Charlotte Nicdao, Rob McElhenney

Mythic Quest Returns With a Hilarious and Soulful Second Season

Don't sleep on this series.

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The pandemic was full of surprises, and let’s be real: most of them were BAD. But one scrappy little show managed to address our collective sense of anxiety in a truly stunning quarantine special episode. Mythic Quest, Apple TV+’s workplace comedy set in the world of video game development, was one of the few series that truly rose to the challenge of COVID-era production, delivering a poignant episode about remote working and isolation.

Mythic Quest, created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), stars McElhenney as Ian Grimm, the egotistical yet deeply 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).

Before returning for season two, Mythic Quest premiered another special episode, “Everlight“, a fictional in-game holiday which saw the gang return to the office for their annual blowout bash and LARPing tournament. It was a welcome return to normalcy that set the stage for season two of the series by shifting the alliances within the office.

The end of the first season saw Poppy’s promotion to co-creative director, which puts her at the same level as Ian. Now, the two must collaborate to design the latest expansion of the game. The two naturally butt heads, as Ian is able to command the room with his confident visionary persona while Poppy flails with unreasonable demands and zero sympathy for the people who now work below her. And while they frequently disagree, there is depth and compassion buried in their co-dependent relationship. The series smartly eschews a will-they-won’t-they dynamic for a platonic love story about two people obsessed with their work.

On television, women in the workplace are often portrayed as people-pleasers, desperate to win the respect and approval of their employees. It’s refreshing then, to see a boss like Poppy who has zero qualms about being likeable or inspirational. The second episode sees Poppy give a speech at a Women in Games conference, where she delivers an awkward, rambling speech about how sick she is of apologizing for being a stressed out mess. And while it may not seem like it, Poppy is slowly absorbing Ian’s ability to tread the fine line between inspiration and emotional manipulation. Nicdao remains an energetic standout in a stellar cast.

The rest of the cast are dealing with their own shifting relationships. Nebbish producer David (David Hornsby) finds himself dumped by his chaotic evil assistant Jo (Jessie Ennis), who leaves his desk for a mentorship under comically evil money man Brad (Danny Pudi). Adorable game testers Rachel (Ashley Burch) and Dana (Imani Hakim) finally pursue an inter-office romance, while head writer C.W. Longbottom (F. Murray Abraham) must continue to work remotely due to his age.

Season 2 sees Mythic Quest hitting its stride by combining quick-fire comedy with moments of real vulnerability and character growth. There’s so much to like about this series, and I hope it finds the audience it deserves.

Season Two of Mythic Quest premiered its first two episodes, with additional episodes releasing weekly on Apple TV+.

(image: Apple TV+)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, 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.