REVIEW: ‘Mythic Quest’ Season 2 is Much More Than a Workplace Comedy

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Mythic Quest Season 2

Mythic Quest is one of my favorite series. Created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz, the show expertly blends workplace comedy, emotional moments, and the realities of the game industry. In fact, even when the story elements are absurd, their foundation based on reality helps it land. After two stunning solo episodes, Mythic Quest Season 2 is here. The lead up to it has been filled with great one-shot storytelling, first with “Quarantine,” which was shot during the start of the pandemic and reflected on the fear and anxiety in the new COVID-world. Then, with “Everlight,” which was a resounding return to the office for the MQ team with an in-office event that sets a hopeful tone.  Now, with Mythic Quest Season 2, we get not only a hilarious series that pulls together a cast of charismatic characters that you root for, laugh with and at, but also excels at delivering powerful emotional character arcs that push each and every one of the MQ team beyond where they were in season 1.

An Apple TV+ original, Mythic Quest Season 2 features the team behind the biggest multiplayer video game of all time back in the office. Well, except C.W., who is staying home for his health. But don’t worry, he learned how to screen-share. This season, the MQ team is attempting to build upon the success of Raven’s Banquet by launching an epic new expansion, but Ian (Rob McElhenney) and the newly promoted co-creative director, Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao), struggle with the game’s direction. Meanwhile, C.W. (F. Murray Abraham) reconciles some unresolved issues from his past, the testers (Ashly Burch and Imani Hakim) test the bounds of an office romance, and David (David Hornsby) loses yet another woman in his life as Jo (Jessie Ennis) leaves him to assist Brad (Danny Pudi).

While last season kept Poppy and Ian deeply in focus, Mythic Quest Season 2 makes a concerted effort to tell the stories of the ensemble cast as a whole and manages to do so while still giving the dynamic duo an emotional arc. First, the testers Rachel (Burch) and Dana (Hakim) get the chance to expand their roles, learn more about each other, and navigate an office romance. Not only does their storyline open up for discussions about race in the workplace, transitioning out of an entry job, and seizing your moment, it also offers romance in a way we haven’t seen in the series so far.

Then there is David, who is still a pushover but is slowly trying to find his way. While much of his plot is used for laughs at his pain, David is a mirror for many of the characters and helps navigate the season’s larger narrative. But while the testers and David all got some shine last season, the real expansion of Mythic Quest Season 2 is for C.W. and Brad.

With Jo moving to Brad’s side, we get to see the logical and money-focused monetization guy reveal a soft side. Now, it isn’t because Jo somehow makes him a softy, but because in battling with her for dominance in the office, we can see more levels to his character. This makes Pudi a season standout, not just because he plays an asshole really well, but because this season we get to see a glimpse at BRads heart—even if it’s deep, deep, deep, deeply hidden. As for C.W., he gains much more depth than I thought possible for a character who existed just as comic relief in season 1. But you’ll have to watch to see exactly what I mean.

Finally, there is Ian and Poppy. Mythic Quest Season 2 is hilarious, but the truth is. Poppy’s egomaniac behavior is amazing to see, especially given her stark change from a mousy engineer to a strong-willed co-creative director. And Ian’s anxiety about not being the boss leads to some belly laughs. That said, their dynamic, like most of the other characters, isn’t just there for the laughs. In fact, the most important part of Ian and Poppy this season is the emotional impact the two have on each other. Having come close together over the last two solo episodes, the division between them as they both take developing their own section of the new expansion is heartbreaking. But not because it’s a loss of a friendship; it’s because of how they begin to lose themselves in the process.

For Ian, he’s having to cope without being in the spotlight, but more importantly, he realizes just how hard it is to do things on his own. With him and Poppy fighting for control of the new expansion, Ian is pushed to the point of vulnerability that we got to see in small moments in the “Quarantine” episode. The comedy is only a small part of the story here. In truth, Mythic Quest Season 2 is extremely cognizant of how power dynamics shape the way we relate to others and how we see ourselves. There are moments where Ian takes chances on vulnerability that we wouldn’t have seen in the past, but the brilliant writing decision is that it doesn’t pay, at least not at first. 

For her part, Nicadao is phenomenal as Poppy. Having finally gotten the creative power she’s always wanted, Poppy very quickly becomes even more self-absorbed than Ian was, and the damage she leaves on her relationships is large. With Poppy, we see a “grass isn’t always greener” theme. Still, more importantly, her sharp shift in confidence is recognizable for anyone who has felt that burst of self-assuredness after constant imposter syndrome.

In the first season, Poppy learned how to advocate for herself and her ideas, but she did it by learning and leaning on those around her. In Mythic Quest Season 2, Poppy is an island, and for most of it, unaware of this reality she’s been creating. Getting to see Poppy in this light was a smart character choice. We’ve seen her meal. We’ve seen her rewarded for her work. And now, we’re getting to see her ego become a monster, and by the end, realize the importance of people around her, much in the same way that Ian did in season 1.

I don’t know how to explain it, but Mythic Quest is so much more than just a workplace comedy. It’s a journey that highlights elements of empathy and vulnerability through a cast that knows how to garner laughs and emotional responses. If you haven’t watched the series, it is worth picking up a new streaming service for; it’s just that good. It is important to point out that while season 1 was heavily focused on game development and industry, that all takes a backseat. It is still relevant for sure, but the story is less about making a game and more about salvaging and creating relationships. This doesn’t mean that it’s lost what made season 1 magical. In fact, it improved on it.

The first two episodes of Mythic Quest Season 2’s nine-episodes premiere globally on Friday, May 7, exclusively on Apple TV+, with new episodes premiering weekly, every Friday.

Mythic Quest Season 2
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

I don’t know how to explain it, but Mythic Quest is so much more than just a workplace comedy. It’s a journey that highlights elements of empathy and vulnerability through a cast that knows how to garner laughs and emotional responses. If you haven’t watched the series, it is worth picking up a new streaming service for; it’s just that good.