ABC’s ‘Cupid': Will the arrow hit or miss?

By on April 15, 2009

Executive producer and writer Rob Thomas is giving “Cupid” another chance. ABC canceled his romantic comedy (which starred Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall) in 1999 after airing only 14 episodes.

Mainly, psychiatrist Dr. Claire McCrae (Sarah Paulson), and author of a best-selling self-help book, “Common Ground: A Sensible Guide to Finding Love,” receives a case about a delusional man who thinks he is the Roman God of Love, Cupid. This man is detached from reality, yet is very charismatic. Upon meeting his doctor, Cupid, also known as Trevor Pierce (Bobby Cannavale), has all of the hospital patients enthusiastically singing the chorus to the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.” He speaks of Mount Olympus, bows and arrows, magic, and the fact that he has to match up 100 couples in order to be sent home to his nonexistent city of Olympus. And here’s the catch: the matches must be true love, which is the exact state of mind that landed him in a mental institution in the first place. Still, three months later, after being declared harmless to himself and others, he is released into the care of the cynical Dr. McCrae, who realizes Trevor has not been cured at all.

The audience, if even the slightest intuitive, can already see a romance brewing between Pierce and his doctor. They argue over love at first sight versus rationality. Yet, the constant feuds over the possibility that love is passion, or whether or not compatibility and respect, are too much to handle. However, this budding couple is offset by the occurrence of mini dramatic events – like Trevor helping Irishman Dave O’Leary (Sean Maguire) find the girl of his dreams, Holly, after a mere brief encounter in Dublin. He even has a picture of her sketched in the paper, and a reporter to document his journey. Trevor goes as far as climbing atop a skyscraper with Dave on New Year’s Eve, to change the lights on a sign to say “I’m Here Holly” instead of Happy New Year. The stunts are extremely corny, yet grab the attention of the audience. And if you didn’t see it coming, here it is: Dave ends up falling for the reporter writing the article about his overseas journey to find his one true love.

It is inevitable that the success of the show will likely depend on how much amusement the “couple of the week” provides the audience. Nonetheless, “Cupid” is fun and comical at times, so fans of the typical romantic comedy will certainly adore it. However, the future remains uncertain. If the show was cut once, what makes Thomas think it won’t be canceled again?

“Cupid” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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