Of all the main cast of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, Rob McElhenney has branched out the least. This is what made “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet”, so intriguing when the trailer launched in June 2019. A sitcom about a video game studio, this is the first major project he has also started along with the cult FX sitcom.
Another interesting aspect was that it was being launched on the new streaming service, Apple TV+. This means that in order to legally watch the show, viewers will have to either do a 30 day trial, or shell out another $4.99 a month. You have to wonder whether fans of Sunny will bother to purchase another streaming service with Netflix, Amazon Prime and now Disney also dominating the market.
In terms of the show itself, it strikes some good notes. Very few shows have strayed into the realm of video games for its main plot. Based around an online role playing game in the style of “World of Warcraft” called “Mythic Quest”, it parodies many aspects of not just the video game universe but also just 21st Century Silicon Valley office politics.
It’s well casted, featuring Danny Pudi from “Community”, David Hornsby also from “It’s Always Sunny…”, F. Murray Abraham as a clichéd wizened writer delivered with a wink and a mostly unknown actor Charlotte Nicdao who as Poppy, McElhenney’s main foil in his starring role as the video game’s creator Ian Grimm, stands out as one of the best characters in the show.
Donning a Jack Dorsey-esque outfit and an ego to match, McElhenney expertly mocks the godlike status attributed to those at the top of new media and modern industry. At the end of the day, these are mostly people who had a couple ideas of varying success and then made a lot of money off the back of their employee’s labour.
The show also mocks the status of Twitch streamers with the character of Pootie Shoe. Mythic Quest’s executives live and die on the word of an obnoxious 14-year-old due to his huge and rabid fanbase to great comedic effect.
Another innovative aspect of the show was the change in tone in episode five. It featured a completely new narrative about a young couple who created a video game in the 2990’s, and eventually had to break up due to creative differences and having different views of the corporate nature of the industry.
Ultimately though, it’s hard to see fans of Sunny also jumping collectively to Apple TV+ just to watch one show. With other shows on the platform being not just totally different but also critically panned, despite some success for The Morning Show, Mythic Quest may have to jump ship in order to survive.
After all, if a promising new comedy falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still exist?
Image Credit: Apple