Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cupid, "Pilot": Oceans apart

Spoilers for the debut of "Cupid" 2.0 coming up just as soon as I visit the Temple of Eros...
"What are you doing?" -Dave
"Teaching this youngster how we used to kick it in the mid-'90s." -Madeline
I said a lot of what I had to say about the pilot my review of the new "Cupid" in today's column, in which I tried my best not to make too many comparisons to the original. But since this is a blog, and one where I spent a lot of time last year dissecting the Jeremy Piven version, I think it's only fair to, just this once, talk about how one looks in relation to the other. I'll try not to do this too much -- though I doubt I'll be able to avoid it when they do the episode remaking the original series' "The Linguist" -- but it seems unavoidable at the start to discuss how they kicked it the mid-'90s versus how they're kickin' it today.

First up, I should say I like Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson quite a bit. They take different approaches to their characters than Piven and Paula Marshall did, as you would expect and probably want them to, but they make it work. Cannavale's Trevor seems more sweet and childlike than Piven's aggressive take on the character. (Piven might have led an "All You Need Is Love" singalong, but he would have been a lot angrier doing it.) Paulson, meanwhile, seems more sharp-edged than Marshall, which in turn balances nicely against Cannavale's gentler Trevor.

My issue is that I have little idea how well they're going to work together because, as discussed in the column, the show kept cutting away -- particularly in the second half -- to focus on the new Dave and Madeline. I don't know if people who haven't seen the original (or, at least, haven't watched it lately) would have the same reaction, but the Trevor/Claire material that we did get felt like the abridged version of the same scenes a decade ago; the plot content was there, but not the material on the margins that made it sparkle before.

Now, one of my complaints about the original "Cupid" pilot was that its version of Dave and Madeline (George Newbern and Connie Britton, in an entirely different plot) didn't get much screentime themselves. And that's always going to be a tricky balance between the regulars and the anthological guest stars. But I think in the first episode, it's more important to get to know the people who will be around every week instead of the ones who get a happy ending and never turn up again. And since Dave/Madeline '09 wasn't as inspired a story as some of the best ones from the original show, I got particularly frustrated that Trevor and Claire kept being pushed to the margins.

I'll give that story one bit of praise: where the original pilot had Trevor being correct and Claire being wrong, this one starts out the other way, then has them team up in the end. Because it's so easy for Claire to come off as the wet blanket, I think it's very smart to establish from the jump that she really does know what she's talking about with romance, and that she can sometimes be more perceptive than Trevor.

As for the rest of it, I like both Rick Gomez (older brother to Josh "Morgan" Gomez from "Chuck") and Camille Guaty (aka the original Maricruz on "Prison Break"), but I don't see the point in replacing the original show's Champ -- whom the writers didn't know what to do with half the time as it is -- with two different characters. But I'm happy to see Joe Lo Truglio from "The State"(*) (and, starting tomorrow night, a regular on "Reno 911") as one of the singles group members. I assume he'll be one of the ones, like Paul Adelstein on the original, who hangs around a long time because he can't find a girlfriend.

(*) Here's Lo Truglio trying to order a chicken sandwich. Good times.

Anyway, that's it for the one-to-one comparisons for a while, I hope.

What did everybody -- whether you watched the original show or not -- think?

50 comments:

filmcricket said...

A little meh. I agree with you that it was a good idea to show Claire being right, and that Trevor's single-mindedness could be a drawback (something the original didn't get to until a few episodes in, as I recall).

But I'm not sold on these stars. I still actually enjoy Jeremy Piven as a performer (possibly because I don't watch Entourage) and Cannavale, while likeable, doesn't have the same rakish charm as Trevor. And while I found Marshall too mannered a lot of the time, I'm beginning to think I don't care for Sarah Paulson much. I loved her in Down With Love but didn't like her on Deadwood nor on Studio 60. I'll give it a few more episodes, though; maybe they'll grow on me.

Myles said...

