David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

CUPID, take 2

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.
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