If there has ever been a lousy title for an adventure drama, it’s: The Listener. I mean, who thought that would invoke action and excitement. Nothing like watching listening for an hour. Oooooh, listening! The Wide World of Listening.
A name like that could bring failure to a good show. Luckily, it hasn’t a good show to bring failure to. It has a very earnest show to bring failure to. A show that through visual style and musical accompanyment constantly announces itself as very serious. It takes being a show about a telepathic EMT very seriously. This is a Canadian show (if you didn’t know, the reference to “Kraft Dinner” is a dead giveaway), and it actually feels a lot like the recent Canadian success Flashpoint, a watchable if horribly generic cop drama. But that same seriousness, flatness, and absence of a sense of fun absolutely sinks this show. Ya can’t take it seriously, and ya can’t be bothered to not take it seriously.
I think it’s good that Canada is getting into the game, but the things that are making the network aren’t as good as the round of things that made the cable networks in the previous round (Da Vinci’s Inquest, which is still deadly earnest but a mite less generic; Corner Gas, which while not sui generis is its own beast.) Let’s hope they get something on with a more interesting point of view soon.