Monday, December 19, 2016

Pilot Review: Shut Eye

Shut Eye (Hulu)
Premiered December 7

All I needed to compel me to watch this pilot was seeing that Jeffrey Donovan was the star. I started watching “Burn Notice” in its second season because Tricia Helfer joined the cast, and thoroughly enjoyed that show all the way to the end, with Donovan providing a unique energy that worked just right for that particular show. I didn’t know a thing about this series before I watched it, and I found this opening installment to be somewhat intriguing. To me, a show about scammers who pretend to be fortune tellers is interesting enough, and therefore I’m not clear why this had to go to a point of Charlie being able to see the future. This is a good companion piece to “Chance,” a show that I would have liked to watch but just couldn’t get on board with a few weeks ago when it started. I’m more inclined to give this one a chance, but I’m not sure how long I’d stick with it. I like Donovan in this role, even if it’s not as fun, and I think that Kadee Strickland does a great job making his wife Linda an even more magnetic central character. I liked Emmanuelle Chriqui on “Entourage” and think she’s found a far more complex part here as a hypnotist with a few secrets of her own. I’m not sure what to make of David Zayas’ gangster or Isabella Rossellini’s tyrannical matriarch, with the former seeming like a much better part of the show than the latter. I’m interested to see more and wonder if episode two will make me want to stick with this show for the rest of the season, which was all already released online a week and a half ago.

How will it work as a series? Charlie spent most of the episode saying that he needed to run everything by Fonso, and now he’s saying something completely different, not to mention the fact that Linda is engaging in an illicit relationship with Gina that her husband (probably) doesn’t know anything about. This should be volatile and enthralling if nothing else.
How long will it last? Ratings data for Hulu isn’t readily available or helpful, but that also means that it’s not so relevant. “Chance” was better-reviewed than this series, so that doesn’t suggest a hopeful future for this one, but Hulu offering something to binge right away may be a plus that could give this show a second season.

Pilot grade: B