Wednesday, March 6, 2013

TV Review: Cupid (1998)

This was probably one of the best shows you never watched. In this show Jeremy Piven plays a guy who believes he is Cupid, cast down to Earth from Mt Olympus, stripped of his godly powers, and forced to set up 100 couple in true love before he can return as punishment for being an arrogant douchebag.

These claims naturally result in him ending up in a nuthouse. He gets released when he pretends to be cured of his delusion, claiming he remembers his name is Trevor, so long as he remains under the treatment of his shrink Claire Allen, played by Paula Marshall, otherwise known as that chick you've seen in a million things but don't remember where exactly. It's weird, Marshall has spent the last two decades almost having a career. She has done guest shots and small recurring roles on tons of TV shows, she even had a movie role in Hellraiser III, but just never managed to get any steady work or real recognition. She's not bad, I don't know why she can't do better for herself.

"Trevor" manages to get work as a bartender and becomes the roommate of the bar's bouncer. Then "Trevor" sets about his mission of hooking up 100 couples, attending Dr. Allen's singles group to help while Dr Allen sets about attempting to figure out who "Trevor" truly is.

Probably the single best part about this show was it's ambiguity regarding Trevor AKA Cupid. It is never definitively said one way or the other whether he is delusional or truly what he claims to be. He is highly intelligent, charming, and as we see when he plays darts, has an uncanny aim. You could easily watch this show and take the perspective that he is indeed Cupid. But nothing he does isn't also explainable by him simply being a mentally disturbed man, albeit a very talented and charming one. Jeremy Piven is at his most Jeremy Piven-y, playing a lovable smart ass of a character here flawlessly.

Also, you can tell as early as the pilot that Trevor and Dr. Allen share a chemistry, and indeed, according to Wikipedia, show creator Rob Thomas said he intended for the last episode to be Trevor and Dr. Allen hooking up as Cupid's 100th couple.

I used to watch this back when it was originally on. Sadly though it only lasted a season. Part of the blame for this I think was ABC giving it the terrible time slot of 10PM Saturday nights. Still, this was one of the best shows you never saw, it was funny, it was touching, and it was Jeremy Piven at his best. Most of the episodes can easily be found on Youtube and I would say you should give this forgotten gem a look.

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