I think Thomas was probably smart to introduce a little bit less of Trevor/Claire in the pilot, to be honest - not for any legitimate critical reasons, as I think you're quite right that it doesn't make sense from that perspective, but I think that ABC wants to sell this series as the ultimate romance procedural, a love story a week. The preview at the end of tonight's episode showed almost nothing of Claire and Trevor, focusing solely on hot people making out with each other and falling in love.

And I think that, in the short term, it's not a bad strategy: it'll attract ABC's main demo, and pull in some of the Dancing with the Stars audience in particular. But over time the show is going to have to do as the original did, focusing a bit more on its lead characters, although perhaps it's ideal to get an audience first before doing so.

I'll give it a shot, either way - concept is still charming, leads are still charming, and I can't argue with that sometimes.

Marquis said...

I agree with you that it was a good idea to show Claire being right, and that Trevor's single-mindedness could be a drawback

That happened in the original pilot as well. Trevor had the orderly and nurse together then they broke up with a huge fight and things went bad.

I liked it. I didn't love it love it.

But I will watch it until the end.

Lucy said...

I think I'm lucky. I haven't seen the original show. So I can't pick it apart. I'm not haunted by the other performances.

Trevor is adorable, when he finally got the two together and saw the bead move. The look on his face sold the whole show for me.

james said...

That's good. This one seems to be some what lighter though this is only the first episode.

Others around who didn't see the first version seemed to enjoy it as well.

Matt said...

1. Was the "anti-psychiatric medicine" stuff in the original show? Because (intentionally or not) that made it feel like Scientology propaganda.

2. I've only seen bits and pieces of the original, but my problem is that Cannavale doesn't read as impish or roguish at all, while Piven easily would have. He just reads a little flat.

DonBoy said...

I think my expectations must have been lowered by the advance opinions, because I found myself liking it more than I had thought. I think I once read of Piven's original that he succeeded by "being obnoxious without being annoying", and Cannavale is also in that zone, although as others point out, less of the obnoxious...but it's still sort of there.

One thing I admired is something other may find to be a weakness, which is the part of story just after Holly has appeared, and every viewer knows that now we have to hit the beat where she doesn't live up to Dave's idea of her, and why do I have to watch those scenes when we all know that's how it's gonna go? So they came as close as humanly possible to putting up a title card that says "But Dave decides Holly's not so great", and we can get on to the good stuff.

I'm not especially unhappy that they didn't give us more Trevor-and-Claire in the first episode, by the way, because all you need to set it up was there.

Holly Martins said...

Well, it turns out this isn't a good show to watch a week after a painful breakup. I like Cannavale a lot in general but I pretty much just wanted to punch Cupid in the face. Guess I should probably give it a few weeks and try again when I'm in a better frame of mind...

Byron said...

I can't watch this yet, as I'm out of the country, but I think the show is going to succeed or fail based on Ms. Paulson. Paula Marshall did an absolutely incredible job of playing Claire back in the day. She was so serious, but so loveable, and you needed that to balance out the well of charisma that is Cupid. We'll have to see if Sarah Paulson can bring that much to the table.

Anthony Foglia said...

Cannavale's Trevor seems more sweet and childlike than Piven's aggressive take on the character.

Odd, I had a somewhat opposite read. Cannavale's come-on lines (particularly to Claire when he first meets her) came across almost crude, and not half-serious like Piven's. But I think he did better with the serious lines where Trevor learns about the others. When he said to Claire, after she described lust dying, "Who broke your heart?" it seemed much more caring and personal than anything I remember Piven saying. Likewise, during the phone call at the end, he came across more sorry for the Dave and Madeline, rather than sorry the couple didn't get together.

I think the writers will settle on less flirting from Cannavale, but more friend-like encouragement. Less frat boy, more drama geek than Piven. (Does that make any sense?)

Two different readings, but both can work with the show.

Then again, I haven't seen the original since you Strike Survival Guide.

A few more things:

1. When did the setting move to New York? Last I heard, the setting was LA.

2. Count me as one of the many who haven't seen ads. I knew it was to be on soon, but didn't realize it was today until I saw reviews on Google News (yours was linked to on the front page). I only watch "Scrubs", "Better Off Ted", and "Lost" though.

3. Matt said, Was the "anti-psychiatric medicine" stuff in the original show? Because (intentionally or not) that made it feel like Scientology propaganda.

