26 January 2011 | blanbrn
A Knockout. A compelling and tense drama that shows life inside and outside of the ring is dirty and tough.
I have to say that of late of all the new TV series to come along this one just out on FX titled "Lights Out" is a clear winner and knockout! It's a tense and compelling drama that shows life is tough and dirty and that sometimes just to get by you have to break the rules. And the series has plenty of realism as it stays true to form to the boxing life of shady promoters, political payoffs and cranial damage and the most rewarding a journey towards a comeback. The stories and acting is top notch for a cable series.
Set in the Garden state of New Jersey it follows the tale of an ex heavyweight champion named Patrick "Lights" Leary(Holt McCallany I remember him from 1987's "Creepshow 2") and after his boxing life is now over Lights tries to stay afloat and travel thru life as if he were in the boxing ring. It's tough in the suburbs living like a middle class guy, yet he has the support of his tough and caring loving wife(played just fine by Catherine McCormack)and his three daughters are the love of his life too.
On the downside his now primary source of income is his personal appearances based on his former fame plus Lights runs a training gym for up and coming boxers and he co owns this with his arrogant and shady brother(Pablo Schreiber)still Lights is a beast and his mind keeps pulling him back into the fighting ring.
As you watch each episode you see that Lights is a good family man, yet to get by just like many in today's pressure economy and work life this man succumbs to temptation. It doesn't matter if it's taking political bribes or doing dirty work involving promoters and agents Lights and his brother will do it to survive. As his ultimate goal is a rematch with the fighter who beat him. A good supporting and wild card role is when you see Light's father and gym trainer(played by the wonderful Stacy Keach)as dad is tough and by the book as he tries to keep both of his sons on the straight and narrow road even though he most of the time fails with that it's still compelling to watch.
Really this series has it all especially the realism of boxing such as challenges, comebacks, brain damage, crooked politicians and greedy promoters all tied into organized crime. Those themes tie in well with the life and family drama for a show of slow boiling tension. I think "Lights Out" is one of the best new series around the drama and tension mixed with life and bending the rules to get by is compelling and uplifting. Plus it's nice to see someone like Holt McCallany get a break and have a fighting chance at acting stardom. "Lights Out" will knock you out both inside and outside of the ring!