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Lights Out: Season 1 (2011)

Seasons:
1

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 3

Boxing fans and non-fans alike will gravitate towards Lights Out with its fervent leading actors and a dramatic narrative that doesn't pull any punches.

94

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 1

Boxing fans and non-fans alike will gravitate towards Lights Out with its fervent leading actors and a dramatic narrative that doesn't pull any punches.

audience

100

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 3

My Rating

Season Info

Patrick "Lights" Leary (Holt McCallany) is an ex-heavyweight champ who's scrambling to support his wife, Theresa (Catherine McCormack), a medical resident, and their three daughters. The series takes place five years after Lights' retirement (at Theresa's insistence) following a controversial split-decision loss. The Learys may live in a mansion, but he's going broke, and the IRS is after him and his manager-brother (Pablo Schreiber). In addition, Lights is showing signs of "pugilistic

Network: FX

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Episodes

1
Air date: Jan 11, 2011

Pilot

Holt McCallany plays Patrick "Lights" Leary, an ex-heavyweight champ who's scrambling to support his wife, Theresa (Catherine McCormack), a medical resident, and their three daughters. The series opener begins five years after Lights' retirement (at Theresa's insistence) following a controversial split-decision loss. The Learys live in a mansion, but he's going broke, and the IRS is after him and his manager-brother (Pablo Schreiber). Lights is also showing signs of "pugilistic dementia."

2
Air date: Jan 18, 2011

Cakewalk

Lights is threatened with criminal charges and must do the bidding of loan shark Hal Brennan (Bill Irwin) to make them go away while being circumspect with the suspicious Theresa, who has also heard rumors that he'll return to the ring. "Everyone's jittery these days," he tells her. Meanwhile, daughter Daniella puts two and two together about her father's pugilistic dementia, and daughter Katie has a dance recital coming up. But Brennan has other plans for Lights.

3
Air date: Jan 25, 2011

The Shot

While Johnny tries to persuade promoter Barry Word (Reg E. Cathey) to give the gym's top fighter (Pedro Pascal) a title shot, Lights' daughters prepare a scrapbook for their father's 40th birthday party. Meanwhile, police discover that the MP3 player found on the body of a murdered robber belongs to Lights.

4
Air date: Feb 1, 2011

Bolo Punch

In the wake of Omar's bout, Johnny is having major difficulty with promoter Barry Word's math. Johnny also finds himself in trouble with bookies, and Lights must bail him out. Meanwhile, Theresa pledges $50,000 for a clinic in Haiti.

5
Air date: Feb 8, 2011

The Comeback

After a financial planner lands a haymaker, Lights decides he has to go back into the ring and manages to win Theresa's grudging approval. He then enlists the backing of Hal Brennan (Bill Irwin) in order to avoid Barry Word (Reg E. Cathey), and lines up an opponent with "glass hands."

6
Air date: Feb 15, 2011

Combinations

Lights misses his family after moving into a motel to train for his bout with Morales (Gavin-Keith Umeh) without distractions. No such luck. Reporter Mike Fumosa (Ben Shenkman) keeps pestering him about rumors about his activities in and out of the ring.

7
Air date: Feb 22, 2011

Crossroads

Lights keeps losing weight as the Morales fight nears, and Johnny thinks that their dad is overtraining him. The eye injury he suffered while sparring hasn't healed completely, either. And at home, Daniella, "the good girl," gets in trouble at school. Lights asks Theresa to be in his corner for the fight, and he gets unsolicited support from an unlikely corner: "Death Row" Reynolds (Billy Brown). "We've got this 'thing'," he tells Lights.

8
Air date: Mar 1, 2011

Head Games

After defeating Morales, Lights hires trainer Ed Romeo (Eamonn Walker), who once trained Death Row Reynolds. Romeo is part boxing guru and part psychologist, and his approach is very different from Pops'. Meanwhile, Theresa worries about Ava's attitude about life.

9
Air date: Mar 8, 2011

Infight

The training regimen Ed Romeo (Eamonn Walker) is imposing on Lights splits the Leary family: Theresa and the girls don't like its late-night hours, but they do like Ed. Johnny doesn't, and he's upset that Ed won't let Lights promote the Reynolds fight. For his part, Ed thinks that Lights' brother is "bleeding him dry."

