Back when it was first announced that ABC and Rob Thomas were remaking the short-lived 1998 series Cupid, I mentioned how I loved the original so much that I went to eBay and bought the entire series on VHS shortly after it got canceled. So needless to say, when I heard the trailer for the 2009 reboot was streaming on YouTube, I pressed play with a bit of trepidation. Would Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson exhibit the same witty-sexy chemistry as their predecessors Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall? More importantly, would Cannavale be up to the task of taking a brash, sometimes annoying, and possibly mentally imbalanced character and making him a funny, relatable, romantic figure with whom viewers will want to spend an hour every week?
The opening scene of ABC’s promo – complete with Trevor/Cupid offering a hammy “Ayyy! Happy New Year, officers!” – didn’t give me a lot of hope. At his best, Cannavale is an exceedingly handsome, hilarious actor (see The Station Agent, Six Feet Under), but when his quirks and volume get cranked up past 10, he can come off as a stereotypical lout (see his recent recurring role on Cold Case, in which he seemed to be chewing food during 50 percent of his line readings). Fortunately, though, things get better as the Cupid trailer progresses. I got a good laugh from the “I suppose you’d like me to disrobe” line, and when Cannavale does that over-the-shoulder cocktail-shake, he and Paulson exchange a look that makes me think their characters could (with the help of Thomas’s typically whip-smart dialogue) become a classic TV couple in the vein of Sam and Diane, Maddie and David, Jim and Pam, etc.
What do you think of these scenes from the new Cupid reboot? Could the show be a hit this time around, or is it likely to join The Ex-List, Men in Trees, and Miss Match on the list of major network rom-com failures?
More on ‘Cupid,’ Bobby Cannavale, Rob Thomas:
Will America fall for ‘Cupid’ the second time around?
Bobby Cannavale makes our list of 10 Actors Who Deserve Greater Fame
Ausiello Files: Kristen Bell, Rob Thomas Orbit ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie