Thursday, June 4, 2009

TV: First Thoughts On "The Listener"

The cast from left to right: Craig Olejnik, Ennis Emer, Mylène Dinh-Robic and Lisa Marcos

You've probably heard about CTV's new original TV series called The Listener and it premiered yesterday in simulcast on CTV and NBC. Judging from the pilot, it's hard to expect this TV series to be a serious prize contender at the next Gemini Awards (which is the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy Awards). Besides, although The Listener is fairly entertaining, one wonders if the remaining episodes can add depth to it given that the show feels flat.

Meet Toby Logan (Craig Olejnik), a young paramedic. Since his childhood, he has a gift that makes him hear people's thoughts. Although he's repeatedly tried to suppress his power, Toby realizes that he can use it to help people. After his partner Osman (Ennis Esmer) and him saved the life of a woman from a car accident, Toby decides to save this woman's kidnapped son (after he heard her thoughts). Obviously, in his attempt to play the hero (without necessarily wanting it), he'll come across Det. Charlie Marks (Lisa Marcos), who wonders why Toby is always a step ahead of the police.

First of all, there's nothing wrong with Canadian TV networks exporting their products to Europe and the USA. In fact, I've heard about many good TV series receiving that honourable treatment (ex: Durham County, Flashpoint, Being Erica, Intelligence, The Border, The Line, etc.), but The Listener is simply no match for any of these previously mentioned TV series.

Yes, I know, the plot doesn't use mindless plot twists. Of course, some will say that the pilot sets the tone well by indicating the four leading characters' role throughout the series. However, The Listener only cares about transporting you, without much surprises and depth, throughout its predictable story and entertaining you (and that's not a compliment). Hopefully, the cast does a passably good job in portraying their character. I'm not interested by the show, but I'll watch it for Lisa Marcos, who plays the hottest and sexiest [drooling] female cop I've ever seen on TV or even in movies. Besides, although her character could have been played in a more authoritative way, we can't say that she's not trying. By the way, the second episode will be aired tonight on CTV and NBC at 10 PM.

In other TV news

According to recent news, CBC will add another reality show in its schedule grid for this fall. The show is called Battle of the Blades. The concept? Many figure skating stars will be paired up with present or retired NHL stars. Of course, the duo will have the time to train in order to present to the public their choreography. When I heard about Battle of the Blades for the first time, I laughed a little bit.

Nevertheless, I said to myself that if many people enjoy watching Dancing With the Stars, why don't they give a chance to Battle of the Blades? Moreover, if the show is renewed for a second season by CBC, wouldn't it make sense to let, besides the retired or present NHL stars, female hockey players be part of the guests? For that matter, I can think about Kim St-Pierre, Charline Labonté, Cassie Campbell and so on.

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