Toby Logan has telepathy and he chooses to use it for good?!!! I am sick of these moral fundamentalists who insist on using their powers for the greater well being. Give me one day of telepathy and I would be able to retire away to an island. What does Toby do? He becomes a Toronto paramedic. What a waste and a perfectly awesome super power.
Forgive me for being skeptical about The Listener when I read it was :
A: A Canadian television show
B: Made in Canada
C: Produced by our neighbors to the North
Hmm, maybe I just have something against Canada. Its good to talk these things out. The Listener (according to trusty old reliable, accurate and all knowing Wikipedia) has had a pretty nice run in Canada and a few other countries so it isn't technically a new show. NBC picked it up for a summer run. The idea that it has had enough success elsewhere to warrant a new airing in The States was enough to start changing my tune.
Toby's telepathy is a secret from those close to him: his partner Osman, his doctor girlfriend Olivia and I guess everyone else in his life except for his old counselor Dr. Mercer(President Taylor's moronic husband from 24). Toby's an orphan but from his flashbacks we learn his past contains some mystery.
He uses his gift understatedly by playing off the other characters around him. The humor is subtle but effective and the writing rarely tries to do too much. It makes for a very watchable and entertaining hour. I typically am not a fan of of stand alone programs, but I can get behind ones that have over arcing themes with potential subplots. The Listener, much like the quickly canceled Journeyman and Life on Mars, grabs the best of both worlds. In fact it is probably a perfect summer television show because you don't have to overthink it while remaining entertained.
The production has fairly high value, the writing is quickly paced and I found myself rooting for Toby. Really, what else are you hoping for with a show like this?