piven. The new guy's not bad but so far I like the owner of the bar/club and his sister the best.

Posted by: Sage Autumn (sageautumn)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)

Hmm. I'm liking Castle, but I see where it could have too much Castle in it. (I come thiiis close to having that issue with The Mentalist.)

Though I wasn't a Firefly fan when it came out, I'll admit I would probably watch Nathan Fillion read a phone book. I think he's nifty.

Posted by: pyropyga (pyropyga)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)

I <3 Paula Marshall.

Posted by: A large duck (burger_eater)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)

Yeah, the Piven version of CUPID was a terrific show. It was also a clear-eyed look at love and romance and a bit of an anthology show, which might explain why it didn't exactly soar in the ratings.

The episode where the beautiful woman decides to date the ugly guy with the great personality was amazing (and heartbreaking).

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