Jeff Bridges in a scene from “The Old Man” TV series on FX. IMDb photo

Here he is, Jeff Bridges, prowling through the opening chapter of Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine’s seven-part series, “The Old Man.”

I’ve been following Jeff’s career for how many years now? I lost count, but I settled on just loving him for being “The Big Lebowski.”

Now here he is all of a sudden, stepping into action, while, suffering from cancer and COVID-19, Jeff steps back into the limelight. That’s a hero. That’s a pro.

At first touch of your remote, you’re not supposed to know that Jeff is Dan Chase, a once-upon-a-time CIA special spook, who stepped away from the guns and roses of the trade, and vanished into the woods in some distant corner of rural America.

But we do — isn’t that why we’re here? Of course.

It opens: One night in the middle of a dream, the old man is awakened by a sound, so soft it doesn’t even rouse his two dogs. You know he’s a man who sleeps with one eye open.


But what they want us to see at first glance is just this old man making his second or third trip to the toilet, followed by his two sleepy Rottweilers.

Now when an old man keeps two Rottweilers at his bedside, we know this is not an assisted living compound. Stay tuned.

And after decades of Bourne and Liam Neeson former-spy thrillers, we know there’s a stranger in the house with a gun, and that he’s not a local hunter who got lost. You don’t hunt deer with a silencer. We’re in Bourne Country.

What follows is the first hour of something that will keep our minds off of the news from Ukraine, COVID numbers and summer pests. Dan will survive the guest, but the guest won’t.

We’re brought suddenly into thriller world, not after the action, but when Dan picks up his phone and makes a call to a woman and growls, “They’ve found me.”

And we’re off.


To quote a now-familiar trope: “Just when he thought he was out, they’re dragging him back in.”

I can tell you no more. Starting your summer trip down the dark, dirty streets, you will meet an even older man — a dapper, robed, dignified grandpa Harold Harper — played by an impressive John Lithgow.

Then, later on in the series, there comes a reunion with our favorite, Amy Brenneman, a girl who has experience with bad guys (Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in “Heat”).

Tune in to “The Old Man.” You won’t regret it.

You can stream The Old Man on Hulu.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: