CliqueClack TV

The Listener – Give Toby a chance


Sebastian’s back Guest-clacking for us again, after sharing his thoughts about COLBERT going up in space….

Finally The Listener started airing on NBC in the US, and after my promise/comment under Debbie’s initial preview of The Listener, this is my take on the Pilot episode titled “I am an Adult.”

So why finally? The answer is easy. The show has already aired in full in a couple of countries in the world, including on German Pay-TV. And since I’m German and resourceful I managed to get my hands on the episodes and it’s also the reason why I promised to recap it. I like the show, most likely also because I have never seen an episode of either Ghost Whisperer or Medium. I’m pretty much unspoiled by the paranormal genre and I think The Listener is worth a shot for all of you who are in the same boat or like the paranormal.

What we saw in the Pilot was a pretty swift introduction to the character of Toby. Nothing is told about his past except a couple of flashbacks to a burning caravan. The initial mental pickup of the woman in the crashed car right at the beginning of the episode was something new to Toby, which wasn’t made clear enough in my opinion. The fact that Toby had lived a life in the shadows, or better trying to shut himself off from other people’s thoughts wasn’t underlined enough. In the conversation with his doctor/psychiatrist later on it is revealed that he never picked up on strong emotional thoughts over such a far distance before. It’s also not made abundantly clear that his failed relationship and now friendship with hospital doctor Olivia has something to do with his previous behavior towards his “gift.”

I think the fact that a young boy got kidnapped played a strong part in Toby starting to investigate. I’m not trying to spoil anything here but those flashbacks of young Toby aren’t just about the caravan burning. Later parts of those flashes, in later episodes, contain scenes that look pretty much the same to something that’s part of the pilot and I’m at a loss why this wasn’t made clearer. The kidnapping played a larger role in Toby starting to pick up more. It started to make him remember things of his own past. This whole picture becomes clearer only after you watched more episodes of The Listener. Trust me, with it all this becomes more compelling, and things make a lot more sense. The dynamic between the characters also gets a lot more interesting and in my opinion a lot funnier, quirkier.

You should give this show at least a couple, if not six or more episodes to get a good insight into the story of the show and its characters. You most likely did that for Dollhouse, and a huge amount of people gave Lie To Me such a big trust bonus that it got a renewal. So why not here? There isn’t anything else on anyways and seriously, this show is better than all the reality Dreck that’s on TV right now.

Photo Credit: NBC

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