I’m a big fan of Jeffrey Donovan, I try to watch whatever he’s in and last year, I stumbled upon Shut Eye late, but I loved it. I was really looking forward to season 2 but was it worth the wait? Let’s find out.
After Charlie and Linda stole a lot of Romani money last year, they realize they can’t keep it and try to give it back to Fonso. But he’s got his own problems as he’s banished from the ranks of the Romani and has to become, gasp, a legitimate businessman! But when Charlie runs into a psychic guru who is making a ton of money, he decides to change tactics and pursue the limelight, but no matter how hard he tries, he can’t get away from the Gypsy mob.
I admit I had some issues this time around, mostly because they tried to take the gypsy gangsters and make them into lovable characters. It just didn’t work, at least as far as I’m concerned. Yes, Charlie and Linda are, at their core, criminals. They deceive people for a living, they steal from the gullible, but somewhere in there, they, at least Charlie, has got a heart of gold, or at least gold plated, that just works. That’s not the case for any of the Marks or Ranko families. Even though they tried to redeem Fonso, he still remained an inconsolable, self-centered creep. Even when he proved he could be a better man, in the end, he went right back to his low-life self when given half a chance.
I will admit this year, Charlie’s heart of gold got plenty tarnished. I want to like Charlie as a character. I have a deep admiration for Jeff Donovan already, but some of the things he did this year, I just can’t respect. This is especially true when he cheated on his wife. Sure, she’s cheated on him and I don’t respect her at all because of it, but the whole scene was just so… dumb. He’s pissed off at his business partner and the only reason she comes on to him is so she can keep using him. And it’s blatantly obvious what she’s doing, there’s never been any evidence that he was attracted to her or interested in her in any way, so why did he just fall over and sleep with her?
The other issue, although not all that serious, is that they tried to “legitimize” Charlie. Yes, doing this allows him to grow beyond the machinations of the Romani mafia and that’s a good thing, but it didn’t really feel legitimate. It felt forced. Trying to take him from a one-on-one psychic to a big-time motivational speaker didn’t feel natural.
Because in the end, even though Charlie and Linda are scumbags, I want to see them getting better. I want to see them get away from the criminal elements and start succeeding on their own merits. But we’re not seeing that, at least not this season, we’re seeing Charlie get the opportunity to fleece even more people for even more money but that’s about it. And his “real psychic” abilities? They came and went this season, but we got no better idea what was actually going on than we did last year. They’re a MacGuffin, nothing more. I want it to mean something and so far, it doesn’t seem to.
It’s still a good show, although not as good as last year. They switched showrunners and I hope that he learns what he did wrong this year and gets back to formula. This could be a great show if they’d recognize the strengths and give up on the same old shtick. Hopefully, next year they will.