You know, when I saw the trailer for the Rob Thomas/Diane Ruggiero remake of Cupid — now scheduled for the none-too-promising time slot of Tuesday at 10 p.m. — the thing it most reminded me of was that South Park episode that parodied the trailers for Rob Schneider movies. Specifically, the fact that “comedy” trailers always have the same rhythm, so that you could replace the narration with nonsense words and it would still have the exact same inflections. “Comes the story of one man… who will do whatever it takes… to make looove happen!” From the creators of Der and Tum Ta Titilly Tum Ta Too.
From a trailer, of course, I don’t want to judge, especially when the trailer seems to be working so hard to convince us that this will be fun, fun, FUN!!!; I don’t expect the series to exhibit that kind of desperation, because that’s just not Thomas’s way of doing things. But my gut reaction to Bobby Cannavale is the same as most people’s: he’s trying to do what Jeremy Piven did, he even looks a bit like Piven, but he’s playing it more domesticated and cuter, and so is the production team. In the scene where Piven meets Paula Marshall, he looks and acts like he could be dangerous, which, considering he’s nuts, is a perfectly legitimate possibility. (Also, nothing can beat Piven’s exasperated response when Marshall asks him his name. He’s like, “you idiot, you know my name is Cupid, why are you asking?”) The clips from the meeting scene between Cannavale and Sarah Paulson look more brightly-lit and Cupid is just a little less obnoxious. Maybe this is what the show needs to be successful, or maybe the clips give a misleading impression.
And while this is really shallow of me, Paula Marshall’s legs will be very much missed on the new show. (If you play a therapist, that’s an important consideration. I don’t make the rules; it’s known as the Dr. Melfi principle.) To be less shallow, Paula Marshall is awesome for a lot of reasons and I continue to believe that one day she will have a regular part on a successful series — she’s only been trying for sixteen years; her run of bad luck can’t last forever.
Finally, when I heard that this show was being remade, I figured at least we’d get a DVD of the original series out of it. But so far, nothing. I realize that ABC doesn’t in fact own the original (it’s a Sony property), and it has a lot of music, but you’d think something would have been worked out by now. Maybe that’s the best reason to root for the new show: if it doesn’t succeed, we may never get the original version on disc.