AMC’s Quirky Comedy ‘Lodge 49’ Is an Everyman Charmer

Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Sunny surfer Sean “Dud” Dudley is decades too young — and way too impulsive — to blend in at Lodge 49, the Long Beach, Calif., home of the Order of the Lynx, a decaying fraternity on whose doorstep he seems cosmically deposited. That’s exactly why he wants to join.

Tune in to Lodge 49, AMC’s quirky new “modern fable,” and you likely will, too.

Upended by an injury, his dad’s apparent drowning and the ensuing demise of the family pool supply business, Dud (disarmingly played by Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s son Wyatt Russell) is on hopeful hold. He’s certain he will buy back his dad’s home, save the shop, salve his heartache and get back to a cheery life. He just has no idea where to start.

Other than to torment the real estate guy who’s trying in vain to fill the pool shop’s former spot in a local strip mall.

Then Dud unearths a Lynx membership ring on the beach. His car runs out of gas smack in front of Lodge 49. One peek inside and Dud decides he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be, among the beer-drinking, dart-playing, fez-wearing men and women who bond over middle-aged frustrations and let the order’s ornate robes, curious symbols and tenuous (and hilarious) connection to the philosophical science called alchemy lend a little pomp and circumstance to their otherwise workaday lives.

“They are very optimistic about life, even though they are what we might term losers,” says Brent Jennings, who plays Dud’s mentor Ernie, a longtime Lynx and plumbing supply salesman who pines for his high-school sweetheart Connie (Broadway’s Linda Emond) and is convinced that his professional success lies in the hands of a mysterious mogul known only as Captain. “We meet each of them at a crisis point in their lives, a point where they’re confronting who they are and why they’re here and what it all means, and ‘how do I solve this?’”

Executive produced by Paul Giamatti, Lodge 49 is the creation of Long Beach native and, yes, former plumbing supply salesman Jim Gavin, whose acclaimed 2014 short story collection Middle Men also celebrated underdogs’ strivings. “It’s written as sort of a love poem to the everyday, working-class person,” says Jennings of the series. “I hadn’t read anything with that kind of perspective on life … people coping, looking, searching and having fun while they’re doing it.”

Except for Dud’s beleaguered sister Liz (Sonya Cassidy, Humans) — a former paralegal now waiting tables in an Irish-themed eatery to pay their father’s abandoned debt and fund Dud’s driftlessness — who is having a little trouble with that last part.

“These characters run into a lot of wrong turns and disappointments, and what they thought was one thing turns out to be another thing,” says Jennings. “But they keep on going, and they keep on going optimistically and have a good time while they’re getting up from being knocked down.”

In other words, alchemy or otherwise, they may have discovered the secret of life all by themselves, right there in Lodge 49.

Lodge 49 premieres on ABC Aug. 6 at 10pm ET/PT and airs Mondays.

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About Lori Acken 1193 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.