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With an utterly unique setting and appealing actors, this drama intrigues, but it has so many subplots and side characters that keeping it all straight requires patience.
There's no sense of spirit in these characters, and the just-sufficient fascination of the entire operation is owed almost exclusively to the cast, with special nods to Donovan, Strickland, and the indomitable Rossellini.
It would help if, in the early episodes, Shut Eye would make more clear what tone it wants to take: hard-boiled action, lighthearted caper, dark drama with some fantastical elements.
Shut Eye has plenty to offer its audience, but it struggles early on to find exactly what the focus of the series should be. Still, Jeffrey Donovan is reason enough to watch the series through to the end.
Shut Eye could eventually pay out; the cards for the last six episodes are still face down. But to find out, you'd have to walk through that door.
I had a couple, "This is a good, different world for a TV show" moments, before Shut Eye too often left the unique behind for a more conventional con man story and stale cable boundary-pushing on sex and violence and exhausted-looking antiheroes.
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