"The Listener" is a new show on NBC this summer. It originally aired in
Canada, which I guess is why they are showing it in the summer.
The hero of this show, Toby, can read minds. In the premiere episode, he
decides to start using his powers to help people (previously, he tried not
to listen to people, to shut them out). He is already a paramedic, so he has
that do-gooder instinct.
The show is not all that exciting. It lacks pizzazz. They try so hard to be
a "mainstream" show instead of a scifi show that they make it kind of dull.
The actor that plays the hero does not help, either. He is so everyman that
they could replace him with just about anyone and viewers probably wouldn't
notice. He's kind of dopey-looking, actually. Not as handsome or charismatic
as, for instance, the guy who stars in "The Mentalist" or any other good
network show I can think of. He's a fine actor and all, just not all that
interesting or good-looking. It's pretty much the same for all of the
characters on the show. Toby has a pudgy buddy/co-worker, Oz, who provides
the only humor in the show. There is a female doctor and a female cop who
provide romantic interest for Toby. Toby and Oz have the usual bad-tempered
African-American boss (I thought that sterotype had gone away 20 years ago,
but apparently not on Canadian TV).
I've watched a few episodes, and I have to say that the only interesting
thing about the show is that they leave clues about what happened to him to
make him psychic (something traumatic happened when he was a child). I'm not
sure it's enough to keep watching, though. The show is overly talky,
slow-paced and a bit preachy. It lacks humor or much witty banter.
Given the fact that the hero looks more like a comedic actor than a dramatic
one, and the fact that so much of this show sounds like a parody of old 80's
U.S. shows, they would have done better to make it a comedy. That would have
been a lot more interesting, too.
Viewers who haven't yet gotten a DVR or iTunes may tune in to this because
it's probably one of the few new shows on TV in the summer. Otherwise...it
probably won't last very long.
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