When Apple TV launched its television shingle, it bet on some pretty big properties. Names like Justin Timberlake in Palmer and Jason Momoa’s dystopian sight fantasy See. They banked on the space-based ensemble cast of For All Mankind and the quirky The Morning Show, which features a veritable who’s who of Hollywood standouts. Then there was Dickinson, the Hailee Steinfeld vehicle.
None of them really made any buzz.
That’s not to say that they shouldn’t have. Frankly, they’re all really good, with the possible exception of See, which is… an acquired taste, and maybe Palmer, which was a bit of a color-by-numbers slog.
Mythic Quest is basically The Office for video game nerds. It’s eccentric and nuanced and thought-provoking. It has the kind of multi-layered characters that keep you tuning in and going so far as to claim your actor fiefdoms.
I’m a Poppy!
I’m totally an Ian!
Jesus Christ, dude, you’re such a Brad! UGH!
Like The Office, if you work in a corporate environment, be it video games or not, you’ll likely recognize the put-upon HR person or the company troll or the executive kiss ass. Mythic Quest isn’t afraid to throw punches. Not to mention that the ubiquitous social commentary is acerbic. You scarcely get through a few minutes without the show weighing in on current events in a roundabout but comprehensive manner.
The best episode of the series might just be the one without any cast members in it. Season 1, episode 5 is called “A Dark and Quiet Death” and walks us through an epic relationship built on a mutual love of video games. I was blown away by it, and by the performances of Jake Johnson and Cristin Milioti, who aren’t on the show proper. At first it was like, “Am I watching the right show?” And then you just let it wash over you and slow clap at the end. It was phenomenal.
With that track record, I was doubly excited when Mythic Quest announced a bonus standalone episode that would be tacked on to the end of season 2 — which had already ended on the crest of an inspired quarantine episode.
“Everlight” premiered on April 18th, 2021, like something out of the mists of Avalon. I was giddy to start it, and it kicks all the ass right out of the gate, setting up a beautiful and heart wrenching tale of hope in a time of darkness.
There’s the powerful voice of a wizened narrator over an animated tale of woe and I’m like, “Wait! I know that voice! Is that Sir Anthony Hopkins? On Mythic Quest?”
Yes. Yes it was.
The show went all out on setting the tone, and Sir Anthony was the perfect voice for it. All credit to the tight-as-a-fucking-drum script by wunderkind Ashly Burch who writes and acts and voice-overs and is funny and smart and like a quintuple threat multi-hyphenate and is never, ever sick at sea. She’s one of the most underrated phenoms working today.
I want to tell you all about the bonus episode. I want to throw back a few cold ones and just revel in the excellence of the words and the acting and the production design and the courage to make the choices they made.
But instead I’ll let you watch it on your own and say that it’s simple, but the execution is flawless and it works. It just works, and we can sit back and slow clap again for Mythic Quest and be thankful that we live in a time when talent like this has found a home, imagination still reigns supreme, there’s a bard network to sing its praises and enough dyed-in-the-wool nerds to make it shine.
At last the night has ended, and so the new day dawns.