It was there. Maybe not as heavily in the pilot, but it was there. And Claire was strongly against it then too.

Lorrie said...

Although I believe I saw every episode of the original "Cupid," and I recall being very disappointed in its cancellation, I remember almost nothing about it. Judging the episode purely on its own merits, it was cute. There are worse things than a romance procedural with appealing regulars.

Anonymous said...

I actually did love it. The entire episode left a huge smile on my face. I found this version of the male lead so much more likeable and engaging. (Sorry, Piven, I do love you -- but that's the way it is.) As for female lead, I prefer the original but not so much that the new one raises any objections.

I also like the casting choices and editorial refocus, especially on this opening episode.

To be fair, last time 'round, I ended up giving up on the show a few episodes in because I just found Piven's Cupid unengaging. New guy brought more compassion and less snark.

R.A. Porter said...

Wow. I guess of those who watched I'm alone in my HATRED of the remake. Hatred to the point of considering this Rob Thomas's Phantom Menace.

Let me check my tweets of anger from the hour for my bullet points...

- It took me all of three minutes to decide if in future I really wanted to watch a brittle blond with little charisma on Tuesday night, I'd jump to TNT and suffer through Monica Potter over Sarah Paulson.

- The original was wonderfully ambiguous with Trevor's marksmanship. With the dart trick, he threw several bullseyes in a reflection, but no one saw it but us. It was always possible we were intended to share in his delusion. Here, he throws one and with Claire seeing it it loses that subtlety.

- *Five* songs. That's great, because it saves Rob Thomas the effort of writing dialog, but it's a cheap shorthand.

Unless someone truly amazing guests on this incarnation, I won't be putting myself through it again. No matter what people say about the power and glory of episode six. ;)

Jennifer said...

So, you're Rob Thomas. By a fluke of luck, you get to make again your old show. What do you do? You do a fairly literal remake of the same dang show, only with slightly different twists in the pilot and different actors. I was sitting there going, "Why change their last names, even?" Heck, they even kept the line of sight name gag, even if the last name is different.

Having seen the original back during your strike club, it just...well, it bothered me that it was SO literal "here we are again, just with different people." On the other hand, if it had been drastically different I'd probably bitch like someone watching a book go to screen too, so who knows. Mainly I just found it a very strange experience to watch. I'm not a deja vu sort of person, but the show sure was.

I am not a fan of Jeremy Piven (I originally didn't watch Cupid because I thought he was obnoxious, and he is), but I still liked him better over Cannavale in the role, who fell kinda flat comparatively speaking (indeed, I can't not compare! its so alike!) and I'm not that fond of his accent. Likewise, Sarah Paulson is competent enough, but is a little flatter to me. (Also, girl's hair is so platinum it washes her out. She needs to go a little darker, please.)

The slightly different D/M twist wasn't bad, and I also appreciated that Holly was brought on and off quickly. Also the dilemma of Dave being from a different country and outing himself thanks to Trevor. And the moving button wall- and him knowing that all the way across the pond. I guess we're going overt on the "he's a god" thing.

I do like how they brought Psyche up more. I'd like to see that brought in more, especially since he's in such fervent denial about his wife.

Anna said...

Jennifer, I don't know what you expected... Ever since it was first announced, it's always had the exact same premise as the original show.

Byron said...

Sigh. There's no subtlety left. It's a top-to-bottom problem: neither of the leads is bringing it, but the writing and directing are selling them out too.

The line that lost me was when Claire says "Remind me again how you made your matches? Ooh, that's right, you shot them! Random people falling madly in love. Look around you, Cupid, your methodology didn't work. So how about letting someone who actually gives a damn take a shot." Sarah Paulson plays it so mean, and the show clearly half wants her to be the villain. In the original, Claire was every bit as right and valid as Trevor. Go watch the scene on Youtube (5 minutes into part 2): Claire isn't mean about it, she's sad! How can you not fall in love with her a little bit right there?

On the other hand, Endless Mike!

Anonymous said...

