Shut Eye

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Shut Eye TV Poster Image
Intriguing, violent drama explores underworld of psychics.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Clients talk about their most personal problems with family, marriage, work; psychics cynically exploit them for money and look for opportunities to fleece them harder. Viewers may learn more about people of Romani heritage, but since all the Roma characters in this show are thieves and criminals, that's a mixed blessing. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Charlie and Linda Haverford are tough customers who don't trust anyone. They prize money over their relationships with friends and family, are unfaithful to each other, and aren't above using torture or double-crossing others as a means to an end. However, they are loving parents to a son and daughter. 


Violence used to control characters, especially women: A man hits a woman on the head with a ceremonial bowl, steals money, and warns her not to sell her psychic services on his turf; a woman puts a cigarette out on another woman's leg to convince her to talk; men spit on a woman as part of a ceremony of judgment; a woman's face is slashed slowly and clinically on-screen as she screams in agony. Casual references to an ethnic group killing a different ethnic group if they compete in a business venture.


Flirting and dating; vulgar references to sex including oral sex. Two women have oral sex; breasts are visible.


Cursing: multiple uses of "f--k," "damn," "hell," "a--hole," and "s--t," sometimes for emphasis, sometimes to insult other characters. People of Romani heritage are referred to as "gypsies," a slur. A man refers to a woman's "fat ass"; vulgar references to sex and body parts ("pricks," "c--t"). A woman calls another man a "p---y" to say he's cowardly. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes on-screen; references to cocaine (it's speculated that a rich man deals cocaine); a father allows his underage daughter to drink beer at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Shut Eye is a tense drama about con men and women in the storefront psychic business. Said psychics are cynical and untrustworthy, exploiting clients for their cash and turning over kickbacks to a controlling group of Roma -- or "gypsy" as they're often referred to on the show -- mobsters. Almost every character on the show is unreliable and violent. People, particularly women, are often hurt on-screen: A man hits a woman in the head with a metal bowl, a woman's face is slowly slashed as she shrieks in agony, a cigarette is put out on a woman's thigh to convince her to talk. Characters have sex on-screen; breasts are visible. Cursing includes multiple uses of "f--k," "damn," "hell," and "s--t." A woman is called a "c--t," and a man is called a "p---y." Characters smoke cigarettes on-screen.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySerenity C. June 22, 2017
If you are a simple minded person who cannot stand slow paced tv-shows with deep plots and heavy drama, I do not suggest this for you. This is not for the faint... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Set in the seedy underworld of Los Angeles storefront psychics, SHUT EYE opens as fake clairvoyant Charlie Haverford (Jeffrey Donovan) suffers a head injury that somehow grants him visions of things yet to come. This is only the latest complication in a life spent funneling money from fortune-telling businesses to an empire of Roma crime bosses, dealing with pressure from his upwardly mobile (and unfaithful) wife and partner-in-crime Linda (KaDee Strickland), and worrying about his angsty teenage son Nick (Dylan Schmid). But when the Haverfords start spending time with mysterious hypnotist Gina (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and underworld figure Eduardo (David Zayas), their lives become ever more complicated. 

Is it any good?

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. Careful viewers, however, will find things to like about Shut Eye and its outlandish swings. Not only is Charlie a failed magician and fake psychic who starts having real visions, he's beset with a bitter wife, dangerous mob bosses (under the unhinged rule of Isabella Rossellini!), an ominous client who implies that he'll use his considerable criminal connections to bring Charlie new business, a therapist who doles out psychedelics, and a horny and anxious teenage son who needs Dad's guidance (and a ride to therapy). It's a lot to take in, but it's compelling stuff, particularly for anyone who's ever wondered just what lay beyond those neon strip-mall signs promising answers to life's many questions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dysfunctional characters in Shut Eye and discuss why writers so often turn to them for material. Why is a person with serious problems a more compelling character than one with a calm, "normal" life? 

  • Criminal enterprises are often the setting for dark dramas. What other examples can you name? How does Shut Eye keep you invested in characters who do bad things?

  • Are any of the characters' criminal actions in any way justifiable? Does the end ever justify the means?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dark drama

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