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Lights Out - S01 E01

Action & Adventure . Drama . Sport . Crime

Former heavyweight boxing champion Patrick "Lights" Leary struggles to find his identity after retiring from the sport. He also wonders how he is going to support his medical resident wife Theresa, and their three daughters. The series premiere begins five years after Leary's retirement following a controversial split-decision loss to Richard "Death Row" Reynolds. The Learys' once charmed life is on shaky ground; the IRS is determined to take away their mansion, and Patrick's brother/manager Johnny wants him to make a comeback, despite him showing signs of pugilistic dementia.

Episode Title: Pilot
Airs: 2011-01-11 at 10:00 pm
  • Tom Gliatto

    Beneath the grit, this is a tale of chivalry. [31 Jan 2011, p.40]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    A particularly fine new FX drama marred only by a tepid pace in the pilot. But pace and story pick up in subsequent episodes.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    It sometimes lapses into the abundant cliches of its genre. Pound for pound, though, you won't see many better dramas this season. Gloves on or off, it keeps scoring points.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Personally, I have even less interest in boxing than I do in those other worlds, so when I say I swallowed most of the 13-episode first season of FX's new boxing drama, Lights Out in a couple of marathon gulps, it's saying something.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Thanks to the sharp writing of Warren Leight and a revelatory lead performance by obscure journeyman actor Holt McCallany, Lights Out is a reminder of why Hollywood keeps making boxing stories. Because when they're done well, they're irresistible.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Beyond the superb pilot, Lights Out begins to get wonderfully nuanced and more interesting with each episode. And though the series avoids most boxing cliches while keeping true to the inescapable elements of "the sweet science," the real key to its success is McCallan.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    It's quickly clear that this skillfully sustained, sharply plotted series is a fighter saga you'll want to follow to the final bell.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    At its strongest, it freshens those themes without melodrama, opting instead for slow-boil tension. The challenge for this artful series is whether that boiling point is too slow for viewers raised on WWE Raw and mixed martial arts.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    Lights Out starts slower but has an even more intriguing anti-hero dad: Patrick "Lights" Leary (in a beautiful and subtle performance by Holt McCallany), a retired heavyweight champion with itchy fists.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    The story of Patrick "Lights" Leary is engrossing from the first bell, with nicely developed plots and psychological twists that transcend the genre cliches of the boxing drama. And the acting is strong where it matters.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    If many of these plot and character elements are straight off the bargain shelf at the Boxing Melodrama R Us superstore, Lights nonetheless gives them new life--partly thanks to a superlative cast and partly because the show resists the biggest cliche of all: the boxer as innocent victim of poverty and circumstance.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    It starts and finishes strong, and in between, it passed the most important test this non-boxing-fan could hold it to: when I finished one episode, I immediately wanted to put another in.

    Time Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Lights Out has its work cut out for it to find and hold an audience and deliver the proverbial TKO, but on the basis of the work alone, it's a triumph.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    In other words, even the soapier subplots of Lights Out are sparingly written and tautly filmed, and the story never strays too far from the violence that is at its core.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Lights Out isn't an unqualified knockout, but in its milieu, leading man and rich supporting players, score the show a clear winner on points. And that's no bull.

    Variety Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Chalk up Lights Out as another creative success for FX, the basic cable network that specializes in series with male-skewing milieus.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    Lights Out isn't always comfortable watching, because it forces people we like to do things we don't like. But if it's sometimes hard to watch, it's harder not to.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Lights Out does turn into a good series. A knockout? No. But sometimes, you have to be content to win on points.

    USA Today Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Lights Out may not reach the level of "The Sopranos," but it has enough going for it to at least earn a shot at the title.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Aaron Riccio

    Lights Out isn't a knockout, but it's got enough grit and sweat to keep viewers on their toes.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    It is something shy of electrifying and not always convincing, but it pulls you right along and offers too many good moments and fine performances not to recommend it.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    See, despite the fact that Lights Out has every one of these boxing cliches in spades, it also has that thing that makes all great boxing flicks memorable: great acting and characters you pull for despite the fact that you know you're being manipulated.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Though deliberately and even artfully paced, Lights Out also feels protracted. It has difficulty establishing momentum in its first few episodes, even with a smattering of intriguing subplots and story lines, and no one character exerts that intangible ability to make us keep watching.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    You've been three rounds with this story before. Lights Out sets you up for a sucker punch.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Lights Out isn't a bad show, but it's frustratingly uneven. It has its moments, but at this stage, it doesn't offer the kind of deeply fascinating and addictive portrait of human nature that we've come to expect from the top tier of cable dramas.

    The Huffington Post Full Review