- The original was wonderfully ambiguous with Trevor's marksmanship. With the dart trick, he threw several bullseyes in a reflection, but no one saw it but us. It was always possible we were intended to share in his delusion. Here, he throws one and with Claire seeing it it loses that subtlety.
I felt the same about the bead. In the original, it was never clear how the bead moved (was it gravity? was it Trevor, when we weren't watching? was it TPTB?) in this, Trevor was looking for the bead to move by itself. That bothered me.

I'm also not sure how I liked the "let's work together" ending. It brought Trevor & Claire too close too soon (really? she's inviting him to her place already?) plus, it has the same kind of problem that My Name Is Earl has, where everyone learns a fun lesson in the end about goodness and cooperation and puppies.

On the other hand, if I hadn't seen and loved the first version, I might have really liked it.

Kensington said...

I liked it, a lot more than I expected, maybe because it's been so long since I saw the original and didn't participate much in the big blog rewatch last year.

There are some stark differences, however, that time cannot erase. For instance, watching the original Cupid, I did fall in love with Paula Marshall right out of the box. There was a vulnerability and a sweetness to her performance that sadly wasn't achieved tonight by Sarah Paulson.

She wasn't bad, but I really liked falling in love with Paula Marshall's Claire.

As for Cannavale, my initial response to him was negative, that he was a pale shade of the finest performance that Jeremy Piven has ever given, but then it clicked and I forgot all about Piven, except for the abstract reminder that he usually seems like a dick, and isn't it nice that this Cupid doesn't seem like a dick.

Finally, it was nice to see Austin Pendleton. That man always makes me smile whenever he shows up in anything.

amysusanne said...

I have no idea how I feel about it. I want to like it because I loved the original so much, but I expected not to like it for that same reason. In general, I find Cannavale and Paulson to be far less interesting actors than Piven and Marshall and given that the latter two made those characters their own right out of the box, it's kind of a given that I'm going to be really hard on the newbies. I just wonder, since most of the people whose comments I've read have been, if not fans of the original (though almost all are) then at least familiar with the original, what people who have zero knowledge of the Piven/Marshall version think of this one. I sort of wish I could see it as its own show, I just don't think that's going to happen. Trevor Hale was just more interesting to me than Trevor Pierce is.

I love Rob Thomas and I love the original concept, so I'll stick with it (especially since it's got such a short run and isn't likely to succeed), but I'm going to need to get a couple of eps in before I can be a fair judge as to whether this version is working. I did enjoy the couple of the week in the pilot, but as far as the Claire/Trevor stuff went, I was just waiting on each thing to play out. I was looking for the sign before he said his name, waiting on Claire to get back to the room and see it, waiting on Trevor to put up the rope, etc.

And I am so stupid: I never knew Josh and Rick Gomez were brothers.

Rae said...

When did the setting move to New York? Last I heard, the setting was LA.

Anthony, I think the switch happened sometime last summer. Before they filmed (obviously) but after Thomas had already re-written the pilot. One of my favorite things about the pilot being set in LA was the use of the Hollywood sign for Dave's grand attention-getting gesture. (And now you know why that character was named Holly.) I just thought it worked better and was more clever than the light bulb thing we got instead.

But, I also think NYC is a better setting for the story or, rather, a city that functions more like NYC than LA. I'd have preferred them just moving it back to Chicago but I know it was no doubt ABC trying to take advantage of the NYC filming tax breaks.

Jennifer mentions it was too much like the original and it's funny because it's not nearly the replica that the original pilot re-write was. I was turned off after reading it because of how much was almost exactly the same as before. Not sure if it was Rob or the network who wanted changes but what we got last night wasn't nearly the replica I was expecting. Both good and bad? I think that's where we lost more of the Claire/Trevor interaction and some of the subtlety and wit of the original. On the other hand, it also separated enough for me that I wasn't as turned off as I expected.

It still suffers in comparison though. I'm not yet capable of viewing it without thinking about how much I loved other people in these roles but I could see a setup that would interest me if I hadn't come into it with baggage.

@amysusanne: Don't feel stupid. When Josh Gomez was first cast in Chuck I had to keep correcting myself on thinking he was Rick Gomez because of their resemblance... and I still didn't make the connection.

