The Listener NBC Premiere: 'I'm an Adult' & 'Emotional Rescue' Review - Featured

While we have low standards for new summer TV, The Listener really hooked me with its 2 episode ('I'm an Adult Now' & 'Emotional Rescue') NBC premiere last night!

As our other TV guru here at SideReel, RachelL, filled me in, The Listener is a Canadian show NBC picked up for a 13-episode run this summer, and I'm hoping it will go longer if it remains as enticing as the first few episodes!

The main character, Toby Logan, reminds me a bit of Kyle from Kyle XY with his dark hair, mysterious power, and crazy bright blue eyes. He's kind of an older, sleeker, wiser, and more personality-filled Kyle, though I do love Kyle dearly as he is, this Toby is very intriguing! (And a nice bit of eye candy for us ladies!)

I also thought the characters and relationships were well-developed in these first episode as I was automatically attached to not just Toby, but his friendship with Oz and, though less-so, his on-again-off-again relationship with Olivia. I'd really rather not see him hook up with the hot police detective, but I think she's an interesting character as well.

The plot hooked me in right away being a fan of these time-traveling and mind-reader dramas from Journeyman to Heroes and Kyle XY (not to mention awesome books like The Time Traveler's Wife soon to be a movie!), and I think Toby's work as an EMT in training is a fascinating profession for someone with the gift of mind-reading.

The thing I don't quite understand is that they're not presenting him as more than human, which I do really like, but then his visions are a little too Matt Parkman-esque. While he can't control other people's thoughts, his way of hearing seems much more extreme than a little human oddity. But hey, I guess hearing people's thoughts has to be more than a personality quirk, and I do really enjoy that we'll get some insight and study of it from his relationship with Dr. Ray Mercer.

While I found the story of him following the case, unraveling the mystery, and then saving the mom and child fascinating, after watching a second episode of him doing the same sort of thing, I still found the story very interesting, but I worry that if he does that every episode, it's going to get too repetitive.

Many a good show these days is formulaic and fascinating, so it could be just fine, but I feel like this one will need a little bit of variance to keep me interested. Also, I need Toby to have more faults than always dodging questions into how he figured something out, and not being trusted by Olivia. Sure, he's a little broody and lonely, but otherwise he comes across as a total saint and mortal Superman which I would think would get a little too much media attention if he kept it up which would ruin a lot of the story as it's going.

So with a little mix-up in the plot now and then and more faults for our hero, I'm planning to look forward to The Listener for some Thursday night summer drama! (Or maybe I'll jump ahead a little with the episodes online from Canada...)

If you tuned in, what'd you think of The Listener? Were you intrigued by Toby and his gift, or will you be looking for something else to watch Thursday nights?




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Jun 15, 2009 12:09AM EDT

I'm assuming you mean the 'we' who have low standards for summer TV, and I was going with TV fans in general there. Do you think that's not the case?

Large good to be queen

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Jun 20, 2009 5:24AM EDT

I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the first season of this show, and I would like to see it come back for another one at least. I disagree that Toby is too perfect; he's very closed off, and I think his lack of willingness to share with Olivia is what hurt their relationship. This seems to get better as time goes on.
I would like to see, in the next season, them explore more about how his reading of thoughts is subjective, and how reading something wrong could lead him on a path toward wrong conclusions.

Default avatar cat

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Jun 29, 2009 3:44PM EDT

I agree with TVqueen.
I was hooked from the first episode and Toby is particually hot ;). But besides that i really like the characters and relationships. I thought it had a well produced pilot and as someone put i think they do vary the plot alot. they also have had Toby read it wrong like in the example of seeing the light. (i wont spoil it for u :)) I also think that he's not saintly he just has had a tough life and they reveal some unsaintly activities from his childhood later, like setting fire to a foster parent's garage.
Basically i send a plea out to Canada saying RENEW THIS SHOW!!! PLEASE.
(If you've seen episode 13 you know what i'm talking about!)

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