Apple TV+'s Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet is a fun, well-intentioned show that demonstrates how innovation can thrive on a streaming platform. From Megan Ganz, and Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the series follows the misadventures of a gaming company who run a successful Massive-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) Mythic Quest. The game released an expansion called Raven's Banquet.
"Mythic Quest": What It's All About
Mythic Quest stars McElhenney as Ian, the visionary responsible for the game. For those not familiar with Sunny, he also plays Mac, an egotistical, aloof, and insecure alpha male. I couldn't escape the feeling McElhenney played Ian like his Sunny counterpart, but if he ran a company. Like Mac, Ian is self-absorbed and focused far more on getting his ideas implemented than listening to his co-workers, especially his lead engineer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao).
The strength of the show is built primarily on McElhenney and Nicdao's chemistry. As the lead programmer in a male-dominated industry, Poppy finds herself stressed and butting heads with Ian and occasionally the other senior staff like Brad (Danny Pudi) and David (David Hornsby). Poppy's neurotic tendencies and role as a straight person are a strong driving force of the series. While she holds the game together, her voice often gets marginalized nonchalantly, because most of the male characters lack empathy.
Mythic Quest hovers carefully on Poppy's struggles being taken seriously and accepting the status quo. Most of the series, the staff take her for granted and like the character herself, it gets frustrating when it goes back and forth to the same problems. There's enough going on with the other characters to keep the series running. Since Poppy's the main focus, it feels like her character doesn't make the strides she needs until the season finale, which is a frustrating journey in and of itself. Nicdao shines given what she has to work with, but it feels like the writing needed to do more with her character.
Strong Supporting Cast
There is substance to some of the other characters like C.W. Longbottom (F. Murray Abraham), a science fiction and fantasy writer who helped craft much of Mythic Quest's lore. While C.W. has some standout quirks, they often regulate him to an out of touch, innovatively resistant has been, who occasionally spouts wisdom. He's the office Zoidberg.
There are a few Gen Z characters like Jo (Jessie Ennis), who loves the unfiltered one-liner. She does way more than asked as David's intern. Hornsby gives David the similar comedic chops as he does for "Cricket" in Sunny as a man barely keeping it together and one crisis away from falling apart. Rachel (Ashly Burch) and Dana (Imani Hakim) are game testers for Mythic Quest. The two have quite a rapport together, but Rachel's nervous about confessing her feelings for Dana. There's an organic growth between the two, which I'm looking forward to seeing more in season two.
One storyline that didn't work for me is how the company was reliant on a single influencer to drive Mythic Quest's popularity. It seemed out of touch and lazy considering how it feels out of touch with reality. The influencer in question Pootie Shoe (Elisha Henig) is a take-off of figures in Twitch. Given what transpired in the season, the writers needed to develop that angle better.