Critical Condition: Shut Eye

Shut Eye | Sky Box Sets, 7.30 Wednesday

➢ “Hulu’s new fortune teller/psychic/con man drama has fine performances from Jeffrey Donovan and KaDee Strickland, but no real identity … It’s no wonder that TV shows about con men or reformed con men have been a lucrative genre for years, with venerable hits like Psych and Leverage and The Mentalist going alongside critical favourites like Better Call Saul or The RichesShut Eye doesn’t instantly feel destined for either of those two best case scenarios, as through four episodes it’s still struggling to establish a consistent tone or to settle on the hook of its premise.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “If you’ve ever wondered what goes on those inside storefronts that advertise the services of psychics, Shut Eye does a good job of breaking down their rituals and scams … [Its] biggest problem is that it can’t quite decide on a tone. At times it almost has the frisky feeling of a slightly darker take on the Psych premise, but then, moments later, it will indulge in the kind of graphic violence seen on much bleaker shows. The mixture is jarring, to say the least.” — Variety.

➢ “At its best, the show mimics the stylised visuals, outlandish violence, and comic cynicism of early episodes of Breaking Bad — though, so far, it lacks the clarity and the focus to make its story half as thoughtful. The show’s central figures are almost universally awful, which makes rooting for their criminal success more of a challenge.” — The Atlantic.

➢ “The first episode demonstrates how much fun the show’s seedy milieu could be …This opening gives you hope that the show will be a nimble, noir-inflected dramedy, buoyed by Mr. Donovan’s amusing performance — a lighter alternative to other new shows like Good Behavior and Chance that are more solemn in their attempts to energise hard-boiled genre tropes. But over its next three episodes, Shut Eye, created by Les Bohem (Extant), loses most of its momentum as the story grows overcomplicated and undercharacterised. It’s like watching a trick in which the dove fails to fly out of the magician’s hat.” — New York Times.

➢ “We’ll be curious to see what the second half of the season delivers, but its uneven presentation thus far, torn between grounded and outlandish, fails to give a proper platform to its stars (even if they manage to squeeze in moments on their own). A blurry reading is better than a bad one, but Shut Eye may only find the light when it loses its mind.” — IndieWire.

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