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The Watchman: 'Terror' Turns Up on AMC, '49'ers Play in Los Angeles

Season two of AMC anthology series The Terror begins Aug. 12. The Terror: Infamy is set during World War II and looks at Japanese-Americans in internment camps. Max Borenstein and Alexander Woo are co-creators and executive produce as well.

Woo said he was a bit hesitant when Borenstein approached him with the idea. For starters, he’s Chinese-American, not Japanese-American. But he came to realize, “It’s a story of Japanese Americans, not a story for Japanese Americans.”

The story is for “everyone shaped by the immigrant experience,” Woo added.

The Terror: Infamy weaves elements of Japanese horror into the story, a concept known as Kaidan. Woo mentioned Dark Water, The Grudge and The Ring as influences.

George Takei, who we loved as Sulu on Star Trek and as George Takei in social media, is in the cast. Takei experienced internment camps as a child. “It seemed natural to have George involved,” Woo said. “Everyone looked up to him and saw his passion.”

Woo comes from a playwright background. The concept of a writers’ room “is very different from how I worked as a playwright,” he said.

Who is the target audience for The Terror? “People interested in this period of history,” said Woo. “And people who might just want something really scary to watch.”

The Terror leads into the second season of Lodge 49 on AMC. The cast and executive producers were at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills to screen the premiere and discuss the show. Star Wyatt Russell, who plays ex-surfer dude Dud, got a kick out of watching the episode with hardcore fans. “It was awesome to hear people’s reactions,” said Russell, son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. “Thanks for laughing!”

The cast shed a bit of light on their characters in the funky comedy-drama, about a surfer guy who ambles into a fraternal order in Long Beach, Eric Allan Kramer, who plays hulking oddball Scott, said he loved playing a “deeply troubled, troubled, troubled individual for another season.”

Sonya Cassidy, who plays Dud’s sister, Liz, said she likes “characters with dirt under her fingernails.” Liz gathers some dirt in the opening scene of the premiere, battling a beggar.

Creator Jim Gavin said Lodge 49 benefits from its open-minded cast. “We can only do the show because we have a cast that understands it on a certain subterranean level,” he said.

Russell connected with the show as soon as he sampled the script. “It seemed like this very special thing,” he said, “that’s never gonna get made.”

Well, it did, and season two is set to roll.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.