<span id="vdptl"></span>
<span id="vdptl"></span>
<span id="vdptl"><video id="vdptl"></video></span>
<strike id="vdptl"></strike>
<strike id="vdptl"><dl id="vdptl"><ruby id="vdptl"></ruby></dl></strike>
<ruby id="vdptl"></ruby>
<span id="vdptl"><video id="vdptl"></video></span>
<strike id="vdptl"></strike>
<span id="vdptl"></span>
<strike id="vdptl"></strike><strike id="vdptl"></strike>
<strike id="vdptl"></strike>
×

‘Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet’ on Apple TV Plus: TV Review

The new comedy from the 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' team takes on the video game world with sharp, hilarious insight.

With:
Rob McElhenney, Danny Pudi, F. Murray Abraham

30 mins.

Given just how colossal the video game industry is, it’s pretty wild that more TV shows haven’t tried to delve deeper into it (except, of course, when in need of inspiration from some previously established and particularly valuable IP). But it’s maybe for the best that one of the first series to take it seriously — while also making merciless, informed fun of it — is “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” a new comedy from the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” team that has a sly bite behind every hilarious joke.

As conceived by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz, “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” — so named for the long-awaited “Raven’s Banquet” expansion that launches in the pilot episode — is smart to take most of its structural cues from other workplace comedies, including character archetypes including an insecure and unpredictable boss Ian (McElhenney), the not-so-secretly diabolical assistant (Jessie Ennis), and a beleaguered HR representative trying desperately to convince everyone that she is not, in fact, a free in-house therapist. Every character, from Ian to the pair of game testers (Ashly Burch and Imani Hakim) tentatively flirting in the wings, is drawn with specific and vivid detail that gives their individual sense of humor context and drive.

Ian is the chaotic creative mind behind “Mythic Quest,” a “World of Warcraft”-esque collaborative game that steadily generates millions even while fending off constant competitors. The original inspiration for the game came from the novels of C.W. Longbottom (Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham, having the time of his life), an eccentric sci-fi writer who doesn’t need to understand video games to bask in the praise his stories have been getting since Ian got a hold of them. Meanwhile, ostensible righthand man David (“It’s Always Sunny” recurring player David Hornsby) is mostly an anxious mess set to a constant low boil, while resident corporate shark Brad (a measured, scene-stealing Danny Pudi) keeps his cool at all times in the pursuit of finding more ways to bleed their customers dry. All four of these men, collectively played with a calculated grin, are variations on a theme of character that “It’s Always Sunny” has perfected over its 14 (and counting!) seasons: insecure, egotistical men who make life harder for most everyone around them, both by accident and design. There’s even a mini-me in the making with Elisa Henig’s “Pootie Shoe,” a teen streaming sensation who can make or break a game — and, much to everyone else’s annoyance, knows it.

On the flip side is Ian’s real secret weapon Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao), a brilliant young programmer who nonetheless spends half her time trying to corral Ian’s more ludicrous instincts. Nicdao gives as good as she gets from McElhenney, making Poppy and Ian a wonderful, compelling odd couple (of friends — there’s never a hint of romance between them, a refreshing and frankly necessary change of pace). But the real key to Poppy, the show’s anchor and immediate standout, is that she isn’t some basic, annoyed voice of reason. She’s ambitious, smart, power hungry, and downright weird in her own right. At her best (or at least funniest), she’s enraged as she constantly has to keep proving herself, and try to make her own mark on Mythic Quest beyond making Ian’s dreams come to life.

Outside of the characters, the show’s also smart in the ways it tackles some of the particular issues facing the industry it’s depicting. One episode, for instance, has David scrambling to give an empowering tour of the office to a group of wide-eyed schoolgirls, only to have the few female employees available confirm that even though they love it, yes, it is very hard to be A Woman in Gaming. Another has the characters attempting to handle an influx of white supremacist players, first by immediately agreeing to ban them, before backsliding into semantic debates all too familiar to anyone unfortunate enough to have frequented Twitter in the past decade. Then there’s the one in which the game get hacked, leading to Ian scoffing that “no one cares about privacy, they just want a good story” — and ultimately, being proved right. One of the best episodes is a complete tonal departure in the form of an extended flashback, starring perpetual sitcom MVPs Jake Johnson and Cristin Milioti as partners in life and business whose gaming company quickly buckles under the pressures of cynical corporate demands.

