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Cupid (ABC 1998-1999, Jeremy Piven, Paula Marshall)

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Love stinks, yeah, yeah. But maybe never more than it did for the loyal viewers of Cupid, arguably the best show people weren’t watching during the 1998-99 season.

Jeremy Piven starred as Trevor Hale, a charming, wise-ass arbiter of love (“Just because I don’t blow my own horn, I end up on wrapping paper looking like a fat, winged baby”) who claimed he was the Roman God of Love (because with his dad as the God of War, the only other job left was “Patron Saint of Petty Disturbances”).

Trevor–or was it Cupid?–claimed he had been banished to Earth to hook up 100 couples before he’d be allowed back on Mount Olympus. Spin City castoff Paula Marshall was Claire, the pessimistic psychiatrist who thought Hale was just a loopy guy a few arrows short of a quiver.

High concept, yes. But it was pulled off with smart storylines that featured riffs on dating disasters, Piven’s trademark wisecracking (“Coffee without caffeine is like sex without the spanking”), Moonlighting-esque sparring between Trevor and Claire and an eclectic modern and classic-rock soundtrack.

Sadly, Cupid premiered in a sucky Saturday-night time slot, and even though it moved to Thursdays at 9 halfway through the season, it was pulled before it ever had a chance to make a love connection with viewers.

production details
USA | ABC | x50 minutes | September 26, 1998 – February 11, 1999

Creator: Rob Thomas,

cast
Jeremy Piven as Cupid
Paula Marshall as Dr Claire Allen