The FX network has made a name for itself in the crowded cable television landscape with their edgy and outstanding original programming. If you’ve tuned in at any point over the last several months, you’ve probably noticed how aggressively they’re promoting their upcoming boxing drama, Lights Out.
So far, the ads have only been brief teases that establish the basic premise of the series and its tone, but the simple fact that it’s on FX might be the most compelling reason to check it out. With a track record that includes shows like The Shield, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, and Terriers (which was a favorite of mine) – it’s hard not to be curious.
The January 11th premiere of Lights Out is right around the corner and Geek Tyrant noticed that FX recently debuted some new clips on the show’s YouTube channel. Before you check them out, here’s a brief synopsis of the series for anyone not up to speed:
Lights Out, from Executive Producer/Showrunner Warren Leight (In Treatment), stars Holt McCallany (CSI: Miami) as an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after retiring from the ring. Financial problems leave him at a perilous crossroads – battling the urge to return to boxing or reluctantly accepting a job as a brutal and intimidating debt collector. Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) co-stars as “Theresa Leary,” Lights’ wife who is finishing her medical residency; Pablo Schreiber (Law & Order) as “Johnny Leary,” Lights’ brother and business manager whom Lights put through college; and Stacy Keach (Fat City) as “Pops,” Lights’ father and former trainer who runs the boxing gym owned by Lights. Clark Johnson (The Shield, The Wire) and Norberto Barba (In Treatment, CSI: NY) directed the pilot episode. Series Creator Justin Zackham (The Bucket List), Phillip Noyce (Salt) and Ross Fineman are also Executive Producers. Lights Out is produced by Fox Television Studios and FX Productions.
I’ll admit that nothing I’ve seen or read about Lights Out strikes me as alarmingly unique, but like most FX series – it’s more about the execution than how the idea looks on paper. The level of creative freedom afforded to the creators of these shows almost always yields satisfying results.
After watching these clips, I feel a lot more confident about the direction Lights Out is headed in. I’m particularly impressed with the glimpses we’re getting of Holt McCallany’s performance. This first clip is a fifteen-minute profile of his character that fleshes out his back story and it’s easily my favorite of the bunch:
The rest are short montages set to suitably dramatic music and if nothing else, they really highlight the cinematic look and feel of the show:
Lights Out may utilize elements we’ve seen in dozens of other stories, but FX’s original series have always been character-driven, so I’m optimistic that this show will quickly forge its own identity – especially considering the level of talent in front of and behind the camera.
The fact that it’s on FX isn’t the only draw for me. I’m a boxing fan and still follow the sport pretty diligently. I’ve grown used to the fact that the actual mechanics of a fight are hardly ever translated to film accurately, but I’m still really interested to see how it’s depicted here.
Lights Out premieres on FX January 11th.