I love Jeffrey Donovan, I don’t think there’s been a single thing that I’ve seen him in that I haven’t enjoyed. So recently, I was just poking around, wondering what he’s been up to after the end of Burn Notice and I saw that he’d been in a Hulu Original series called Shut Eye, that had just been renewed for season 2. Of course I had to grab it and take a look, and as I already knew, I loved it!
So here’s my look at the first season of Shut Eye. Enjoy.Charlie Haverford is a former magician turned psychic con man, working for the local gypsies, to steal money from the gullible. He and his wife, Linda, are very good at their jobs, but when Charlie gets beaten by the husband of a former client, he starts to get real psychic flashes that he and a neuroscientist start to explore as he begins to get some real insights into the future.
Now once I heard about the show, I immediately started drawing parallels to shows like Psych, but this isn’t a comedy by any means, it’s a serious drama about crime families and taking advantage of people. Yes, Charlie does have a bit of a conscience, especially once he starts getting real psychic flashes, but nobody else around him does. They’re fine killing anyone who gets in their way, they are not sympathetic in any way, shape or form and there are no real “good guys” in the show, even Charlie. At best, he’s an anti-hero, only because he’s suddenly seeing into the future and has to figure out what his visions mean.
The rest of the cast is quite good, David Zayas, another of my favorite actors, comes along as Eduardo, a criminal that uses David’s insights to kill his enemies. Angus Sampson and Zak Santiago play Fonso and White Tony, two warring gypsies trying to control the psychic trades and even though I never felt anything positive for White Tony, by the end, I had at least a little sympathy for Fonso, a single father caught in the world of the Roma, largely against his will.
So what didn’t I like? Not much. I wasn’t thrilled that Charlie’s wife was cheating on him with Gina, a hypnotist who wanted to break into the psychic scam. I wasn’t all that happy with the teenage gang that his son ran with, that constantly got him into trouble. Was it realistic in the context of the series? Yes. But having a show where you can’t trust anyone, ever, not even the main characters isn’t something I’m all that much of a fan of, but then again, that’s really the point, isn’t it? And by the end, I think Charlie and his wife had reconciled enough that I might give her a chance, plus the idealistic neuroscientist wasn’t evil, just clueless, so maybe she gets a pass as well.
All in all, I burned through the 10 episodes in a couple of days, putting aside all of my other television viewing, so that’s plenty to recommend the series. It’s not perfect, but I’m really looking forward to next season, especially after the cliffhanger that they left at the end. Usually I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, but they set this one up well and even if the series had ended, it wouldn’t have bothered me. They did it right. Go ahead and give this one a shot, especially if you’re a fan of Jeffrey Donovan like I am. I’m really glad I came across it.