Bill said...

It's so nice that there are enough people who loved the original to even have this conversation.

I don't know how I feel. It's just one episode. It's weird comparing a TV remake, because it's not like a movie remake -- with a movie remake, you have two wholes to compare. With this, if I weigh the pilot against the original -- well, how do I do that without taking into account a dozen hours? The pilot has to come up short, if I care about the original at all.

Sarah Paulson is my concern. I loved her in American Gothic. Loved the show, and loved her on it, would never have even thought of calling her the weak link on it. But her character, and her character's relationship with Matthew Perry, was sure the weak link on Studio 60, and I'm not adept enough to tell how much of that was poor writing (which was clearly part of it) and how much was poor acting or a lack of chemistry between the actors.

Here, I just don't find her interesting. Paula Marshall is always interesting. She was interesting on the show with Fonzie and Rizzo, for heaven's sake.

Having Marguerite Moreau on screen didn't help -- in that I kept wishing they had cast her instead of Paulson. I suspect I may feel that way about a lot of the guest actors, because Paulson is just so bland, especially blonde. That blandness makes it even more important to keep Claire from being the wet blanket too often, I think.

I *love* Cannavale in The Station Agent, one of my favorite movies of the decade. But I couldn't help replaying a lot of his lines here with Piven's delivery, and I almost always liked Head Piven's better.

I don't know. I can't say I'm disappointed, because I went into this cautiously, but at the same time knowing I'll watch every episode because I'm not about to look a second-chance gift horse in the mouth. And like someone said, I'm glad they brought up Psyche.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The setting moved to NY because Bobby Cannavale has family there and couldn't move to LA.

daveawayfromhome said...

I enjoyed the show overall, and I'll keep watching it, but it seemed to lack the snap of the original. "Flat" is a term I think I saw someone use (which works for me when used in the same way one would describe an uncontrasty photograph - all the information is the same, but somehow just not as eye-catching).
Still, that may be simply a result of this being a remake of a show I've seen and loved. We'll see if this impression lasts as the show procedes, and hopefully it will gain its own identity as the overall story arc progresses.

Nicole said...

While overall this episode was a bit dull, I did like Cannavale, and hope he can make this role his own. I'm not sold on Paulson yet, and I find that she is suffering in the comparison to Paula Marshall's performance more than Cannavale is compared to Piven. I hope the next episodes divert a lot more from the original because I really can't tell if the problem is my recall of the original show, or the performances themselves.

JR said...

Wow - the ABC "this is funny, so laugh" music is even more prevalent and invasive here than it is on Grey's Anatomy.

The material is strong enough on to stand on its own, and the generic score (which is identical to the Grey's music, if I'm correct) just takes me right out of it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

- The original was wonderfully ambiguous with Trevor's marksmanship. With the dart trick, he threw several bullseyes in a reflection, but no one saw it but us. It was always possible we were intended to share in his delusion. Here, he throws one and with Claire seeing it it loses that subtlety.

I don't see it as significantly less ambiguous than the original version. Whether anyone's watching or not, it's still a trick, and one that, in theory, a real darts obsessive could learn to pull off.

- *Five* songs. That's great, because it saves Rob Thomas the effort of writing dialog, but it's a cheap shorthand.

Because what you don't want in an episode about a musician falling in love is music, right?

As I've mentioned in my "Grey's Anatomy" reviews of late, and as JR mentions here, ABC has this plague of This Is How You Are Supposed To Feel music on all of their hour-longs, and I pin a lot of that -- and any other moments where the show explicitly has to spell things out to the audience -- on the network more than on Thomas. If you compare this to "Eli Stone" or "Grey's" or any other recent quirky ABC drama, they all spell things out more than they need to, because the current ABC regime seems to think their audience needs to be spoonfed.

I'm not saying it doesn't hurt the new version compared to the old one, but calling it Thomas' "Phantom Menace" seems unfair to Thomas. Nobody was going to tell George Lucas what to do, where Thomas has to answer to a whole bunch of executives.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, I went back and checked the video of the original dart trick (comes around the 6:30 mark), and Piven has a woman watching him do it.

