Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: Join the Strike Survival TV Club and discover 'Cupid'

As promised ad nauseam practically since the strike began, it's time to start being proactive about this strike thing, which means rejecting a lot of the awful replacement programming in favor of a look back at great, underappreciated series from seasons past. (For those of you relatively new to the blog, I did something similar over the summer, when I blogged about every episode of "Freaks and Geeks.")

And our first candidate, for reasons I explain at length in today's column, is "Cupid," Rob Thomas' little gem from the '98-'99 TV season. It's not out on DVD, but almost every minute of every episode is up on YouTube. Click here for all the links to the first episode, plus an excerpt from Thomas' script that covers the handful of scenes at the beginning that for some reason aren't up on YouTube.

I'll have a more proper blog post about the pilot up tomorrow morning, and intend to do two episodes a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. Depending on how the strike's looking, "Sports Night" is next in the queue, possibly running concurrently with the "Cupid" reviews. I'm going to save "The Wire" season one until the final season is over, and am hoping against hope that the strike ends soon enough that I won't need to pick any shows beyond these three. (I have some in mind just in case. Sigh...)

So go get with the Piven and Marshall, and we'll talk more tomorrow morning.

21 comments:

CarolMR said...

There is a story posted on www.theatlantic.com by Reihan Salam about THE WIRE and David Simon. Not too flattering to Mr. Simon.

Also, Donnell Rawlings from THE WIRE was a guest last night on Fox News' RED EYE. I taped it but haven't watched it yet.

Karen said...

Marvellous! Simply marvellous! A great choice.

But, please, Alan, humor the Latinists in your audience, and emend "ad nauseum" to the correct "ad nauseam"?

jim treacher said...

Over the last 10 years, it's amazing to see the advances in hairpiece technology.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm not even sure that's his original hairline, either. I bet if you go back and watch Lucas or something, you'd see the hair started even further back on his head.

Tracy said...

Alan, I look forward to your Cupid recaps and hopefully Sports Night (loved that show!), but am waiting to see you blog about the new season's episodes of Life on Mars. Pretty please!

Toby said...

'Cupid' is a show I do want to discover, but I'll wait until it's out on DVD. Hunting down all the segments for each episode via YouTube just sounds like too much work for the veteran sofa spud. All that typing and clicking! oof!

Instead, I've decided to front-load my Netflix queue with all 13 eps of the 'Cadfael' mysteries and see if I can find theoretical crossover links to other shows that might share that era on the Toobworld timeline.

(I have a feeling there won't be many, but I could possibly get a nice 'Doctor Who' connection out of it....)

Alan Sepinwall said...

No typing and clicking required. At the end of each episode post, I'll include the links for the next episode. Couldn't be easier.

Sean said...

Alan: I can send you a .mov copy of the complete first episode of Cupid if you need it. Quality is only slightly better than YouTube.

Kari said...

I'm so excited! I loved this show.

BigTed said...

Alan, I really appreciate your choosing a show that can be found on YouTube. I wouldn't buy DVDs of a series I'd already seen, and timing rentals of individual discs from Netflix or a video store would be an iffy proposition.

Anonymous said...

I'm out this time around, since my relatively antique computer isn't the optimal place to view a TV show and all I have is a teeny tiny old version IPod Nano (what do you expect--we still have a VCR instead of DVR or Tivo too).

So for me, it's time to finally check out Buffy...All zillion seasons of it. The strike can last a long, long time...

Peter said...

Alan, will you be reviewing season two of Torchwood on BBC America? This time instead of it taking a year to cross the ocean (like season one) season two will only be delayed by a couple of weeks from the original BBC Two broadcast.

Greg said...

Alan, why no comment about ABC asking Thomas to bring Cupid back? When you mentioned that a few months ago, that inspired me to watch most of the episodes on youtube. Was there an additional announcment about the revival that I missed? I hope it is still on because Cupid is/could be a great show.

jim treacher said...

"I'm not even sure that's his original hairline, either."

It definitely isn't! That's what I'm sayin'. Whereas you look at him in The Kingdom, and you wouldn't even know that wasn't his real hair (if you'd been in a coma since 1991).

domino87 said...

Love all the shows you have on your queue. But I think it would be so awesome if you went ahead and did deco's of The Wire Season 1 after the final episode airs. Since I already planned on going back and re-watching the series from the beginning, after the last episode, that would be AWESOME. Keep up the good work.

Robert said...

I still have my VHS tapes of Cupid, complete with Syracuse snow warnings and promos for SU playing in the Orange Bowl that year.
I can't wait to hear from people seeing it for the first time.

Matthew said...

Just a note that the first part of the pilot was definitely taken down for some reason.

I searched for the file, and found this page - http://www.celebritywonder.com/vids/Jeremy_Piven/pafUmCRizGs.html - that had the Pilot (Part 1/5) YouTube video embedded, but when clicking on this video, it stated that the video was no longer available.

jazzfan360 said...

Revisiting brilliant but canceled programs in the dearth of new material. Wonderful. Please, PLEASE tell me you'll be covering Remember WENN. And possibly Gun and The Knights of Prosperity.

Anonymous said...

I don't know...the premise seems a bit weak. Also, Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall just aren't my cup of tea (c'mon dude, just be bald and proud already). So I think I'll stick with my own set of brilliant but canceled shows (i.e. F&G, Firefly).

Caroline said...

Looking forward to Sports Night - quite possibly the greatest TV show ever made, bar none. Less to do with the scripts, though they were good, much more to do with the performances, in particular those of Josh Charles and Robert Guillaume.

Olli Sulopuisto said...

(Might be old news to you, but still.)

I came across this quote in Jeffrey Stepakoff's awesome book Billion-Dollar Kiss:

"In 1998, Columbia TriStar Television (CTTV) developed a new comedy called The King of Queens. However, right before giving it a pickup, CBS reportedly refused to put the show on their schedule unless CTTV agreed to share ownership of it. Realizing they were being shaken down, the executives at CTTV debated it, looked at all their options, and came to the conclusion that they had none -- Columbia TriStar Television did not have its own network. So if CTTV wanted one of the shows it made to get on the air, it had to do whatever a network wanted, including sharing the back-end profits.

This was how business was now being done. -- According to Variety, ABC flat-out refused to pick up Columbia TriStar's Cupid unless CTTV lowered its already prenegotiated license fee by as much as a hundred grand an episode."

Yay for Fin-Syn.