Last week Shut Eye came out on Hulu, so I figured I would check out the first episode. I didn’t know too much going in to it other than the fact that it starred Jeffrey Donovan (of Burn Notice, Fargo, and that dope-ass scene on the highway in Sicario) and the show ended up completely hooking me, check out the teaser trailer here…
Shut Eye follows Charlie (Jeffrey Donovan) a skilled but scummy “psychic”/con artist, who runs a chain of fortune teller shops for the Romani Gypsy Mafia in Los Angeles. Charlie has pretty much been beaten into submission by the world (or the mobsters) around him, but in an ironic twist of fate (AKA a head injury) gives Charlie “mental abilities” granting the fake psychic real psychic abilities. As of now the show has only given us a glimpse into the “abilities” that Charlie seems to have gained from the head injury, and so far they are pretty vague, hopefully we’ll get deeper into it in future episodes.
But the season premiere focused more so on Charlie’s relationships with the mob and his family, showing us the world Charlie lives in before everything gets shaken up. Charlie seems content with small time scamming but his wife Linda, played by KaDee Strickland, wants to catch some big fish. They’re just like any other parents, they want to feed their kids and put them through school. But unlike most parents they make their money through a chain of mafia run fortune teller/palm reader shops. Charlie’s also got a sister who seems like she’s got a knack for getting herself into some deep shit (even though she totally did not deserve all that shit) which becomes obvious after the first episode.
Then there’s the looming Romani mob. The entity that Charlie works and hustles for, the entity that torments and beats him to a pulp physically and emotionally. We’re introduced to the boss Fonso, played by Angus Sampson (who also starred in Fargo season 2 with Donovan, sadly they both do not have their awesome Fargo accents) through an absolutely captivating monologue of the story of God granting the Romani Gypsies the right to steal without sin. Of course there’s also his mother, played by legendary Isabella Rossellini, and she definitely leaves her mark on the first episode…
Shut Eye has a great style and the LA setting really brings the show to life. Its got a twisted sense of humor, and a darkness that brings a solid serious tone to the show. Shut Eye also has a ton of great characters and actors. Aside from everyone I mentioned there’s David Zayas and I’m fairly certain he may be causing a ruckus in future episodes. I saw Kima from The Wire too. As a cop, obviously. Hopefully she’s actually Kima from The Wire and her character was just transferred over from Baltimore or something. Even Sloan from Entourage showed up to do some… interesting stuff.
The premiere of Shut Eye was great. Tons of great actors and characters, great setting and style, a concept we haven’t really seen before, and violent mobsters. Those are some solid ingredients for a show. I’m hoping Shut Eye will take us to some weirdly intense places down the road like the premiere did. I may have found my next binge show now that Westworld has ended, like a party ending after Ed Harris shows up in full cowboy attire. Shut Eye has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see how the story will unfold. Watch season one of Shut Eye, up on Hulu now.
Shut Eye Episode 1 gets… 4.5/5 Stars
If you like Shut Eye, or you’ve recently had a head injury that has granted you psychic abilities and/or nausea, please leave a comment, and thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: Snagged from digitaltveurope.net