Jennifer said...

Same premise is fine. But it felt like they literally dug up the old scripts, changed a few lines and parts, and did it over again. Kind of like when Psycho got remade. It wasn't quite as literal as that, but I wasn't expecting it to just be a paler copy of the original.

Which is to say, if you're forced to do a remake, maybe RT should have shaken it up a little.

R.A. Porter said...

Damn me and my degrading brain cells and faulty memories!!! :)

I should have double checked last night. Sorry, Alan.

Another change that seemed strange: new-style Trevor had already been in NY for long enough to have rented a room from the siblings, whereas in original recipe, we don't know whether he'd been around before he was picked up. So how long had new Cupid been on Earth before his New Year's stunt? Did he try to match anyone else in that time besides Dave and Holly?

JR said...

I totally blame the network, Alan.

The thing is, the music doesn't bother me on Grey's Anatomy. Maybe I'm simply accustomed to it, maybe the tone of the show is simply different.

Wacky interns with wacky music - that doesn't bother me. Wacky music over Trevor and Claire bantering - wholly unnecessary and distracting.

To actually discuss the merits of the show - while no one could realistically recapture the immediate chemistry that Piven and Marshall had - I found Sarah Paulson and Bobby Cannavale to be just as good in their own right.

Take the final scene for example - taken from the original pilot and pulled to 2009... when the bead moved - Cannavale's take knocked me on my ass in a way Piven's never did.

Piven was more fun, but I feel Cannavale will be able to hit a greater emotional range (Piven's brilliant performance in Pick-Up Schticks notwithstanding).

Taleena said...

I really liked it, even with my brain hyper comparing it to the original all the way through. Bobby Cannavale's Eros has a joi de vivre where as Piven was manic.

I thought the balance between the romance of the week vs. Claire and Eros was well done. I think we will slip into a good rhythm now that all the initial exposition is set up.

Sarah Paulson was fine but not great. I must admit I was sort of waiting for Peter Dinklage to show up and ask Trevor for a coffee. I wonder with this more exuberant less manic Eros if Cannavale can communicate the same brokenness that Piven did.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Which is to say, if you're forced to do a remake, maybe RT should have shaken it up a little.

I'm assuming this episode, and maybe the "Linguist" remake, will be the only time we get much in the way of recycled dialogue or situations. And maybe once we stop seeing the newbies saying the same lines, the comparisons will be more flattering to the new show.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Another change that seemed strange: new-style Trevor had already been in NY for long enough to have rented a room from the siblings, whereas in original recipe, we don't know whether he'd been around before he was picked up.

Piven was around long enough to get arrested for trying to play matchmaker on the street. (I forget the circumstances of that one, but I thought that showing us Trevor 2.0's grand gesture was a stronger opening than what the old show had.) Saying that he already had an apartment and a job with Felix saved a lot of time on exposition -- not that Felix or his sister seemed relevant otherwise.

Brandy said...

I have seen the original, but fortunately the last time I saw episodes was a few years back. I've worked hard to avoid watching them in anticipation of the show.

It's cute. It's funny. It's sometimes smart.

Is it a great show? Not yet. But it has potential and I like potential.

also, I find myself watching a lot of crime shows, and I love them... but it's nice to have something out of the crime genre.

So I'll stick with it.

Marc said...

I was a hige fan of the original and it did not get its due. I think they did a great job with this redo including the casting. Remember most people have not seen this show. Everyone's critiques here aside, it is not often that a network decides to remake show that did not get a fair shake on their own network (albeit under different management) with the same creator. It's also just a pilot. Shows do tend to get better, but it certainly was a decent pilot. In a world where CBS can clone the same procedural over and over to success shouldn't there be a place for a warm, funny hopeful love procedural?

mjryan said...

