‘Lodge 49’ Review: Wyatt Russell Shines in AMC’s New Off-Beat Series

Lodge 49 Review
Wyatt Russell as Dud and Sonya Cassidy as Liz in ‘Lodge 49’ (Photo Credit: James Minchin III / AMC)

AMC’s adding another quirky, compelling series to its lineup with the premiere of Lodge 49. Debuting on August 6, 2018, the one-hour show rests squarely on the capable shoulders of Wyatt Russell (Ingrid Goes West, Table 19) who plays Sean “Dud” Dudley, a guy who’s refreshingly optimistic, despite unfortunate circumstances, and wide open to new experiences.

Dud’s a little naïve, a little too trusting, and is basically a real glass half full kind of guy. We catch up with him as he’s wandering through life in Long Beach, California, not certain of his future after unforeseen events sent his carefree existence into a tailspin. A series of traumatic events set him on a course change, taking him from days filled with surfing, working with his dad, and hanging out with his twin sister, Liz (Sonya Cassidy), to time spent loitering in a donut shop and scanning the beach with a metal detector looking for anything worth pawning. It’s on one such day that he comes across a ring belonging to a member of Lynx Lodge 49, an exclusive club like the Elks or Masons.

Dud, a laid-back dude with an abundance of time and a sense of curiosity, finds himself on the lodge’s doorstep and once inside is stricken with a case of déjà vu. It’s immediately apparent he feels connected to Lodge 49 and its eclectic group of interesting individuals who make up the lodge’s membership. Dud believes he can find a home among these people who accept him for who he is: just a guy trying to get by in a world that throws up new roadblocks on a daily basis.

The weird environment that Dud steps into by chance teases a secret world of alchemy, hidden motives, and hope for a brighter future. The colorful characters among Lodge 49’s membership include Dud’s main contact, Ernie Fontaine (Brent Jennings), a plumbing salesman who’s gotten himself into a financial bind. Another standout in the ensemble is Veep’s David Pasquesi who plays Blaise, a pot dealer who dispenses philosophical advice along with his weed.

The relationship between Dud and his sister, Liz, is the heart of the series and comes across as genuine, touching, and one of the most compelling aspects of Lodge 49. The sibling vibe plays out authentically between actors Wyatt Russell and Sonya Cassidy. Liz and Dud are just two flawed characters doing their best to pick each other up, dust each other off, and survive each day – just like most normal brothers and sisters.

Lodge 49’s lead actor Wyatt Russell (son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn) has such an affable quality to him that it’s easy to root for Dud to overcome every obstacle tossed his way. Russell’s perfectly cast as Dud, a character who resembles a younger version of Jeff Bridges’ The Dude from The Big Lebowski.

Series creator Jim Gavin paints a multi-layered picture of these individuals, carefully peeling back the layers as the series’ first 10-episode season plays out. Lodge 49 is surprisingly sweet but not in an obnoxious, trying too hard way. The drama’s mixed with humor and the tone is, overall, light-heartened. AMC’s new series is a breath of fresh air and features a fantastic cast, terrific writing, and a much-needed optimistic story.

Catch Lodge 49 on Mondays at 10pm ET/PT.