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The Watchman: ‘Lodge 49’s’ Dude Named Dud, Freshening Up ‘Freaky Friday,’ ‘Insecure’ Gets Intense

Wyatt Russell in "Lodge 49"

Wyatt Russell in "Lodge 49"

Lodge 49 premieres on AMC Aug. 6. Wyatt Russell plays Dud, a goofy surfer dude in Long Beach, Calif., who’s in shoddy shape following the death of his father. He ends up at a fraternal lodge, and finds the easy camaraderie — and the cheap beer — helps him heal.

Jim Gavin created the show and Peter Ocko runs it. Gavin said Lodge 49 represents “the culmination of many of my interests and obsessions,” including a “long-term interest in the strangeness of fraternal orders.”

Both executive producers acknowledge the challenge of birthing a series with so much other good stuff out there clamoring for people’s attention. “It’s very hard to cut through the noise,” said Ocko.

He espoused the virtues of “being loud by being quiet”— Lodge 49 does not require the viewer to sort through brain-bending puzzles, like some other series that won’t be named. “It’s the kind of show you can relax with and enjoy,” he said. “Shows about murder mysteries and terror attacks — we are the opposite.”

Ocko said Lodge 49 is a different animal than a series one might expect to find on AMC, home of The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul and, going back a bit, Mad Men. “We are more optimistic than shows they generally do, shows they’re known for,” he said.

"Freaky Friday"

"Freaky Friday"

Speaking of different animals, Disney Channel offers a fresh take on Freaky Friday on Aug. 10. The mother-daughter body-swap story has been done many, many times, but props to Disney Channel, and stars Cozi Zuehlsdorff (teen Ellie) and Heidi Blickenstaff (mother Katherine), for freshening up Freaky Friday this time around.

This one is a musical movie. Mom and teen daughter don’t get along. They swap bodies, thanks to a magical hourglass they are wrestling over, and find a bit of empathy for each other during the day they wear their opposite’s shoes.

Through it all, Mom is to be married (her husband, and Ellie’s father, died years before), and a magazine is interested in the wedding, which Katherine and her catering company are handling themselves.

Laughs come from high school mean girl Savannah, uber-uptight catering manager Torrey, and goofy Great Dane Boris, among others.

And season three of Insecure starts up on HBO on Sunday (Aug. 12). Creator and star Issa Rae said the series brain trust tries “a bunch of new things” in the new season. Prentice Penny, showrunner, didn’t want “Issa does Issa and “Molly does Molly.”

“We want to go deeper,” Rae said.

We shall soon see how Team Insecure pulls that off.