Welcome to the W TV Club, a spin-off series of W Movie Club, in which W magazine’s editors pick a season of a television show they’d recommend you binge-watch. This week, culture editor Brooke Marine gives an off-beat recommendation: the Apple TV+ series Mythic Quest, a sharp workplace comedy that pricks at the gender inequity in yet another multi-billion dollar creative industry.
Despite growing up mostly just outside of Philadelphia, I have never gotten into It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (yes, I know, I know—but I don’t expect to suddenly catch up on 14 seasons and counting at this point). That being said, I am familiar enough with the work of Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, two Always Sunny vets who co-created Mythic Quest, an Apple TV+ series, with Megan Ganz. I was also a big fan of Community when it aired so I am familiar with the work of Ganz as well, and was thrilled to see a woman co-created a show about a video game developer, which as many know, is a space historically dominated by men.
I was skeptical, at first, of Mythic Quest. I am not a gamer (unless you count the years of my childhood dedicated to playing every version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater for various Nintendo consoles, or the single month during the pandemic when I found myself wrapped up in the storylines on Sony’s The Last of Us: Part II) so I did not believe I would be charmed by a show that is ostensibly all about video games.
But Mythic Quest isn’t really about video games—or at least, that’s not the sole focus. It’s a rather sharp workplace comedy that pricks at the gender inequity in yet another multi-billion dollar creative industry, social media (Twitch, specifically) fame, and the overall struggle between corporate and creative when it comes to world building and storytelling. Consider me charmed.
Special attention should be paid to Charlotte Nicdao, who sharply lands her comedic timing as Poppy Li, the game’s lead engineer and co-creative director. Poppy is, though his egotistic impulses may not let him admit it, the right hand woman to McElhenney’s Ian Grimm, the creator of Mythic Quest (both the name of the show and the name of the game within the show). Nicdao is currently estimated to be an Emmy hopeful for her performance on Mythic Quest.
I’m sure there are tons of gaming world inside jokes and Easter eggs I’ve missed in the first two seasons of Mythic Quest (the second of which releases its finale episode today), and like I said, I don’t know much about MMORPGs (that means “massive multiplayer online role playing games,” which I actually did already know before I watched this show—so there). Regardless, the series has given me plenty of laughs with a couple of fun “special” episodes (it’s one of the few series to produce a less-obnoxious Covid episode), comedic genius Naomi Ekperigin as the HR director that nobody listens to, and Danny Pudi playing against type as a “villain” of sorts (he’s the video game company’s monetization department). Mythic Quest proves gaming is for anyone, and watching a television show about a fictional video game company’s office environment can definitely be for anybody, too.