Workplace comedy, which was once a staple of any broadcast network, is slowly becoming an endangered species as streamers and cables take over. As more comedies with one camera require fewer single sets, the fun shows that focus on day jobs have slowly lost their dominance. One smarter and more unpredictable, however, remains on Apple TV + in “Mythic Quest,” created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz (Employees on FXLoverIt’s always sunny in Philadelphia”). Season one built a loyal following through word of mouth, and two smart standalone episodes – “Quarantine” in May 2020 and “Everlight” on April 16 – helped keep interest high for a second season. There are times during this run when a sense of uncertainty about what to do now creeps in, but it almost feels appropriate as the entire Mythic Quest team is grappling with the same problem.
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The workplace in “Mythic Quest” is a video game studio run by the walking ego Ian Grimm (the very funny McElhenney, best known for playing Mac on “Sunny”). Grimm and his lead developer and now co-creative director Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) are trying to figure out what to do next with their MMORPG by basically sending every power player to their respective corner to develop the next phase of their gaming empire. The uncertainty about how to pursue a success cleverly mixes with the ego in the second season of “Mythic Quest”, as Poppy and Ian feel that they cannot show each other weakness and yet they are able are able to run the studio effectively. It’s almost like the writers embed the inherent concerns of a sophomore break-in into their fictional story as well.
Most of the other main characters are back in the studio as well, with the exception of F. Murray AbrahamC. W. Longbottom, who works remotely for most of the season because, as McElhenney told the Television Critics Association, “didn’t want to be known as the person who made F. Murray Abraham very, very sick”. Play tester Rachel (Ashly Burch) and Dana (Imani Hakim) are also testing their new relationship while realizing that they may have new career opportunities that could make this difficult. David (David Hornsby), executive producer of Mythic Quest, is again caught in the middle of most office dramas, but even he’s trying to assert a new dominance.
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Power is a major theme in Season 2 of Mythic Quest, often reflected in the fact that putting too much emphasis on it in a workplace scenario only leads to creative stasis. Even Brad (Danny Pudi), the company’s cynical money man, worries he won’t show enough of it and softens as he meets the people around him, and Jo (Jessie Ennis), the company’s power junkie, is struggling to figure out which alpha to support. Who is in charge when everyone in the company is a brilliant achievement?
The uncertainty in the narrative of season 2 makes the new episodes seem a little less focused than the first. In the end, when Poppy and Ian introduce their expansions to the game, it’s almost a shock to remember that this was the main storyline of the year. It’s a show that could be a little more focused and urgent, which could have been resolved due to shutdowns and rewritings related to COVID (it got bad enough that at least 26 crew members tested positive, according to Variety).
While it’s a very smart show, it has a casual tone that can do it
Share this so that it feels a bit jumbled up at the last minute. It’s a talent
enough ensemble that the feeling of seeing what happens is part of the writing
and plotting is still fun, but it also feels like a show
That’s just one step away from its size and it can be frustrating to feel
as if it falls short of its potential. Hopefully less contagious
Season three could find that focus.
However, the second season has a three-episode run
that justifies each of the problems with the rest of it. Without spoiling anything
There is again a stand-alone flashback episode that the
Overall show and shows how deceptively clever this program can be. By doing
first season, Jake Johnson and Cristin Milioti played in one
brilliant half hour with none of the main characters appearing and that happens again
this season with a different type of origin story for one of the central shows
Character. What follows is a fantastic bottle episode in which the whole
The staff is in a room arguing over a personality test that reveals the type of animal
They range from a lion to a butterfly (a guess which end of that
Spectrum that most people want to be on). In what is possibly best for the show
Episode in both seasons, the font is tighter and the ensemble shows a
The kind of chemistry as a whole that one desires will be more prominent in the future
Seasons. And then, no spoilers, a counter for the flashback
Episode that features a fantastic guest appearance from none other than Wilhelm
Injured. ((Snoop Dogg and Derek Waters also guest star in a show
that is often inspired in his casting.)
The excellent three-episode run of “Mythic Quest” season two is a happy reminder of how powerful this comedy can be when it really clicks. And the start and finish of the season have just enough laughs to make it happen. Workplace comedies have always been about memorable people from Sam Malone to Michael Scott, and that’s exactly what starts to develop here when actors like McElhenney, Pudi, Nicdao, and the rest of the cast really start defining their characters’ personalities. While comedy in the workplace may not be the dependable powerhouse it once was on television, Mythic Quest is a reminder of how effective it can be when done well. [B]
“Mythic Quest” Season 2 debuts May 7th on Apple TV +.