My favorite kinds of comedy are the ones that make you belly laugh by using slice of life humor. From Clerks and Parks and Recreation to The Office, comedies that take everyday life and exaggerate elements by keeping true to the core they’re built on resonating on is what makes you connect to the humor and the story. Additionally, I’ve been a gamer all of my life and going to conventions and forming friendships I’ve met people from almost every level of the gaming industry. These two things make Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet the perfect series for me and in my opinion, any gamer out there.
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet was co-created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz and is a joint production from Lionsgate, 3 Arts Entertainment and Ubisoft for AppleTV+. With the touch of Ubisoft, a company known for its video games, it’s no surprise that the series nails its representation of the game industry. The series’ first season follows a team of video game developers as they navigate the challenges of running the most popular video game in the world, an MMO called Mythic Quest. Specifically, we see them working through the creation and launch of Raven’s Banquet, the game’s first DLC and all of the highs and lows that come with that.
Coming from McElhenney, Day, and Ganz, it was obvious that there would humor, but the reason that Mythic Quest thrives is that it doesn’t shy away from the darker and more serious topics affecting the gaming industry. Similar to their work on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the series embracing dark humor in the worst and best of times that makes it all feel real. Mythic Quest is funny because it’s true.
But because it’s true, it means that it deals with issues of crunch, monetization, and even the erasure of QA testers from conversations, and more. By providing commentary into these moments, the series hits home. Through satire, Mythic Quest doesn’t shy away from those issues and instead meets them head-on, using humor to unpack the complexities of issues.
Additionally, episodes “Dinner Party” also call out the way that those not in marginalized communities in the game industry. They confront issues like hate-groups and racism and how easily it can become a marketing ploy, how hard it is building an in-game function to handle it, how marketing can often see it as best to not make a statement. It overall shows the team solving the issue in a hilarious way. While this is all hyperbolic at its core, there is a huge joy in watching game devs solve a problem that is so prevalent in their game, plot holes and all.
A close runner-up however is “The Convention” which gets into the nitty-gritty hilariously absurd side of the convention scene which is all too familiar for me as a constant con-goer. The funniest part? It’s a streaming convention. In a callout for streaming culture and how brands engage with it as well as a celebration of it, I couldn’t stop laughing.
That said, the episode focuses on companies tying their brands to child streamers while missing that the mainstreamers making the most money are adult white men which could have lent more strength to the episode’s b-plot. That said, like most of the episodes, it all works on TV, getting the heart of the issues while altering gaming things slightly for comedic effect, in the same way, a show like The Office did. Which makes it all work.
In the same episode, we see how the show tackles the lack of women in the games industry with multiple women featured as main characters in the show. Instead of allowing audiences to be lulled into a sense that the game industry is as diverse as its cast, it blatantly explains the competition women feel in the industry and the hate that the women face in the industry.
By highlighting community managers, QA testers, coders, and more, Mythic Quest makes a concerted effort to show the games industry as it is, with many creatives behind making the game run smoothly and building it out to be better, plus one demanding content creator who shows fickle the content space can be.
At its core, Mythic Quest is pure excellence because of its cast. Hilarious and immersed in their roles, each brings a charm. Poppy, played by Charlotte Nicdao is one of the standouts. As the Head of Game Development, Poppy is at the center of a lot of the episodes driving the story. She’s quirky, tired, and is the foil to creative director Ian (pronounced eye-an), causing conflict. Additionally, Ian (McElhenney) is as obnoxious as he is funny, he’s demanding and sucks the energy from the room, and I mean that in the best way. He’s a big presence on the screen and completely speaks to the older generation of games, while Poppy balances out the younger demographic.
But the show isn’t just unrelenting humor, it also offers an emotional center. Whether it’s a budding romance between QA Testers, the dynamic between Ian realizing that he has to put others first, there moments in the back half of the show that dial up the feels. The subtle shift in tone is facilitated in episode five “Dark Quiet Death,” the middle point in the season. This episode abandons the workplace comedy trappings and turns into a three act story about a couple who make a game, succeed with the game, and have to watch as the industry strips the game to make it marketable. While it may feel out of place at first, in Mythic Quest’s final episode “Blood Ocean,” it all comes together.
The only issue I have with the series comes from the fact that I’ve played a lot of video games. Since Mythic Quest uses a couple of cinematic elements from Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and action sequences from For Honor, I detached for a moment, trying to place the game it’s from. This will probably be distracting for some but can also serve as an entry point for some viewers, and connects the series directly to the industry its replicating.
Overall, Mythic Quest is a great series and with season two already announced, this is a must-watch for fans of workplace comedies and gaming. The series is hilarious, fun, and something I connect with on multiple levels.
Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet season one is streaming in its entirety exclusively on AppleTV+.
Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet
Mythic Quest is a great series and with season two already announced, this is a must-watch for fans of workplace comedies and gaming. The series is hilarious, fun, and something I connect with on multiple levels.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.