Review of "The Listener" From The TV MegaSite
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Primetime Show Reviews

Listener cast

"The Listener" Series Premiere Review by Suzanne

"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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Updated 5/31/09 

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