‘Lights Out’ Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 3 years ago by

lights out series premiere Lights Out Series Premiere Review & Discussion

Lights Out follows one-time boxing phenom Patrick “Lights” Leary who, after losing a decision to “Death Row” Reynolds (Billy Brown) in a championship match, decided to retire from the sport he loved, in order to spend time with his family.

Five years into his self-decided retirement, we find Leary living what appears to be the perfect life.  With three beautiful daughters, a loving wife and a gym of his own, life couldn’t be better for this knockout king. Of course, things aren’t always what they appear to be, as the pragmatic pugilist’s life slowly begins to unravel.

After a string of poor financial decisions by his brother/business manager Johnny (Pablo Schreiber), Leary finds himself nearly penniless with the IRS knocking on his door and freezing his bank accounts. On top of that, Leary has also been diagnosed with Dementia – a disease that’s unfortunately common amongst boxers of his caliber.

Leary is determined to persevere however, and not let these multiple set-backs impact his daily life in any way. With a few well-placed lies to his family and a diagnosis known only to himself, Leary is forced to take any job available in order to pay for his family’s extravagant lifestyle and maintain the appearance that everything if fine.

lights out series premiere leary Lights Out Series Premiere Review & Discussion

After calling out numbers for Bingo and doing other meaningless jobs, Leary finally gets the opportunity to make some real money – although, it comes at a price. When a major bookie named Hal Brennan (Bill Irwin) – one of the city’s most powerful men – wants to hire Leary as his proverbial muscle to help collect outstanding debts, he has no other choice but to take the job.

In his second career role as a boxing professional, Holt McCallany perfectly personifies the former world champion Patrick “Lights” Leary – something that one can attribute to McCallany’s impressive acting prowess and the fact that he is the sibling of Golden Gloves champion Michael McCallany, who passed away in 1989.

Even though McCallany delivers a flawless performance and is very much the heart and soul of the series, Leary’s conceptualized form – as it currently stands – both helps and hurts the potential of this series to continuously deliver captivating storylines with acceptable pacing.

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Since Leary’s characterization is that of a former boxer with bouts of memory loss, his movements – while most certainly methodical – are also slowly executed. Despite the fact that this character aspect provides for some wonderfully suspenseful scenes, it mostly serves to slow down the series’ already sluggish plot progression.

The concept of a man that is willing to do anything to provide for his family is one that many can not only get behind, but can also identify with. To its credit, Lights Out perfectly executes this integral aspect of Leary’s story. Unfortunately, it’s when the series begins adding layer upon layer of subplots that everything begins to fall apart.

With a story that feels similar to previous shows – even if it’s not – many of the additional story elements that have been implemented to make this series unique only serve to convolute the core premise and distract viewers from the elements of the series that actually work.

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Leary’s unreliable brother, oblivious father (Stacy Keach) and new-found profession as a bookie’s leg-breaker all provide much fodder for the Lights Out’s premiere. Unfortunately, these story-arcs detract from the obvious storyline that this series is working towards – getting “Lights Out” Leary back in the ring for one final match.

For all the many faults that Lights Out may have, underneath lies an endearing story of one man’s continuous struggle to survive in a world that has all but passed him by. It is this element – and this element alone – that may cause viewers to tune in week after week.

Although, considering the vast array of great programming already on television, I wouldn’t bet on it.

Final Thoughts

Despite Lights Out delivering an intriguing plot with a wonderful main character, the numerous sub-plots and one-dimensional supporting characters fail to provide a conceptually rich enough world to progress his story. While subsequent episodes might paint a clearer picture of the series’ ultimate intentions, the propensity for convoluted storytelling and slow pacing may prevent viewers from tuning in past the premiere.

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Lights Out airs Tuesdays @10pm, on FX

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17 Comments

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  1. It’s been one episode. I’d give the show time to stretch its legs and let the cast gel and discover themselves. Very few series have been riveting after just the pilot episode. Granted, there’s a greater demand to hook an audience in this reality TV age, sometimes it’s the slow simmer that creates the greatest fire. :) This show has a solid cast and the lead is one of those actors who can say more with a facial expression than other actors who never stop yammering.

    • The show was great.

      • I enjoyed it.