Based on your and Maureen's lukewarm reviews, I wasn't expecting to like Cupid 2.0. Turns out, I loved it. With Piven's Trevor, a little went a long way. He was borderline obnoxious but so earnest in his desire to help people fall in love that you somehow forgave him. Canavale is much more likeable with just enough confidence and arrogance to make him interesting, not obnoxious. Clarie 1.0 was definitely quick on her feet - she had to be to keep up with Trevor's manic conversations - but she always seemed more exasperated with Trevor than amused. Paulson's Claire seems amused - worried, but amused. She also seems to genuinely like Trevor whereas it took me a few episodes to believe that Marshall's Clarie could barely tolerate being in the same room with Trevor.

I, for one, like the idea of Claire and Trevor working with each other instead of against each other. They're still going to butt heads but I think they'll both appreciate each other's strengths (Claire's pragmatism and Trevor's enthusiasm) more than the original did. Maybe I'm just so tired of bickering couples eventually falling in love that any deviation in the formula, no matter how small, is a welcome relief.

As for the supporting players, they were interesting enough. Now, just show us more of them.

This is going on my Tivo season pass.

Elena said...

I thought they handled Trevor's digs pretty well. The brother saying--you had rented the room for a week and disappeared for 3 months, and Cupid being like--well I was in the hospital, totally oblivious of how in human terms it would be extremely unlikely the room would still be there waiting. I didn't see the original, and liked this one okay. It seems like a good way to unwind at the end of a day--enjoyable but not mind-bending.

Anonymous said...

So far I liked the '90s version a bit better (though it could be a bit of rosy glasses). I liked Piven, Marshall and Champ a bit more than I liked Canavale, Paulson and the new leads.

That said, it had Thomas' usual sparkle, and that's enough for me.

Oh, and I'm totally in love with Margueritte Moreau. Adorable. I wish we had reporters like that at my paper. (Though not making out with story sources is probably a good policy.)

Pamela Jaye said...

I never watched the original (although if someone says "Jeremy Piven" to me, my mind jumps to "Cupid" rather "case of self-induced priapism with distrous bt hilarious consequences" which was what I actually remember seeing him in first (on Chicago Hope))

I also didn't play along last January, so I'm new.

I thought

-the sketch looked like Brigid Branagh (sp?)
-the boldly go was cute
-Sarah was less dull than on 60something
-hey, there's that gut from What About Brian? I saw "his" wife on Private Practice the last two eps. Wonder if any other former cast members are working (on TV) now.
-this is better than Better Off Ted but that's not saying a lot
-I must have had a like in 1998
-maybe the original was better, since everyone seemed to like it (except, apparently, the Neilsen families)
-where have I seen Madelaine lately?

in no particular order
apparently he uses that string thing cause he can't just write on the wall like Fred?

my latest thought? I love you all, but I'd far rather read the ER piece than read the comments (and I still need to read/reread two weeks of comments/review for Dollhouse.
Still, I'm looking for a reason to like this, so perhaps I should persevere.

captcha word - imous

Pamela Jaye said...

side note to your Love Boat comment: my roommate doesn't remember Love American Style

Pamela Jaye said...

hmm... I didn't get a scientology feel but perhaps that was because I came from both a family and a church which were anti-psychiatry (and somewhat anti-medicine too, so already I get a knee-jerk PTSD whenever I hear someone espousing similar points of view - never so much as when everyone suspected Sam's asthma attack was psychologically related in the Grey's/Private Practice crossover. apparently even things were all in our heads, psychiatry was not the answer.))

bsangs said...

Based on the anemic ratings, I'm guessing this Cupid suffers a quicker death than the first one.

Pamela Jaye said...

Holly, I would guess thata you would know this one too, but considering you did watch the show -

don't listen to the radio.

although, actually - watch this Ricard Jeni bit on Love Songs.
(my favorite part is actually the How to get people out of you house after a party)

I swear, one day after my husband left I got dumped by a lawyer, went to the train station to find it under a bomb threat, went to a friend's house to find out that my minister had reigned, and got put on hold to the music of the Chi-lites:

Why, oh, why
Did she have to leave and go away

Oh-oh-oh, I've been used to havin' someone to lean on
And I'm lost
Baby, I'm lost

In One Day
(but not in that order)

perhaps you should watch ...well almost anything else

amysusanne said...

@Pam: I totally thought it looked like Brigid, too!

