Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

I'm only human on the inside

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the last episode of one of my favorite TV shows of the Nineties, Cupid. (Yes, Valentine's Day. The ABC scheduling executives must've been praying to the Gods of Irony.)

Jeremy Piven plays Trevor Hale, a man who appears without any record of his identity, and who may or may not be Cupid, the God of erotic love, banished to Earth to earn his way back into the gods' favor by doing Cupid's work without Cupid's arrows. He also may or may not be nuts, which is where Paula Marshall comes in as Dr. Claire Allen, the psychologist and relationship advisor who gets to know him. Trevor (who apparently comes up with his name on the spot one day, seeing a quote about "tremor and hail" -- and by the way, the name "Trevor Hale" anagramizes as "Heart Lover") and Claire forge an awkward sort-of-friendship with a hint of tension that could get sexual -- like Moonlighting without the final letdowns of that show's last season. Because, of course, Cupid only lasted one season.

Point blank: there wasn't a single bad episode of this show. Seriously. I fell for it immediately upon seeing the pilot (paired with the remake of Fantasy Island, which had potential -- and, hey, Madchen Amick (about whom my high school friend Mike Keegan once said "Three words: Queen of Babes") -- but never quite gelled for me). And Cupid actually got better from there. It was funny, romantic, dramatic at times (like the transplant episode), and wonderful at capturing the frequent weirdness and awkwardness that happens between people becoming friends or lovers. (I still remember Jeffrey D. Sams (hey, celticfeministw, a handsome guy who's from Cincinnati!) as aspiring actor Champ, looking askance at a woman he's dating who's geeking out over Quentin Tarantino's acting abilities, an admiration Champ, um, doesn't share.)

I still have a couple of Cupid episodes on tape from when they first aired. I contributed a small amount to a fan campaign to buy an ad exhorting ABC to save the show; when we got the word that the show would be cancelled no matter what, our donations were instead sent to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. This show is special to me.

More and more of Cupid's alumni are making a strong impression -- Piven's career finally went high-profile so that he was more than the "John Cusack buddy," creator Rob Thomas (one of the early TV people to have a personal website) went on to create Veronica Mars -- and I really, really hope similar good fortune finally reaches Marshall, who I became an instant fan of and who makes me ask "Why isn't everyone else a fan of hers?!" Seriously, I remember a moment when I thought "Why does Marshall remind me of Madeline Kahn?" invoke the name of another funny, formidable actress.

Anyway, long live Cupid. It's still well remembered.

Here's the Wikipedia page on Cupid.

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