The breakout show for Apple TV+ has arrived: Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. It’s hilarious, but also has heart.
This isn’t a typical office comedy. It’s set at a video game development company, so episodes are a struggle between employees trying to be creative, others trying maximize profitability, and people caught in the middle just hoping to get the code shipped on time.
As you’d expect in a comedy, the characters have some… quirks. Rob McElhenney plays Ian Grimm, who thinks himself brilliant. Charlotte Nicdao plays Poppi, a developer who’s a bit obsessive about her code. Screen legend F. Murray Abraham portrays a writer with a twisted past. And David Hornsby plays David, the poor guy who has to somehow manage a process and people that make him more neurotic every day.
It would have been very easy to make these characters two-dimensional. Mythic Quest could be just populated with stereotypes, like the egotistical boss, the uptight programmer, or the horny old goat.
But the show goes beyond that. These people have depth. Depth that goes beyond just a backstory. The peak of the first episode isn’t some madcap event. It’s two people realizing that they aren’t as different as they thought they were, and finding a way to work together for the good of the game.
It’s all about the game
“Mythic Quest is a testament to the madness that is a video game development company,” says McElhenney. And real-world game developer Ubisoft assisted with development of this series, which really shows.
It must be Ubisoft that suggested that everyone in the show constantly follow the YouTube channel of an utterly obnoxious 14-year-old influencer with 10 million gamer followers. Or made the guy in charge of monetizing the game a sociopath.
Mythic Quest would be an utterly different if it was about people who made widgets or did accounting. But because the characters really care about the game they are creating, that love of the game brings them together, despite their disparate personalities.
You don’t have to know anything about the gaming industry to understand what’s going on. About the most technical the series gets is mentioning loot boxes, and you can figure that out in context.
That said, gamers will love this show. I‘ve enjoyed a few thousand hours of RPGs over the decades, and really appreciated many of the references made.
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet final thoughts
Mythic Quest is brilliant. I’d call it the best show on Apple TV+, but that’s a low bar. Instead, say it’s the first show on Apple’s new streaming video service that you’ll love.
Its characters aren‘t just hilariously flawed, they are also likable. And that combination is what makes this show so enjoyable.
If you got a new iPhone, iPad or Mac for Christmas or Hanukkah, claim your free year of Apple TV+ before the end of February. Otherwise, it’s worth $4.99 to sign up to watch all nine episodes of Mythic Quest.