I confess that before I started watching The Old Man, I knew absolutely nothing about it. I saw that it starred Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and Alia Shawkat; honestly, that was enough for me.
The fact that it was also a bit of a spy thriller drama was the cherry on top, and so I settled in and, by the end of the first episode, was totally hooked.
But was my initial joy short-lived, or did The Old Man turn out to be another great show worth watching? First let's discuss what it's all about.
What Is The Old Man About?
Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges) is an ordinary guy living a relatively quiet life with his two dogs in a small country town. Then one night, an intruder breaks into his house; Chase kills him, spins a yarn to the local police and drives out of there like a bat outta hell.
Next thing you know, he's on the phone with Harold Harper (John Lithgow), Assistant Director of the FBI, who is trying to convince him to turn himself. Already it's clear that these two have a very long history but now find themselves on opposite sides of the law.
Chase is unwilling to cooperate and finds a temporary hideout (where he meets Zoe) before another assassin arrives, and he has to bolt again.
As we move through the episodes, through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Chase has a complicated past and was CIA during the Soviet-Afghan War in the late 1980s. In fact, that's where he met his now late wife.
Without giving too much of the plot away, it becomes clear that Dan Chase has been on the run for more than three decades from both Faraz Hamzad in Afghanistan and the CIA/FBI in the US since then.
Hamzad is out for revenge and has information he is willing to trade if the Americans can deliver Chase to him.
So as Dan Chase's past catches up with him, he must use every resource at his disposal to go back on the run, protect his daughter and find a way to finally be rid of Hamzad.
Easier said than done when the CIA is after you, a contract killer is tracking you down, and people you thought you could rely on turn on you.
The Old Man Official Trailer
Is The Old Man Worth Watching?
The Old Man starts out great. It's intriguing, the plot is well-paced, the acting is superb, and there's a story that you can get behind.
Then somewhere around episode 4, it starts to become a little ridiculous. ‘The Old Man' is actually in reference to the head of the CIA (or at least I think that's who he is, it's never made explicitly clear), the old mentor of both Dan and Harold.
He has decided that Dan, who he refers to as his son (he's not), needs to be eliminated. So what we get is a crazy cat-and-mouse chase across the US and the Middle East. Did I mention that along the way, Chase ends up having to bring a random woman he met with him?
The central mystery of why exactly Faraz Hamzad is desperate for revenge is so obvious that you can see ‘the twist' coming from a mile away.
Even then, you keep watching, waiting for a resolution. Sadly, there isn't one. At least not in the first season. In fact, I was waiting for the next episode only to discover that the story is basically left hanging in the air.
It's almost like the first season was only created to lay the groundwork for a second season.
So is The Old Man worth watching? Stellar acting from Bridges and Lithgow is just enough to rescue it from the deliberately confusing, yet ultimately disappointing, plot. And somebody really needs to work on the script because no thriller twist should be THAT obvious!
The Old Man Season 2
The Old Man premiered in June 2022 on FX in the United States and Canada. Outside of there, it premiered on Disney+ in July 2022.
It was well received, and the critics loved it. Audiences did too, which made it the most-watched program across all platforms for the first two weeks of its release.
So it was unsurprising when FX renewed it for a second season. Production hasn't begun yet so it will be late 2023 or early 2024 when it drops.
The Old Man Cast
Jeff Bridges (True Grit) as Dan Chase
John Lithgow (Daddy's Home 2) as Harold Harper
E. J. Bonilla as Raymond Waters
Bill Heck as young Dan Chase
Leem Lubany as young Belour Hamzad
Alia Shawkat (Duck Butter) as Angela Adams
Gbenga Akinnagbe as Julian Carson
Amy Brenneman as Zoe McDonald
Pej Vahdat as young Faraz Hamzad
Joel Grey as Morgan Bote
Disney Plus offers a large collection of movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. You can watch classic Disney films, as well as new releases and original content created specifically for the platform.
Stream on up to four screens at once on compatible devices.
For a limited time, customers who purchase the annual subscription can save 16%.
- Apple TV brings you the future of television, right at your fingertips. Immerse yourself in the world of laughter, inspiration, and heartwarming moments with the critically acclaimed show, Ted Lasso, and a plethora of other captivating content.
- Star studded, award winning series and films.
Amazon Prime Video
- Welcome to a world of boundless entertainment, where thrilling stories come to life at your convenience. Amazon Prime Video invites you to explore a universe of gripping narratives, including the adrenaline-pumping series, "Reacher," and an extensive selection of captivating content that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Additional benefits of Prime Membership: Music Streaming Service, Amazon Photos and Exclusive Offers
- Delve into a world of original storytelling, where Disney's creativity knows no bounds. With Disney+ Originals like "The Mandalorian," "WandaVision," and "Loki," you'll witness new narratives and characters that expand the enchanting tapestry of the Disney universe.
- Great collection of Kids series and movies.