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Archive for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Newest version of ‘Cupid’ misses mark

March 31, 2009

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If you’re among the viewers still mad at ABC for canceling “Eli Stone,” you’re in luck. “Cupid” (9 p.m., ABC) features the same brand of supernatural cuteness and lots of irrepressibly quirky characters who just can’t stay out of the karaoke bars.

Bobby Cannavale (who is much better than this material) stars as a man who is convinced that he’s Cupid, the ancient god of love. He believes that he has been banished from Mount Olympus and can return only by making 100 real love connections. Sarah Paulson, who appeared as the irritatingly unfunny comedienne on “Studio 60,” returns as Dr. Claire McCrae, a brittle and painfully single therapist assigned to help our love god get over his delusions.

There have been other movies and shows about Greek and Roman gods returning to modern times. And they’ve been uniformly dreadful. Vowel-flipper Vanna White starred in the 1988 TV film “Goddess of Love” and would probably prefer that it be forgotten. Olivia Newton-John appeared as a Greek muse to roller-disco fans in the so-horrible-it’s-a-cult-classic “Xanadu” (1980), a film inspired by the 1947 Rita Hayworth vehicle “Down to Earth,” dismissed by Leonard Maltin as “a hack musical.” Obviously, the gods do not smile upon trite romantic comedies about the gods.

This isn’t even the first go-round for “Cupid.” This marks a remake of sorts of a 1998 ABC comedy starring Jeremy Piven in the title role. That was a half-hour sitcom that lasted less than a season. The decadelong wait has not improved on the concept. And the hourlong format only doubles the agony. Unless, of course, you liked “Eli Stone.”

• The genial sitcom “My Boys” (9:30 p.m., TBS) returns for a third season. Clearly conceived as a “Sex and the City” clone, it mostly concerns nonsex in the Windy City between a pleasant female sportswriter, P.J. (Jordana Spiro), and her gang of poker-playing guy friends.

This show is a lot like its character Andy, P.J.’s henpecked older brother, played by Jim Gaffigan. He often shows up for the card game just to get away from more pressing demands at home and ends up falling asleep on the recliner. You have to have a certain confidence to feel that comfortable.

• “Frontline” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) presents “Sick Around America,” featuring horror stories about people with and without insurance who have been ruined by a health care system that has reduced coverage to a kind of cruel lottery.

While some decry health care reformers as “socialists,” this “Frontline” offers abundant evidence that the current system is a job killer, a drain on businesses big and small, and a perverse distortion of economic risks and rewards.

• It’s unkind to hate a show sight unseen, but in the case of “Osbournes: Reloaded” (8:20 p.m., Fox), I will make an exception.

• The five-part clip show “100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the ’80s” (9 p.m., VH1) begins. You can dance if you want to.

Tonight’s other highlights

• The competition continues on “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Hypnosis can be murder on “The Mentalist” (8 p.m., CBS).

• A therapist goes AWOL on “Without a Trace” (9 p.m., CBS).

• A speechless victim connects the dots on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (9 p.m., NBC).

• Dave skis behind a horse’s backside on “Wreckreation Nation” (9 p.m., Discovery).

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 10 months ago

• “Frontline” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) presents “Sick Around America,” featuring horror stories about people with and without insurance who have been ruined by a health care system that has reduced coverage to a kind of cruel lottery.

"While some decry health care reformers as “socialists,” this “Frontline” offers abundant evidence that the current system is a job killer, a drain on businesses big and small, and a perverse distortion of economic risks and rewards."

A bit of welcome editorializing in the TV news segment.

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