Wednesday, February 9, 2011


With good reason, HBO went out of its way to deliver its awesome series "Boardwalk Empire" with an amazing amount of ballyhoo. Obviously, direct comparisons to "The Sopranos" were easy to make. After all, much of the 'Sopranos' creative team were a huge part of 'Empire,' and proverbial New Jersey organized crime connection.

That all being said, the new FX boxing drama "Lights Out" is more 'Soprano-esque' than 'Empire' by far. Spend an episode or two with it's protagonist Patrick 'Lights' Leary and you'll understand why.

It centers on an aging former heavyweight boxing champion Patrick "Lights" Leary (Holt McCallany - the best leading man on network TV since Ken Wahl) as he tries to find his identity after retiring from the sport he loved so much. After years of wear and tear in the ring, he is diagnosed with pugilistic dementia, a neurological disorder that affects fighters who've suffered too many blows to the head. It gradually causes memory loss and constant headaches.

Throughout each episode and on the gritty streets of Bayonne, Lights struggles to support his wife and three daughters -- especially when his dwindling finances have him on shaky ground.

He must decide whether to accept the brutal and intimidating job of a debt collector or return to the ring for a comeback to become the champ once again.

If you have On Demand check it out. You can also watch it on Hulu and at FX.

There's lots vested in this show -- Take a look at a stupendous (and fake) documentary made by the folks at FX about Lights Leary.


  1. I dunno, Anthony, I was really disappointed with Boardwalk Empire. I wanted to like it, I really did – I'm such a fan of Steve Buscemi and The Sopranos. But Boardwalk couldn't capture my imagination like the Sopranos, or Six Feet Under did.
    Because you say this one is more "Soprano-esque" I'm gonna give it a shot.
    And because you're you, of course, and no one knows TV like you do.

  2. I'm watching Lights Out and have been blown away. It's excellent in all aspects. I'm involved in a book project coming out this summer unter the series title Fight Card -- pulp style boxing stories set in the '50s. Lights Out gives us hope there is an audience out there for what we're really digging writing.


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