January 11, 2011

Show Review: LIGHTS OUT

FX debuted its new boxing drama tonight, and I have a feeling that Lights Out will have a better fate than its fall counterpart (Terriers). On the surface, the show doesn't really break away from all of the underdog boxer making a comeback tropes that made Sly Stallone an icon, but luckily we'll be getting a deeper look at the life of Patrick "Lights" Leary.

Leary really doesn't stray too far from the big palooka stereotype, but with that being said there's potential for him to become a well developed character. On one hand, he's a fighter through and through who can have a short temper. These traits helped him become a champ, and they're helping him become hired muscle. This is a story that we've all seen before, but we also get a glimpse of him at home where Patrick is a loving husband, father, son, brother, and uncle. It'll be interesting seeing Leary around the rest of his family, especially his three daughters because there's something charming about seeing a hulking guy having to deal with being a father to girls.

While "Lights" has the chance to be more than a cliché, the same cannot be said about some of the other characters, at least not yet. His wife, Theresa, starts off as your typical worried wife who forced him to retire. Since it's obvious that Patrick will get back into the ring, I'm sure she'll come around and be cautiously supportive, but right now she's the same character that can be found in countless sports movies/shows.

I was entertained by the first episode of Lights Out, and I'm willing to come back for a few more times, but it's clear to me that the story is not what's going to make the show a success because it so closely resembles Rocky, Cinderella Man, etc. What's going to make it work is the characters, and while they're painted with broad strokes now, you can see the finer brush coming out which should lead to some interesting turns. Once we care about "Lights", then we'll get what this show is all about.


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