Holt McCallany and Catherine McCormack Holt McCallany and Catherine McCormack

Why are we so thankful for FX's new boxing drama Lights Out — a rock 'em, sock 'em respite from the midwinter doldrums? Let us count the ways.

1. Everybody loves a comeback.
We meet 40-year-old Patrick "Lights" Leary (Holt McCallany) five years after a catastrophic title bout. The consequences of that event have left him financially, physically and existentially at sea. And while a return to the ring could mean disaster on every front, McCallany notes it also represents an irresistible psychic pull: "That's where he belongs."

2. A (beaten-up) face to watch.
Remember the first time you saw Jon Hamm as Don Draper and James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano? Well, get ready for some déjà vu, as McCallany, a former amateur boxer, will have you wondering, "Where's this guy been all my life?" Says executive producer Warren Leight: "He's a very skilled, very internal actor with enormous chops, and he's got this physicality that is ridiculous."

3. He's the right man for our times.
"I think people are fed up with bulls--t artists," McCallany says, "and Patrick is basically an honest guy." Following a decade of neurotic antiheroes, Lights is a laconic breath of fresh air. "Everybody in America has been getting clobbered in one way or another," says Leight. "This guy's life is a metaphor for what a man will do to take care of his family these days."

4. Boxing dramas pack a punch.
There's nothing like a brutally rendered prizefight, and McCallany promises, "some of the greatest boxing sequences that have ever been filmed for the small screen."

5. Two words: Stacy Keach!
What good drama doesn't include a tortured father-son relationship? Lights has got one in spades, thanks to Keach. "He's got great soul," Leight notes. Pops Leary, he adds, is "like a real man from a different era, a guy who doesn't want to spend too much time talking about his feelings."

Lights Out premieres tonight at 10/9c on FX.

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