It’s tough to find much negative written about the new FX 13-episode series, “Lights Out,” (linked here) premiering tonight (10 p.m.) and running through April 5. In boxing circles, anything that promotes the sport by trying to find the soul of the participants always is a reason to feel optimistic about future story arcs and series renewals.
Maybe more in a way that past reality series like Oscar de la Hoya’s “The Next Great Champ,” or Sly Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard’s “The Contender” over the last five years found that connecting viewers to the personal lives of the fighters made for more compelling TV, “Lights Out” picks one guy — the ficticious Patrick “Lights” Leary — and shows his story about trying to make a comeback in the ring at age 40 after all his money has disappeared in bad investments and he’s left to make embarassing public appearances just to make ends meet.
A comparsion to the new Mark Wahlberg movie, “The Fighter,” isn’t far off, either.
Leary (played by Holt McCallany) quit the sport on the insistence of his wife, Theresa (Catherine McCormack) after he lost his last fight in a controversial ending. He thougth he had his family that includes three girls set for life with his earnings until the business decisions of his brother/manager Johnny Leary (Pablo Schreiber) don’t pan out, forcing Leary to seek out his father and former trainer (Stacy Keach) to get him up and back in the gym, pushing for a rematch against Richard “Death Row” Reynolds (Billy Brown).
Some have already compared this to NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” as well for the family dymanic playing into the sports angle (keep an eye on Meredith Hagner as oldest daughter Ava Leary).
The show is rated TV-MA for graphic violence, explicit sexual activity and crude language. Otherwise, for being about boxing.