10
Air date: Mar 15, 2011

Cut Men

Lights' setback wins him little sympathy from either Death Row Reynolds or Barry Word. Meanwhile, Theresa makes a career decision as her graduation from medical school approaches; and Margaret Leary has a new boyfriend.

11
Air date: Mar 22, 2011

Rainmaker

The package Lights delivered for Hal Brennan comes back to haunt him when a politician tied to Brennan gets caught up in a prostitution scandal. Meanwhile, Lights tries to help a punch-drunk former champ (David Morse).

12
Air date: Mar 29, 2011

Sucker Punch

The word on the street is that Lights is going to throw the Reynolds fight, though it's news to Lights. Meanwhile, Lights gets a surprise visitor: his mother (Valerie Perrine), an alcoholic who left Pops for a drummer 17 years ago. Reaction in the family to her return is mixed.

13
Air date: Apr 5, 2011

War

Series finale: Lights goes to war with Death Row Reynolds for the heavyweight title. But first, Hal Brennan declares war on promoter Barry Word. Lights isn't opposed, but he does have a suggestion. Meanwhile, Word has one last prefight word for Lights, and Theresa runs into Death Row's wife, Jennifer (Reiko Aylesworth).

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (3)

Lights Out might not deliver a knockabout blow in its opening round, but it goes the distance and ensures you'll be planted on your seat ready for the bell to sound for round two.

January 15, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Lights Out has the perfect opportunity to take its time and explore a multitude of situations that affect a retired boxer and the people around him.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Fanatic
TV Fanatic

FX gives us Lights Out - which may well end up, 50 weeks from now, as the best new drama series of the year.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: NPR

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.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

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

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

With Lights Out, a gripping new series about a middle-aged boxer who may not be as washed-up as he seems, FX continues to redefine the notion of a TV hero.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide
TV Guide

Despite some compelling moments, Lights Out isn't always an easy show to like.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Huffington Post
Huffington Post

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

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday

Ding! Ding! Ding! Chalk up Lights Out as another creative success for FX, the basic cable network that specializes in series with male-skewing milieus (dirty cop, firefighter, biker gang, U.S. marshal) that also present female-friendly character drama.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I can't wait to see more of it.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: HitFix

Lights Out, a very, very good new boxing drama, may not turn out to be the best series FX has ever made, but it is probably the most quintessential.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine

There is storytelling of a powerful kind in Lights Out.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal

It's frequently very fun to watch, especially when either Stacy Keach or lead Holt McCallany (whose work takes a bit to get used to but should settle with most audiences by the end of the pilot) is on screen.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club

No other sport better reflects our most primeval instincts - and FX's new Lights Out captures enough of that intensity to become one of the most arresting new shows on television.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News

There aren't enough right-hook moments in the script, which could prompt some viewers to beat it before the getting gets good.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Lights Out is a cleverly updated version of the Rocky story, but with other dimensions that appeal to viewers - male and female - who don't give a fig about the sweet science.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times

You really don't need to be a fan of the sport to be a fan of the show.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe

Question: Is it legal to bet on a staged boxing match? If so, I'm taking the odds on Lights Out.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post

It's a monster performance with both subtlety and power. You can't take your eyes off McCallany, and in turn, Lights Out has a hook that comes out of nowhere.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter

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.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post

As episodes go by, and the ensemble expands, the show gains depth.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Vulture
Vulture

This is a family drama, and you watch it less concerned with what Leary is out to win than with what he might lose.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times

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.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle

After a so-so start, Lights Out does turn into a good series.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today

Gloves on or off, it keeps scoring points.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Uncle Barky
Uncle Barky

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.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety

The boxing genre is rife with familiar tropes... and Lights Out doesn't avoid them. At its strongest, it freshens those themes without melodrama, opting instead for slow-boil tension.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly

Lights Out could have been the tragic tale of a former champ reduced to barely being recognized - and that's part of it - but the writing is crisp and well-paced enough that it never feels a sob story.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: HollywoodChicago.com
HollywoodChicago.com

We're particularly drawn to the way the series taps into Leary's family life outside the ring.

January 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Zap2it.com

Viewers will be hooked from the start.

January 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Media Life
Media Life

The pilot introduces a number of well written, complicated story arcs that never devolve into the cartoonish, even in the few scenes when a couple of unlucky guys want to poke the bear that is Lights Leary.

January 10, 2011 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

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