  2. Obviously with the pilot you can’t say much, but i enjoyed it, i usually record shows and refuse to sit through commercials at 1 in the morning but the show was good enough to keep me watching till 2. I liked it and will continue to watch

  3. Have it on my DVR and plan to watch it tonight or tomorrow. Looks good i’m not even worried that it will suck i’m worried it will be a great show that gets cancelled early like Terriers and Thief (slightly older and most of you may not of heard of it very good though).

    • The old Andre Braugher series?

      • Jason you are the man lol

        Yea that’s the show I’m talking about. I got really in to it and was so heart broken to see it end. It was fantastic acting and had an interesting story that never really got to wrap up.

        • I remember the show was well-received. I was surprised it was canceled, as well, especially given the accolades Mr. Braugher had at that time from his role on Homicide. If you like his work, I’d recommend a similarly toned movie he did with Alec Baldwin, Bruce Greenwood, Michael Jai White and Rebecca DeMornay called ‘Thick as Thieves’. Excellent!

          • I saw that movie Jason, yea it was great. :)

  4. I waited for weeks to watch this show. I had a few college students watching it with me….They were totally bored as well.

    Like reading a book, if the first few pages do not draw in the reader the reader will put it down.

    Having been a fighter, lived in Bayonne, NJ and grown up around the “Street scene” in NYC around Mafia types…this show is not realistic.

    Most ex-fighters even the “ham and eggers” are likable people…the main character here ws not.

    I read a book three times, “Johnny Bad Ass” by The Big Lefthook…I recommend anyone interested in this type of genre to spend their time doing the same

  5. Let’s see…FX is a Fox channel….They have a little show where a nice guy all American hard working family guy who just happens to be white is trying to get back a championship from a some black street wise kid who basically stoled it from him…..And I bet he doesn’t even have a birth certificate to boot. Might be an ok show, but could they be any more obvious what their message is? Give it a break Fox….You couldn’t have made it the same story without the underline message by having both fighters the same race…..I wonder what woman he’d have to fight if we had president Hillary at the helm….

    • wrong.. lemme ask you one question… how many white boxing champions are there right now?.. wait ill go one better…name one well know white champion in the last 15 years?

      • Well known?

        hard to define well known. I could name a few over the last 15 years that me and my friends know about, but if you don’t know who they are does that make them not well known? My grandma has probably never heard of Brock Lesnar or GSP, but they are the two biggest names in MMA currently I’d call them well known, but plent of people do not know them.

        So define Well known?

        Vitali Klitchko, Wladimir Klitchko, Sergei Liakhovitch, Ruslan Chagaev Nikolai Valuev, Tommy Morrison and Oleg Maskaev

        The Klitchkos are currently both Champions right at this very moment.

        Those are just Heavy Weights

        If you include other classes I won’t go in to history but currently we have

        Krzysztof Włodarczyk, Marco Huck,Nathan Cleverly (not only a champ but undefeted) , Juergen Braehmer

        Thats only the 200 pound and 175 pounders I really don’t feel like going any lighter to many weight classes.

        • While I know most of these guys I’ll admit I don’t know who all of them are. Some of them are unknown even to me, but someone might consider them well known and honestly what does well known matter they are champs.

          There are far to many titles out there and Boxing is really becoming tiresom and impossible to keep track of.

  6. come one… really? this show has alot of future.. i cant believe it got this kind of review, and the cape.. which was a steaming pile .. was acceptable.
    there is a horrible trend in holly wood right now.. acting is becoming a lost art, with the loss of shows like terriors , and good guys, and mindless drones like private practice, and cougar town getting resigned.
    its all down hill form here.

  7. HEY! its been three episodes and its by no means slow or sluggish its a series it can’t lay the whole plot out in the premiere i think the sub-plots are great they add to the show its not just boring and drawing out lights trying to provide for his family. your garbage watch the show guy that wrote this! TO HELL WITH YOU AND YOUR BIG WORDS!

  8. marsel March 27th, 2011 9:16 am
    lights out series is really one of the best series i have watched in my life. So good , so real and smart.It reminds me The Sopranos Nowadays there are many series to watch but there are not many of high quality.And lights out is one of the top quality series i have watched in my life lights out -you don’t watch it ,you live it . lights out series is really one of the best series i have watched in my life. So good , so real and smart.It reminds me The Sopranos Nowadays there are many series to watch but there are not many of high quality.And lights out is one of the top quality series i have watched in my life lights out -you don’t watch it ,you live it .

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