The Goods

Jake and I went to see The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard last night at a screening thanks to Scene-Stealers. (Sidebar: if you are not following the Scene-Stealers feed, you are missing out.) You would be hard pressed to keep me away from a movie with Jeremy Piven as the star — I’ve loved The Pivs from way back in the day when he had a significantly bigger forehead.

In fact, his performance in this totally average comedy from Adam McKay and Will Ferrell was extremely reminiscent of his portrayal of James “Droz” Andrews in PCU, the completely underrated Animal House of the ’90s. I’d say that his character Don “The Goods” Ready is closer to Droz than it is to his more popular Ari Gold (of HBO’s Entourage, as if you didn’t know).

Piven carries this movie on his back (as he should, considering he’s the star) with little help from Ferrell/McKay/Apatow stalwarts like David Koechner and Ken Jeong. The movie itself, unfortunately, relies heavily on the mostly unfunny Ving Rhames and a lot of homoerotic jokes from James Brolin. There are some good parts with Kathryn Hahn and Rob Riggle, but they are better left unmentioned. It’s nice to see Hahn with a little bit bigger role. She’s always playing someone’s funny/quirky/sad friend/sister in romantic comedies and I’m glad to see her stretch her legs a little.

I laughed several times during the movie, but I can’t say that there were a lot of standout scenes (or even lines) for me. Just some random silliness about trashy used car mercenaries. When the credits rolled and I looked down at my watch, I realized that the movie came in at almost exactly 90 minutes, which is no small feat, considering that directors these days feel obligated to put at least 120 minutes up on the screen. Even with its short length, there were times where I thought to myself, I hope this gets moving a little quicker. This is particularly true for the obligatory Will-Ferrell-completely-ridiculous-sidebar that nearly ruined the movie for me because it didn’t fit into the story (along the lines of the animated Pleasuretown tangent in Anchorman).

I enjoyed it enough, but I can’t enthusiastically recommend it. If you’re a massive Jeremy Piven fan like me, I’d recommend it without question. But there are only so many of us out there.

Cupid sans The Pivs?

So I was on ABC’s website today and I saw a little blurb on the home page for a new show called Cupid.

Wait a sec

Originally starring the brilliant Jeremy Piven (well before he hit it huge as Ari Gold), the show is centered around a guy named Trevor who is thoroughly convinced that he is the reincarnation of Cupid “sent down from Mt. Olympus by Zeus to connect 100 couples without his powers as a punishment for his arrogance.”

The show has managed to be re-green-lighted by ABC (who also carried the original show) for the original creator Rob Thomas, only with a different cast. Now, Bobby Cannavale (Third Watch) and Sarah Paulson (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) will play the main characters, Cupid/Trevor and his psychiatrist/love interest.

Bobby Cannavale on ABC's Cupid

I don’t mean to be doom-and-gloom here, but if this show couldn’t succeed with Jeremy Piven in the lead role, what makes anyone think it will get an audience with a guy who is probably best known for playing Will’s firefighter love interest on Will & Grace? I understand the desire that creator Rob Thomas might have to resurrect his baby, but this is just another example of how lazy people are getting on TV. What…were all the other new ideas gone?

The Pivs in an original Cupid promo shot

And it’s not that this show is a bad idea. It’s just that I can’t figure out what makes the studio believe that things will be different this time. If audiences aren’t going to get into Pushing Daisies, they sure as heck aren’t going to get into a show like this.

Mark my words. The second incarnation of this show won’t last any longer than the pre-fully-bald-pre-hair-plugs-Piven-helmed first. Which was only 14 episodes (plus one unaired in the can).