The Old Man

The Old Man

A genuinely thrilling series reliably helmed by veteran greats


TV Show

United States of America
English, German
Action & Adventure, Drama
Alia Shawkat, Amy Brenneman, Bill Heck
62 min

What it's about

Dan Chase absconded from the CIA decades ago and now lives off the grid. When an assassin arrives and tries to take Chase out, the old operative learns that to ensure his future he now must reconcile his past.

The take

The Old Man has everything you'd expect from a political thriller. The dialogue is mysterious, the setting striking, and the action sequences gripping. Bullets fly and blood spouts from both sides of the border, and despite what each faction tells you, it's clear there's no such thing as a good guy. Everyone is a killer, it's just a matter of being self-aware that you are one. 

The rarity The Old Man brings to the table is that its protagonist-killer is Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges), a former CIA agent in the twilight of his years. Much of the show's punch comes from Dan and his impressive dexterity. One minute he's having trouble remembering his medication, and the next, he's sharp-shooting assassins half his age from miles away. It should be silly, unrealistic even, but Bridges is convincingly well-built and sells it. 

His bromance with fellow veteran John Lithgow is also worth noting. Lithgow plays Harold Harper, an FBI official who is tasked to hunt down Chase because of their close but complicated relationship. Basically, they're frenemies: former army brothers who've chosen different paths, one to rebel and the other to stay. Their repartee alone, elevated by sharp writing and magnetic onscreen presence, makes the show worth it. But it's the smooth coming-together of all these different elements—the action, the characters, and the twists—that make The Old Man a truly worthwhile watch. 


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