The show's premise was simple. Trevor was an outpatient who had to keep seeing his psychiatrist, Dr. Allen, for treatment of his delusion: that he believes himself to be the Cupid, Roman god of love, kicked off Olympus and stripped of his godly powers by Zeus for slacking off on his duties (which is why mortals have such a high divorce rate). Trevor cannot return home to Olympus until he has made one hundred lasting romantic pairings. Claire works with him on recovering from this delusion — only the show never makes it clear: is Trevor just a deluded romantic, or is he really who he says he is? We don't know; but one thing is certain: Trevor is a really gifted matchmaker and an incurable romantic.
Trevor works as a bartender, along with his friend Champ, the better to be in position to find lonely singles and make those matches.
After it screwed him the first time, ABC agreed, an incredible decade after the demise of the original show, to revisit the idea and give the show another season with a brand new cast.
Cupid (2009), now starring Bobby Cannavale as Trevor Pierce and Sarah Paulson as Claire McCrae, premiered on ABC on March 31. So far, besides the name and casting changes, the big differences are that the series is set in New York City instead of Chicago, Champ has been split into Felix Araiza and his sister Lita, and the Irish pub/performance space Trevor slings drinks at is now an adult movie theater turned Mariachi-Karaoke bar.
There's also a freeware game of the same name. It's totally unrelated.
This show provides examples of:
- Belligerent Sexual Tension - And how.
- California Doubling - Averted; the shows are set and filmed in their respective cities (Chicago, 1998; New York, 2009).
- Line-of-Sight Name - Trevor's name comes from the fresco behind the judges in the hearing panel. See the different versions for the original lines.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane - We don't know if Trevor is delusional or exactly who he says he is.
- Mythology Gag - using actual mythology.
- Setting Update - The Cupid/Psyche myth in CONTEMPORARY TIMES.
- Shout-Out - The couple in the pilots of both series' names are Dave and Madeline.
- Will They or Won't They? - Trevor eggs Claire on regarding how much time she seems to want to spend around him outside of his therapy sessions.
- Fangirl: Claire's love for Sunset And Vaughn is strong enough that she's unsettled when her inner fangirl shows up as she's acting as a professional.
- Line-of-Sight Name: "And love shall make the Earth tremor / as it's reborn in a storm of fire and hail"
- Meaningful Name: Trevor Hale anagrams out to Heart Lover.
- Plucky Office Girl: Kristy, one of the beneficiaries of Trevor's attention, in the episode Botched Makeover.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Human" by The Pretenders, a remake of "Human on the Inside" by the Divinyls
- She's Got Legs: One of the things Trevor notices during the initial interviews with Claire. As soon as she realizes he's leering, she subtly swings her chair to hide them behind her desk.
- Show Within a Show: "Sunset and Vaughn," a fictional Buddy Cop Show that also happens to take place in Chicago. Champ manages a minor, recurring role at one point.
- Smart People Know Latin: Trevor and a love-lorn professor are discussing picking up women in a bar.Jennings: Ille qui haesitat...note
Trevor: ...dormit in vacuo lecto.note
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Trevor and Claire
- Back Story: The show's first ten minutes introduce us to Cupid and Dave, and give us the Back Story that was only mentioned in the 1998 show; Trevor ends up in a mental hospital as a man under the harmless delusion he's the god of love cast down from Olympus for sloppy work in making love matches.
- Big Applesauce: moving the show from Chicago to New York City.
- Elevator Going Down
- The Last DJ: Done literally in one episode.
- Line-of-Sight Name: "...the world felt the tremor / and the darkness was pierced"
- Shout-Out: One plot concerning an Irish busker looking for a New York girl he met briefly contains lots of riffs on scenes from Once and PS I Love You. The first season finale was a reworking of the first show's second episode, The Linguist, with a side plotline being taken from the original pilot.