Sunday, January 23, 2011

Round Two: Lights Out

Lights Out: Season 1, Episode 2 “Cakewalk” (B)

Though I said last week that this show felt more accessible than FX’s previous drama series pilot, “Terriers,” I’m not sure how much that’s the case. Like most of FX’s project, it’s very centered around a certain field – in this case, boxing – and, as such, often feels somewhat impenetrable. It’s also hard to watch Lights continue to function like a train wreck, letting down his family more every time he’s trying to fix a mistake he’s made. What makes it even tougher to watch is the fact that this isn’t a man who’s lost everything. He still has his family, and is still married to a wife who supports him, even if he’s not entirely honest with her about things such as the dentist he beat up in the pilot. Seeing his relationship with his daughter who has discovered his debilitating mental condition is among the episode’s most compelling moments, and it’s really a shame that Lights missed his other daughter’s recital, though he did manage to arrive in the nick of time and pretend like he had been there for the event itself. It’s intriguing to see Lights so unintentionally mixed up in the corrupt local government, and Lenny Venito (“The Knights of Prosperity,” “Bored to Death”) is a great choice to play the cop who’s most definitely on the take. That final shot featuring the iPod and the shooting is a powerful one, even if it’s not clear just who shot the cakemaker and thief and how his death is going to further impact Lights’ already complicated life.

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