The 3 Best New TV Shows to Watch Right Now!! You'll Thank Me in the Morning
These 3 exceptional shows will remind you why TV is in its new Golden Age.
I’m taking a brief rest from writing about my outrage over the Supreme Court decisions and the January 6 hearings to share the three best TV shows I’ve watched recently. We all need a break sometimes, just to bring down our blood pressure and recharge our battered spirits for the next news cycle of buffoonery and evil. We should never ignore enjoying our lives, even as we fight the good fight. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The three shows featured today are examples of riveting television at its best. Two of the shows might be the kind you expect from me. But the third will surprise you. I hope you’ll trust me enough to give each a chance.
By the way, all the shows mentioned have been renewed for a second season. Great news for me and my blood pressure.
The Old Man (HULU)
The Old Man is Jeff Bridges, who plays a grizzled ex-sniper/spy whose been living out his life as a family man in hiding until the CIA and FBI suddenly wants to bring him in on behalf of an old Afghan enemy. Everything about the premise sounds like a retread of a lot of “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in” stories. But this one is far, far superior in every way.
Instead of the usual cast of stereotypical characters put through the paces of a predictable plot, The Old Man is filled with dynamic and original characters and a plot filled with exciting surprises. But while it’s intensely suspenseful with plenty of action, the series’ real power comes from the great characterization and superb dialogue.
Dan Chase (Bridges) is the aging ex-spy still trying to recover from the death of his wife who’d been suffering from Alzheimer’s. Through flashbacks we learn more about the nature of their relationship, which gives the story more depth of emotion. John Lithgow plays the FBI assistant director in charge of bringing in his old friend, though it would benefit him more if Chase is killed rather than brought in alive. The complexity of their relationship—and the refusal of the show to make Lithgow purely a villain—keep us riveted.
Chase is forced to fight much younger men and these encounters are brutal and awkward, as they would be in real life. He also forms a romantic relationship with a woman (Amy Brenneman) while on the run and that is as emotionally brutal and awkward as the fighting. But it is enormously satisfying to watch a mature relationship between experienced adults who’ve lived with grief and disappointment as they navigate their own vulnerabilities.
This is a compelling take on aging, fatherhood, love, and doing what’s right. All with a lot of bullets and ass-kicking.