Patrick “Lights” Leary, (Holt McCallany) former heavyweight champion of the world, has been punched in the tits an awful lot. The shockwaves from this cruel pectoral assault have reached his brain and given him pugilistic dementia. It’s not so bad. He blacks out, forgets who he is and floods the kitchen every time he makes Coco Pops but Patrick can’t grumble. It’s been five years since Derek “Death Row” Reynolds (Billy Brown) took his title in a controversial decision but everything is gravy, right? He has loving wife Teresa (Catherine McCormack), loving nausey kids Katie, Ava and Daniella, lovely house and he’s set for life. OR IS HE? (Clue: no, he isn’t).
Because the dumb pug has somehow managed to fritter away his millions on such pointless turdly expenses as his daughter’s school fees, his wife’s medical training and his father’s boxing gym (that’s Pops, played by Stacy Keach). His brother/manager Johnny (Pablo Schreiber) hasn’t really helped. Johnny screwed up, basically. He does that a lot.
“The shockwaves from this cruel pecs assault have reached his brain and given him pugilistic dementia. It’s not so bad. He blacks out, forgets who he is and floods the kitchen every time he makes Coco Pops but Patrick can’t grumble.”
So with Patrick just turned 40, short of cash and nursing wounds from a fight he believes he won with Death Row Reynolds who still wears the heavyweight crown it’s obvious from the start of Lights Out that there’s going to be a rematch. And if there’s going to be a rematch is going to need a barely fictionalised Don King promoting it. Say hello to Barry K. Word (Reg E. Cathey from The Wire). Barry’s the kind of amoral hustler people who know nothing about boxing correctly assume runs the sport. Boxing after all is a more colourful version of what you already expect; a live-action cartoon – usually Itchy and Scratchy.
“Boxing after all is a more colourful version of what you already expect; a live-action cartoon – usually Itchy and Scratchy'”Though don’t expect to be watching all that much ring action. Often we’re just watching Patrick wrestle with his post-retirement identity. Yeah, he’s a fighter with no one left to fight but he’s also a cash cow, a golden tit, a provider. Only with no money and no fights he’s none of the above. No one except Ava knows about the dementia so he needs to man up, take the fight with Reynolds and set himself and his family for life (until Johnny spends it on a house made of gold).
Fx come correct with this one. Holt McCallany is a great find as Shites Bleary – moody, charismatic and intense. And I guess his daughters aren’t too nausey once you get used to the entitled little shits. It’s tricky to explain boxing to a general audience without resorting to simplification, inaccuracy and cliché but it does a pretty decent job. Fx just announced that they are pulling the plug on Lights Out. It turns out nobody wants to watch a show about a heavyweight boxer and that tells me all I need to know about you “people”. You suck in ways I can’t count.
God bless Patrick Leary. God bless Lights Out. God bless boxing.
Aerial Telly forever. Feral anti-boxing scum never.
The verdict on Lights Out: Lights On
Marks out of 10: 7.5