It would be enough for “Mythic Quest” to be funny, and it is. But in taking on the complex, under-examined world of video gaming, the creative team gave themselves a rich area in which their wild, clever, selfish characters can bounce around unlike any other currently on TV.

“Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” premieres Friday, February 7 on Apple TV Plus. 30 mins. (9 episodes; all watched for review.)

'Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet' on Apple TV Plus: TV Review

Production: Executive producers: Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, Michael Rotenberg, Nicholas Frenkel, Jason Altman, Danielle Kreinik, Gérard Guillemot, David Hornsby, and Megan Ganz.

Cast: Rob McElhenney, Danny Pudi, F. Murray AbrahamImani Hakim, Charlotte Nicadao, David Hornsby, Ashly Burch, and Jessie Ennis.

More TV

  • Sofia Vergara arrives at the 32nd

    PaleyFest LA 2020 Postponed As Coronavirus Concerns Grow

    The Paley Center has opted to postpone its signature annual PaleyFest LA event, which was scheduled to kick off this Friday with a tribute to retiring sitcom “Modern Family.” “For several weeks now, the Paley Center, along with our venue host, The Dolby Theatre, has monitored the situation closely, staying in daily contact with local, [...]

  • Riverdale

    'Riverdale' Suspended After Production Member Was in Contact With Coronavirus Patient

    Production of “Riverdale” has been suspended after a member of the production came into contact with someone who recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, according to Warner Bros. Television. It is not clear whether that person is part of the cast or the crew. “We have been made aware that [...]

  • ABC Comedy Pilot Inspired by Kelly

    ABC Comedy Pilot Inspired by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest Sets Cast

    ABC’s single-cam comedy “Work Wife,” which is inspired by inspired by the partnership between Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, has set its cast. Ripa, who was already on board as an executive producer, has been cast alongside Angelique Cabral, Tone Bell, Christopher Gorham, Annapurna Sriram, Matt Shively and Maile Flanagan. The prospective series tells the story of [...]

  • TV Roundup: Adult Swim Drops 'Three

    TV News Roundup: Adult Swim Releases 'Three Busy Debras' Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Variety obtained an exclusive first look at Adult Swim’s “Three Busy Debras,” and actor Juan Alfonso will star in Disney Channel series “Ultra/Violent Blue Demon.”  CASTING Juan Alfonso will play the role of Sebastian Rodriquez on the upcoming pilot for Disney Channel original series “Ultra Violet & Blue Demon,” Variety [...]

  • Stanley NelsonPBS 'Boss: The Black Experience

    Listen: Filmmaker Stanley Nelson on Nurturing the Next Generation of Documentary Stars

    Ask Stanley Nelson about the key to his longevity as a documentary filmmaker and he doesn’t hesitate with his response: “Luck.” Nelson is the director-producer behind such recent films as “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” which premiered at Sundance last year and is now part of PBS’ “American Masters” series, 2015’s “The Black Panthers: [...]

  • Emmy DVD Screeners

    TV Academy's Emmy Screener Ban Is Here to Help the Planet, but Not Necessarily the Wallet

    The Television Academy’s decision to ban DVD mailers from the Emmy Awards campaign initially earned widespread raves from networks and studios. But then came the fine print. Because of new fees attached to their online Emmy screeners, several major outlets have expressed frustration that they’re not saving money like that thought they would once the [...]

  • SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 17:

    AT&T's Xandr Ad-Tech Unit Struck a Big New Deal. Then Its CEO Resigned

    Brian Lesser had every reason to be proud of Xandr, the ad-tech company he led. On Wednesday, it unveiled a new deal to do work with Walt Disney, WarnerMedia and AMC Networks. He celebrated in an odd way: He quit. Lesser, a well-regarded advertising executive, had expanded his profile after coming aboard in the summer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content

天天影视网