Watching: A Low-Key Fave Streams at Last

Or, finish that “Mad Men” rewatch.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

FX announced yesterday that “It’s Always Sunny Philadelphia” has been renewed for a 15th season — and yes, that’s a record, edging out “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” for longest-running live-action comedy. For most other superveterans, I worry about repetitive ruts, joylessness or a lack of imagination, but those are not issues for “It’s Always Sunny,” which continues to be as bold as ever. (All 14 seasons are available on Hulu.)

I’m in the middle of a “Good Wife” rewatch, and it’s a real bright spot. If you’re in the middle of a rewatch that’s bringing you joy in trying times, I’d love to know:

See you Friday.


I want something really good that I’ve never seen

From left, Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula.Danny Feld/TNT

‘Men of a Certain Age’

When to watch: Now, on HBO Max.

This low-key beauty has been painfully absent from streaming platforms, so it is my true joy to tell you it is now available on HBO Max, which debuted today. “Men” aired on TNT back in 2009-11, and like most shows that are this thoughtful about human frailty and about that weird “I thought I would have more things figured out by now” feeling, it was too beautiful for our filthy world. It aired a mere 22 episodes.


Scott Bakula, Andre Braugher and Ray Romano star as three BFFs who are all feeling a little unmoored these days — or is it that they’re feeling stuck? The show finds its drama in grounded, relatable issues: anxiety and depression, divorce, a fear of losing one’s edge, a fear of having maintained perhaps too much edge, family conflicts, money stress. Luckily that’s balanced by a genuine hangout vibe, by endearing characters and by warm, intimate performances.

Nothing so crazy happens, and no one is a serial killer or a time-bender or anything. But if you like not-too-heavy dramas, family dramas, ensemble shows or grown-up shows, watch this.

Wait, what is HBO Max?

Yeah, seriously. It’s another streaming platform, and you might even already have it, depending on your cable provider or whether you already have HBO or HBO Now. (Or you might have a cable provider that doesn’t support it at all, in which case you are out of luck. Who doesn’t love byzantine cable nonsense!) It’s $15 per month, with a seven day free trial, and it’s available only in the United States.

No, a different ‘Men’

From left, Melinda McGraw, Jon Hamm, Maggie Siff and Nick Toren in the Season 2 episode of “Mad Men” “The New Girl.”Carin Baer/AMC

‘Mad Men’

When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

“Mad Men” is leaving Netflix June 9, and its precise streaming future is unclear. (I’m sure it will land somewhere, eventually.) That’s maybe not enough time to get through all 90 episodes, but if you were going to rewatch select favorites, the time is now.


Conventional “Mad Men” wisdom would be to rewatch “The Suitcase,” from Season 4, which is probably the best episode. But I love “The New Girl,” from Season 2, when Don gets in a minor car crash and calls on Peggy for assistance. People on “Mad Men” like to give Peggy advice, though that advice is often more for themselves than for the enterprising Ms. Olsen. She gets a lot of advice in “The New Girl.”

If you like to steer into the skid, though, rewatch Season 5. It’s the one in which everything is terrible, the world is rotting, and everyone is preoccupied with death. “Mad Men” doesn’t suggest that we become our truest selves under duress — God forbid, but also, the show doesn’t really believe in truest selves — but rather that we’ll repeat whatever patterns are the most familiar, same as we do in the boom years.


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