Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet [Apple TV+, 2020]

Here we go again, so let me say: I apologize to anyone who doesn’t have Apple TV+, for talking about a show you can’t watch. I did it a while back with the disarming optimism of Ted Lasso, and I’m back to talk about a different comedy with at least one familiar face: Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet.

Created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day (both of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and Megan Ganz (brilliant writer for more great comedies than I can list), Mythic Quest stars McElhenney as Ian Grimm (pronounced “eye-an”), the creative visionary behind the titular online role playing game and his staff of outcasts and oddballs as they prepare to launch an expansion to the game, called Raven’s Banquet. So it’s a quirky workplace comedy, and a pretty good one, but it shows signs of becoming so much more.

Now, I’ll admit that I think the show was really finding its footing as it went along, and its second season could be absolutely hilarious. This show has some amazing characters with a ton of potential for big laughs. Highlights from the first season include Sue, the perpetually happy head of Customer Relations, who is practically locked in her basement office and read the thousands of angry emails sent to the company every day, and Jo, the Midwestern-bred conservative who is hired as an assistant to Executive Producer David, but in actuality lives and breathes to serve Ian, to an alarming degree.

But like I said, there are glimpses of what this show can grow to be, and that’s why I finished the season. Two glimpses in particular showed me how this show might hit that sweet spot of being a great comedy with heart and feeling, too.

The first is Episode Five, a standalone episode that features none of the regular cast. Titled A Dark Quiet Death, the episode follows the life cycle of a popular ’90s video game, and along with it the life cycle of its creators’ relationship. It has its lightly comic moments but it’s not a comedic episode by any stretch. It’s actually a touching, rather sad piece of storytelling.

The second is a bonus episode that came out after the season finale, once the pandemic had taken hold of the country. While the majority of the episode is fairly clever and funny, filled with Zoom-based humor, it ends with a reveal that shows that two of its characters are far more three dimensional than they seem.

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is a pretty good show, but it has the potential to be really great, and that’s pretty exciting.

Published by Kenneth Jobe

Kenneth Jobe is a writer, photographer, musician, and Native Californian living in the Midwest with his wife and son. His fiction has been published in Jitter, The Rusty Nail, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror, and the horror anthology Robbed of Sleep, Volume 2. His debut novel, The End of Jimmy Ray Day, is being published by Literary Wanderlust, coming late 2021.

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