Cupid: Live And Let Spy
by Mike Moody, posted Apr 8th 2009 1:07PM
(S01E02) Like I wrote last week, the success of Cupid 2.0 will hinge heavily on the guest stars. Luckily, this week's guest stars were great.
Erik Palladino and Julie Ann Emery (as Mick and Riley) gave me the warm fuzzies as Cupid's latest couple of the week. I enjoyed their chemistry so much that I was able to forgive the stock "surprise twist" that reared its witless head in the third act.
The ep started out with Cupid, er, Trevor poaching from Dr. Claire's singles group to hit his love connection quota. This, of course, got Claire involved in the night's big romance, but surprisingly she didn't try to stop the craziness going on around her. Instead, Claire encouraged Riley's unlikely relationship with Mick, the not so hard-boiled private detective.
I expected Claire to be more of a traditional foil for Trevor, offering an annoying counterpoint to everything he says and does. While the two didn't agree on everything tonight, they actually shared the same agenda. They just had different ways of going about it.
From a larger perspective, Trevor and Claire do have the same agenda: Help singles find good matches that develop into healthy, loving relationships. But Trevor's wild-eyed enthusiasm and impatience sometimes get in the way while Claire's cold, logistical perspective sometimes blinds her from seeing the sparks going off between people right in front of her.
So it seems the only way these two can accomplish their goals is to work together. Which means we'll probably see episode after episode of Trevor sticking his nose in Claire's patients' business while Claire tries to make sense of the whole situation. Sounds like it might get old fast. That's why I hope Cupid gets the chance to evolve from the couple-of-the-week formula. This is a fun and charming show. So far, it's got the spark, warmth and good writing of a decent big screen romantic comedy. It's rare to find such a lighthearted show that doesn't feel excessively sweet or sentimental.
I enjoyed tonight's A story, but Felix's subplot was just as, if not more, engaging. Maybe it's because I'm a fan of both Rick Gomez and Mary Stuart Masterson. This storyline seemed more mature and believable than everything else going on, and it gave Gomez a chance to really develop his character. The speech he gave at the end was one of the best parts of the episode. Felix is quickly becoming my favorite character on the show.
Like I mentioned earlier, that contrived twist at the end didn't do much for me. It makes no sense that Riley wouldn't watch the entire video to find out if Mick really did take the money. That development seemed like something out of a cheesy, predictable romantic comedy, but it didn't sink the entire episode for me.
Two eps in and I'm still enjoying Rob Thomas' second chance at Cupid. I hope ABC doesn't make the same mistake twice and yank this show before it finds its groove. Thomas and crew are creating a unique and smart show without trying to be dark or edgy. It deserves to stick around.