Feuding families, sketchy businesses, cutthroat competition … we’ve seen this over and again with mafia films and series.
The Godfather, Goodfellas, Bugsy, Magic City, to My Blue Heaven are titles on a very long list as Hollywood has had an ongoing love affair with La Familia. The Sopranos took it to the next level as it revealed an up close and sometimes unglamorous view of a mafia boss dealing with the day to day operations of a crime family, as well as his own.
Shut Eye offers a similar world but with a different European heritage. This original series from Hulu is based on the Romanian mafia or “Roma” and the world of psychics, tarot readers or fortune tellers of old. There’s nothing supernatural about these people, however, though they will surely convince you of that. With tricks and sleight of hand, they will con you until they can’t con you anymore.
Set in the surrounding Los Angeles area, the series centers around Charlie and Linda Haverford. There’s not much back story, but they were Vegas based, using magic and tarot card reading scams to make their living. They are not new to the con, but they are not Roma, they are Gadje– outsiders forced into this world in order to operate their “self help business”. The Roma business in the area is managed by two families, who are always competing to gain better ground. The Marks clan is led by Fonso and back seat matriarch, Rita; the rival family is run by White Tony. Yes, White Tony, and that’s it. Like Cher.
Charlie, sick of being under Fonso’s thumb, and Linda, feeling shortchanged with the cards she has been dealt, scheme to find their own “whale” and a long con that will liberate them from this world altogether. After getting kicked in the head during a fight, Charlie becomes susceptible to suggestions from a hypnotist and begins having strange visions of his own about the future. You see, it’s an ironic turn.
#CindySays: 🌟🌟🌟🌟for a solid cast, and going somewhere intriguing with this fresh criminal underworld — along with mystical happenings thrown in. It’s not one for the kiddos as there’s plenty of violence and adult type sexual situations, though not gratuitously explicit.
The cast is filled with familiar faces including (but not limited to): Jeffrey Donovan, KaDee Strickland, Mel Harris, Angus Sampson, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Susan Misner, David Zayas and Isabella Rossellini.
Season 1 with 10 episodes is available exclusively on Hulu: Trailer
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