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Mythic Quest: Everlight Imagines a Hopeful, Post-COVID Future

Live. Love. LARP.

mythic quest everlight

Everyone loves the delightful series Ted Lasso, and rightfully so. But there’s another Apple TV+ comedy full of heart and humor that folks are sleeping on. I’m talking about Mythic Quest, the video game developer workplace comedy created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Mythic Quest stars McElhenney as Ian Grimm, the egotistical yet insecure creator of Mythic Quest, a massively popular online RPG in the vein of World of Warcraft. Throughout the first season, Grimm butts heads with neurotic game producer David (David Hornsby) and his hyper-competent and under-appreciated lead engineer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao).

Mythic Quest’s first season debuted last year to critical acclaim, but they truly set themselves apart with their special episode “Quarantine.” Like many shows, the episode experimented with the Zoom call format and found comedy in the struggles of working from home. But while many shows struggled to nail the tone and feel of quarantine life, Mythic Quest delivered a deeply moving meditation on loneliness and isolation. That, coupled with a truly inventive Rube Goldberg-style sequence, made “Quarantine” one for the history books.

In advance of their upcoming second season, Mythic Quest released another special episode that works as a bookend to “Quarantine”. “Everlight” picks up post-COVID, with everyone back in the office to celebrate Everlight, a fictional in-game holiday. Everlight is part renaissance faire, part rager, and part workplace bonding, as the employees dress up in cosplay and participate in a LARPing tournament inspired by the game’s mythology.

In a gorgeously animated opening sequence, Anthony Hopkins (in voice-over) tells the tale of a brave knight who defeats the demons of darkness with a sword of hope and light. Ian and Poppy, roleplaying as king and queen (in a nod to Poppy’s promotion from last season), oversee the games, where Poppy discovers that Ian rigs the game every year to ensure that an underdog saves the day. The entire event is designed to inspire hope and team building, but it’s based on manipulation.

What follows is a very funny episode, that also addresses the awkwardness and uncertainty of returning to the workplace. In an interview with Den of Geek, McElhenney said, “We all recognize that it’s going to be a difficult transition, … We can’t just fly past that as if it didn’t happen. We have to at least pay respects to the fact that it’s going to be a difficult transition for people to go from where we are now back to a sense of normalcy. That’s where the episode is born out of.”

As the episode continues, Ian and Poppy are forced to contend with Brad (Danny Pudi) the sociopath employee from monetization who hates Everlight. As they fight, their LARPing is transformed via CGI into a full-on fantasy battle. It’s an apt metaphor for the queasy post-COVID feelings we all share. Even as millions of people are vaccinated, there is still much trepidation and fear around post-COVID life. And more than that, there’s the fear that comes with being hopeful again after the most hopeless year in recent memory.

“We wanted the legend of Everlight to bring people into a space that felt very mystical and full of wonder, but also spoke to the feelings that people have been having during this quarantine. This feeling of a sort of darkness creeping in,” Ganz says. Together, both “Quarantine” and “Everlight” deliver a thoughtful, funny exploration of working and living through the pandemic.

Season 2 of Mythic Quest premieres Friday, May 7, 2021 on Apple TV+. And trust me when I tell you, it’s going to be your new favorite show.

(via Den of Geek, image: Apple TV+)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.