Lodge 49 on AMC

“Lodge 49” ON AMC

Pinning a label on AMC’s new series “Lodge 49,” which blends quirky comedy with drama, may be hard to do, and even AMC comes up with its description as a “light-hearted, endearing modern fable set in Long Beach, California.”Whatever it may be, “Lodge 49” is an almost mystical journey about a disarmingly optimistic, yet down-on-his-luck, the surfer named Sean “Dud” Dudley (Wyatt Russell), who’s drifting after the death of his father and collapse of the family pool cleaning business.

A likable character that drives a vintage yellow VW Thing and hangs out at the local donut shop, Dud keeps breaking into the old family home that was sold in foreclosure only because he has no other place to go.

Meanwhile, his sister Liz (Sonya Cassidy), who does not share Dud’s sunny disposition, is waitressing at a local tavern and at least has her own apartment.  Dud ends up on her sofa as a last resort. On one sunny day, as his vehicle stalls, Dud serendipitously finds himself on the doorstep of a rundown fraternal lodge, where a middle-aged plumbing salesman and a “Knight of the Order,” Ernie (Brent Jennings), welcomes him into a world of cheap beer and easy camaraderie.

During the summer TV press, show creator Jim Gavin lamented that social media arms people with “digital hate cannons,” while the Lodge is “a place where different types of people can actually meet face-to-face.” Since Dud doesn’t have a cell phone and can’t even get the local pawnbroker he routinely insults to take any valuables, home of the Ancient and Benevolent Order of the Lynx seems like the place to be regardless of the pushback from his skeptical sister. As observed by the show’s creator, there is a mysterious aspect to the Lodge and “the history of alchemy will send us on different paths and quests.”  One may have to ponder the philosophical facets of “Lodge 49.”