@Marc: I agree with you that it's just the first ep, it has potential, a large number of people never saw it in its first life and it's not a typical case, so typical rules probably don't apply. Otoh, I don't think I can go with the "it's a pilot" excuse on this one the way I do on a lot of other shows. It was just a pilot, but it was a pilot written by the same guy that created the show and already had fifteen episodes of the same show under his belt. It could and should have been stronger...though, again, I'm holding it up to the original which I'm working hard not to do.

OH! And did anybody catch (or can anyone confirm) the page at the beginning in the hospital? Pretty sure that as Claire and Austin were walking down the hallway, someone paged "Dr. Mars". I was watching on a non-tivo tv and couldn't rewind to double check.

Tracey said...

I think Lucy's comment sums up my reaction to the show: I was haunted by the other performances. In fact, as I watched scenes with recycled dialog (as Alan so aptly put it), I had the oddest sensation that Piven's Trevor and Marshall's Claire were real people, and Cannavale and Paulson were merely actors playing them... and not playing them well.

@Jen: The name changes have irked me since I first heard about it. I know it's stupid, and I know the names don't matter, but again: it feels like they're making a mistake. I just can't understand why they think these names are better than the originals.

There are lots of little details that were off about this one. Am I the only one who thought "XXX" was supposed to be a porno theater or a strip club? (it looks a lot like the ones that used to be on Market Street in Philly) Maybe that's why business is so bad: people who want a bar don't come into a porno place, and people who want porn leave when they find out it's just a bar. Also: Since when does immigration pick up illegals by reading fluff pieces in the newspaper? And then deports them overnight without trial?

But the thing that bothers me the most, which nobody mentioned yet: why did Claire think that David and Madeleine were a good couple? I get why she didn't like the idea of David and Holly (it comes from the Marlboro Man episode of the original). But what did David and Madeleine have, other than chemistry? I thought chemistry was Trevor's department. Claire is supposed to be rational: common interests, common values, etc. What exactly did David and Madeleine have in common, other than the fact that they were both unabashedly uncool?

But I'll give it a chance. Out of love for the original, I'll keep watching, at least until I see a few episodes that aren't recycled.

And they do leave intact the nice ambiguity as to whether that first "match" was David and Madeleine or Trevor and Claire.

Anthony Foglia said...

bsangs said...
Based on the anemic ratings, I'm guessing this Cupid suffers a quicker death than the first one.

It depends how you look at it. The ratings were either "disappointing", "so-so", or "show promise". Take your pick.

Tracey said...

Hmn... I dunno, that "shows promise" seems to be a paraphrase of an ABC press release, and the substance of the press release was, "at least it's doing better than Eli Stone." On the other hand, ABC did give Eli Stone plenty of time to wallow around at the bottom of the ratings.

LoopyChew said...

Just want to mention the one moment where I cracked up for reasons I cannot even begin to comprehend: Claire's attempted attempt at the backwards dart-throw. Something about the way Sarah Paulson plays that scene just gets me, between her posture and the look of frustration on her face afterward. Also, that she's using a compact to attempt it.

I really don't get why I found that so funny. I don't. But it was.

ob said...

As an Irishman, the accent from Sean Maguire almost made this unwatchable. His dad is Irish, he has no excuse for how toe-curlingly awful it was.

Karen said...

Finally saw the pilot. Or...most of the pilot.

Here's the thing: I loved Jeremy Piven. I'd loved him since, like, Say Anything--and "Cupid" was a part simply made for him. I don't love Bobby Cannavale. I didn't like him in "Third Watch" or "Ally McBeal" nor even on "Sex and the City" (where I was more than ready to believe he had funky spunk).

So, not only does Bobby Cannavale suffer by comparison with Piven (whose Broadway mercury stunt has, I regret to say, dimmed my passion quite a bit), but I'm not even inclined to find him endearing. And he DOES suffer by comparison. He feels like he's trying too hard to be quirky, whereas Piven felt like he wasn't even acting.

And Sarah Paulson is no more successful at being all buzzkill-y than Paula Marshall was; it's really a thankless role.

I don't think i'll be watching a lot of this show.