Shut Eye Series Premiere Plot Summary:
Charlie (Jeffrey Donovan) is a mid-level con artist working a circuit for a Gypsy family who owns a chunk of psychic shops in Los Angeles. His sister puts his whole operation in trouble when she pulls a con out of her limits.
Shut Eye is an interesting concept. Psychics and the supernatural are a breeding ground for creative work, whether it’s television, books, or movies. But it has to be done right. The world has to be set up clearly and seamlessly. Is the supernatural a fixture in the world or is it known to only a few? Does everyone have powers? Are they innate, learned, or cursed? Fringe is a great example because that world shifted and changed almost every season but each change kept in line with what we already knew about that world. Psych is another outstanding example because the psychic powers were a con. From the moment we are introduced to the world we know it’s a universe completely like our own. We never think for a moment that he may actually be gifted with a sixth sense.
This brings us to Shut Eye. What kind of show has been established here exactly? At first it seemed like a Psych-esque type of world, a winking nod to the con artist nature of mediums. But then it starts to shift, which is where it lost me. The scene where we meet Fonso (Angus Sampson) is the absolute worst. He’s lying on a diving board dramatically telling an old Gypsy tale that explains why it’s totally a-okay coolio beans for Gypsies to steal but that it’s not totally a-okay coolio beans for people to steal from Gypsies.
Everyone is a con artist in this psychic scheme. It’s like a spiritual drug trade. But then Charlie begins to develop real powers. I think. Also there is a hypnotist that seems to threaten everyone and everything which I am still confused about. On top of giving off an intense Mafioso vibes, the Gypsies have powers as well. I think.
It concludes with Charlie rising to his wife’s expectations and getting out from under Fonso’s thumb. He’s going to take that long con of a sad and lonely older lady. Like a real man. It doesn’t really endear you to anyone.
Shut Eye was inconsistent in what it wanted to be. The writing of our anti-hero, Charlie, was not done well enough to make his rise to action memorable. I don’t really care about his struggle. I don’t really care his sister’s face got cut. I severely don’t care that he’s going to put himself and his family in danger to commit a long con.
However, Shut Eye does have the potential to iron out the wrinkles caused in the pilot episode. Some of the world building can be smoothed out in the next episode, which could make the actions of our characters more real and relatable. We’ll have to wait and see though.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 10
ALL OF SHUT EYE SEASON 1 IS AVAILABLE ON HULU