The executive producers and stars of Hulu’s Shut Eye were on hand today at TCA for a panel discussion of the upcoming series. While an extended trailer was unveiled — a much shorter teaser was released online, which you can watch above — details about what precisely to expect when the show debuts December 7 were slim. However, creator/executive producer Les Bohem, exec producer David Hudgins and co-stars Jeffrey Donovan and Kadee Strickland offered their insights into the seedy world that inspired the show and the people drawn to it.
Shut Eye follows a harried, professional storefront psychic (read: con artist) of the sort Los Angeles streets are littered with, as well as the crime families behind his business. As Bohem put it when explaining where the idea came from, he was intrigued by Los Angeles psychic shops “places… that can’t possibly make the rent with $40 palm readings.”
So it is that, when asked during the panel what he found most surprising about the world of professional psychics, Donovan was unambiguous. “The victim. They’re smarter than you think,” he said. “They’re educated, they’re mostly white collar, that’s who” is falling for it. “Really smart, educated people walking in with $5, and next thing you know, they’re billed for $10 million.”
“It’s a very strange world that these people live in,” Donovan said.
For her part, Strickland says what drew her into the story is how it brings together grift and sincerity. “I really just love the dynamic between Linda and Charlie [on the show] and how they operate and how they prey” on their victims, she said. But, it’s equally interesting why their victims exist. “What it is that we have… an instinct, that we need to believe in something, whether it’s in relgion, or walking into [a psychic shop] and putting $40 on the table, or $250 on the table.”
“These people prey upon, for better or for worse, the feeling of “is this it?” added Donovan.
The series also stars Susan Misner, Emmanuelle Chriqui, David Zayas, Isabella Rossellini, and Angus Sampson.