Cupid: Revisited

Written by Tracy

Since my post on Ed has given me the biggest views in a long time, I like to revisit a movie/TV show/event each month that you (and I) should re-watch each month. If there is a movie, TV show, or a special event you think I should revisit, write your comment below or email me at thispersonstinks[at]gmail[dot]com.

This coming week is Valentine’s Day. If you’re wondering: no, I do not have a special someone, but if I have a someone, I would set up a nice dinner, go to a nice bed and binge-watch Cupid.

Why I’m mentioning Cupid?

  1. The rising star of late-bloomer, Sarah Paulson, in American Horror Story and 12 Years A Slave.
  2. Veronica Mars: The Movie is coming out next month, which is created by Rob Thomas, who also created Cupid and Party Down. Thomas also has knack of revisiting his old projects.
  3. I wonder where Paula Marshall is these days?

Cupid was an ABC dramedy about a patient who thinks (or is) Cupid and must hook-up 100 couples who are in real love, without using his bow and arrow, before ascended back to Mount Olympus. There were two different versions of Cupid:

1998

The original Cupid starred Jeremy Piven as Cupid/Trevor Hale, Penny Marshall as Dr. Claire Allen, and Jeffery D. Sams as Champ and helpful roommate of “Cupid.” The 1998 version was set in Chicago and aired on the dreaded Saturday night at 10 PM, then switch to Thursday at 9 PM to compete with Fraiser. It lasted 15 episodes, but their theme song was The Pretenders, “Human”

Which was a cover of The Divinyls, “Human on the Inside”

(R.I.P. Chrissy Amphlett)

2009

The remake stars Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent, Boardwalk Empire) as Cupid/Trevor Pierce and Sarah Paulson as Dr. Claire McCrae. It was set in New York, had a better time slot on Tuesdays at 10 PM, had no theme song, and it was canceled after 7 episodes.

Comparing the two shows, it contrasts each other and that is mostly based on the Cupids. Cannavale’s version was more traditional in his approach. Piven’s version was a lovable wise-ass and find lovers, by any means necessary. What works in Piven’s favor was that his show was set in Chicago, which is his real hometown, so he knew the in-and-outs and felt comfortable being himself. I always felt the real Cupid was Piven since he pushes and encourages people beyond their means, while Cannavale was more of a planner to set up the right match.

As for the Dr. Claires, I find them interchangeable as both had the same personality and same approach, and also they didn’t ruined the show. If I were to choose, I would pick Dr. Claire Allen since Paula Marshall is from Rockville, MD.

If you’re reading this though, it sounds like I love the 1998 edition more than the 2009 version and you are correct. The original had characters, chemistry between Piven and Marshall, and the setting. However, I thought both Cupids were both well-made shows. I would argue if the Cupids switch (and the setting), you would get maybe two successful shows. Cannavale’s traditional approach would be more appropriate in 1998, while Piven would fit-in the social media age with his one-line snappers, his unorthodox version of Cupid, and the changing culture.

Now, a Cupid movie will likely not happen because there is less of a demand and all the main actors, on both shows, are 40 and over. There’s a lot of hype for Veronica Mars and Party Down reunions because  Generation Y will have their nostalgia fix and it doesn’t hurt that the stars of those shows are still young, talented, and beloved.

However, if there was a Cupid movie, I would expect Piven and Cannavale meet somewhere in between Chicago and New York, like Cleveland, and hookup 77 dates (each Cupid) in that city to reach 99 and if you read Rob Thomas’s interview about how the 100th episode (1998 version) would have gone down, the likely ending, in the movie,  is who’s the real Cupid: Piven or Cannavale? Have the Dr. Claires act like Doctor Who companions, where Dr. McCrea is herself and Dr. Allen is “Bad Wolf.” I would watch that movie, or put money on Kickstarter.

When you think about it, Cupid was ahead of its time in 1998, but behind the times in 2009. Rob Thomas is a talented show runner who had all the bad breaks with two Cupids cancelling, Veronica Mars canceled after three seasons because of the UPN-The WB merger (now The CW), and Party Down canceled after  two seasons because other shows were swiping away their talent. Could this year Rob Thomas actually breaks out and find success? I hope so and with the upcoming script to Party Down and its potential success, Thomas will finally get the recognition he deserves. It’s unlikely he will recycle Cupid for the third time, but Cupid deserves to have a conclusion and Rob Thomas’s career would literally go full circle if that would happen.

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