Lights Out

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: C+ | Grade It Now!
The Comeback "Kid"

So! Here we are, with a show about a prizefighter. Just to head it off, obviously, there are many people who believe that boxing is a barbaric sport. I trust that those people are likely not actually watching this show, but regardless, you can take it on faith that writing about the show is not any kind of statement on the sport one way or another. (In other words, don't email me boxing-related rants.) However, also to get it out of the way, I must tell you that, at least as far as the first episode goes, my opinion is that the writing is lazy and the acting pretty unimpressive, so fair warning if that assessment is going to put you off. And now:

We open on an overhead shot of a beefy dude's face, which, as it happens, is swollen and covered in streams of blood that are dried to varying degrees, and while it's a jarring enough start, it certainly also seems like a quick way for the viewing audience to assess whether they can handle what this show is all about. After we linger on him long enough to ascertain that he is, in fact, breathing, we cut to a longer overhead shot from which we see him lying on a metal table, and given that he's shirtless as is standard for pugilists, I'd think that would feel really cold if, of course, he could feel anything at all at the moment. Also, his boxing trunks are green and there's a shamrock on them, and I have no idea what that means but I will certainly keep recording the clues as they're offered forth.

The unconscious boxer, by the way, is played by a forty-six-year-old actor named Holt McCallany, whose acting career has not managed to cross paths with my viewing history to this point but is certainly good-looking enough in a very bruiser-y way. A woman enters the shot, and when we cut to a close-up, we see she's played by British actress Catherine McCormack; she looks distraught as she tentatively touches his face, but pulls herself together when there's a knock at the door. A guy wearing a boxing jersey enters and asks "Theresa" if he should get the "doc," but she tells him they're fine, and after she repeats that assertion off his questioning look, he withdraws. Gathering her resolve, she grabs what I can only assume is a bottle of smelling salts or the equivalent and twists it under the boxer's nose. His eyes fly open...

...and then he's in a flashback to, presumably, the fight he just had against an African-American gentleman dressed in yellow trunks. Our Irish (wild guess) boxer clearly has the upper hand even as the guy who came in asking about the doctor and an old guy who just so happens to be Stacy Keach yell at him to protect his eye, and while this kind of violence generally doesn't force me to turn away from the screen like it does some people, I am rather squeamish when it comes to anything in the, shall we say, King Lear realm, so I can definitely say I'm behind these guys' advice. For now, however, such exhortations are moot, as our guy ("Lights Leary," as the commentators refer to him) has proceeded to beat the shit out of his opponent, locking him up in a corner and pounding until the guy seriously has a look on his face that could be used in a "Calgon, take me away" ad. Fortunately or unfortunately, though, depending how you look at it, the round ends, and after the other guy's trainer helps him stagger to his stool, Leary (well, his given name's "Patrick," I'm certainly not going to call him "Lights" or "Lights Out" or whatever else) heads to his corner, where Stacy Keach tells him he's ahead on points, so he should, essentially, box conservatively for the rest of the bout, staying out of the corners and off the ropes so, I presume, as to minimize his chances of his opponent getting in position to knock him out. Patrick thinks the guy is ready to fall, obviously intimating that he wants to go for the KO, but Stacy Keach (well, he's his father, you'll find out soon enough) snaps that he should just box. By the way, despite his dominance in the last round, blood is flowing freely from a cut over Patrick's right eye, so that advice regarding it, it seems, was not idle. And we're far from "vile jelly" territory, but let's just not go any further there, shall we? Patrick gets up, but the image goes blurry...

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Lights Out




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