26 January 2011

I Think I Found My New "Sopranos"

It's difficult to love boxing. Watching people beat up each other so that one of them could go home wearing this golden belt? That's not entertainment. That's also not a sport I can cheer for.

So, I didn't find any reason to look forward to watching Lights Out when I learned that it was about a boxing hero.

Not expecting to like the first episode, I was actually proven wrong.

I'm glad I was.

Because in spite of the shocking first scene, the rest of the show actually had a very engaging story to tell.

And I found myself loving Lights Out.

Love it enough to say, this is The Sopranos of boxing.

The series is about a former champion, Lights Leary, who had to give up on his lucrative career as a boxer, as his wife had wished. The last fight left Lights really badly beaten up; his face already unrecognizable. Five years later, he discovers he's got a condition called Boxing Dementia and he is going bankrupt.

To manage keeping with the lifestyle he and his family have been accustomed to after becoming a champion boxer, Lights take on odd jobs commissioned by his brother and finance manager. I suspect his brother is mishandling his bank account,  but that's not the only problem Lights needs to deal with.
  • There's Lights' family and his promise to his wife that he will never step inside the boxing ring ever again. How's he going to convince her he's gearing for a comeback? How's he going to tell her he needs this so that they can keep the nice car, the nice house and the kids can stay in the private school?
  • There's Lights' 2nd daughter, who has figured out her dad is losing his mind. How long can she keep his father's secret? And what can possibly happen to Lights knowing that his condition is either going to kill him instantly or never going to matter at all (it's apparently an extreme one)?
  • There's Lights' extended family --- a father, a brother, a sister  and a nephew. All of them figure so much into Lights' daily activities. They are either at odds with each other or supporting each other.
Lights Out deliver so many similarities to the tone that made The Sopranos one of TV's best. Although, it's not exactly delivering knock-outs in terms of buzz and hype (compared to when The Sopranos was on air) and I don't expect it to be as successful.  But give watching it a try.  The show is layered, well-crafted and well-acted that even if you despise boxing, you will find this series compellingly entertaining.