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Boxset Monday: Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (season one) (Apple TV+)

In the UK: Available on Apple TV+

A few years ago, when I last appeared on Radio 5’s Saturday Edition, there was a challenge to the listeners to name the then best US TV show. Somewhat out of left field, one listener threw me It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and host Chris Warburton challenged me to explain it to him, as he’d never heard of it.

“A bunch of friends including Danny DeVito play tricks on each other in a bar,” was the best I could come up with, since I’d caught about five minutes of it once on FX.

That recommendation piqued my curiosity, but I never actually got round to watching it. I can’t imagine it’s the best US TV show ever, but on the strength of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet it’s probably both funny and sadly overlooked.

Okay. Maybe not.

But Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is at least now my favourite Apple TV+ show. Although, to be fair, there’s not that much competition on that score. But it is good.

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is very much a “from the people who brought you It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia“, given that not only does it have a similarly long and unwieldy title, it’s created by that show’s star/writer Rob McElhenney, fellow writer Megan Ganz (Community, Modern Family) and co-star Charlie Day, while also featuring co-star David Hornsby in a lead role.

McElhenney plays the creator of one of the world’s biggest online video games, Mythic Quest, and he’s just about to roll out the first big extension to it: Raven’s Banquet. But he has a very particular vision, something that frustrates lead coder Charlotte Nicdao (Get Krack!n) who would simply like just one thing in the game that she can point out and call hers. Even if that is just boring thing like a spade.

Meanwhile, noted sci-fi author F Murray Abraham (Amadeus, The Name of the Rose) is doing his best to flesh out the storyline with a decent narrative, even if he doesn’t quite get games; sociopathic monetisation guy Danny Pudi (Community) is working out how to extract cash from anything that moves in it; testers Ashly Burch and Imani Hakim (Everyone Hates Chris) are doing their best to squeeze out all the bugs from it, even if Burch’s developing crush on Hakim is impairing her work performance; and boss Hornsby is doing all he can (ineffectively) to keep everyone happy, particularly his bosses in Montreal and his slightly scary, right-wing, McElhenney-besotted assistant Jessie Ennis (Better Call Saul).

Even if all their hard work and late nights pay off, the success of their game could rest in the hands of one person: 13-year-old YouTube reviewer ‘Pootie Shoe’ and his b-hole rating system.

Who’d write a game hey?

Continue reading “Boxset Monday: Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (season one) (Apple TV+)”

Some nice new TV things to buy: StarzPlay and The Year of the Sex Olympics

StarzPlay on Amazon

StarzPlay streaming special-offer

So StarzPlay is quietly shaping up to have some of the best imported content in the UK. There’s Counterpart, Pennyworth, Doom Patrol, Castle Rock, Mr Mercedes, The Rook, Perpetual Grace LTD, and Four Weddings and a Funeral from the US, while from Europe, there’s the likes of Instinto, Sanctuary, Rig 45 and Monster.

And that’s just for starters – why only this very day, it became the UK home of Power and its spin-offs.

It used to have a drawback, though. Until recently, you had to have a subscription to Amazon Prime first, after which you had to take out a second subscription to StarzPlay itself, in order to watch it. That was a slight faff and not cheap, if you weren’t already an Amazon Prime member.

However, it’s now available on Apple TV(+), Android and iOS via its own app, as well as regular web browsers, so you can use any of those apps. Unfortunately, if you want to use your Roku, you’ll need to use the Amazon route in the UK, since although there’s a US Roku channel, there isn’t a UK equivalent.

Another reason to go the Amazon route, though: you can now sign up for a three-month trial at Amazon for 99p/month. Three quid for all for three months is pretty reasonable, I’d have said, wouldn’t you? And you can’t do that through any of the other usual sign-up means.

Anyway, you’ve got until March 31st to sign up for the trial, after which it’ll be back to £4.99/month as usual. What have you got to lose? Apart from £2.97.

The Year of the Sex Olympics

The Year of the Sex Olympics

Meanwhile, TMINE god Nigel Kneale‘s ground-breaking play The Year of the Sex Olympics is being reissued by the BFI, a mere 16 years after its previous release. That’s a snip at £14.99 but it won’t be available until April 20.

An anticipator of the reality TV of our own day and age, it sees Leonard Rossiter trying to find something even more interesting than the constant diet of porn with which the masses are currently being placated – and he hits upon real-life as the option. Unfortunately, real-life is actually a bit dull, so then he thinks adding a murderer to the mix might boost the ratings.

If you’re cunning, you’ll spot the esteemed Brian Cox. No not that one, the other one.


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What time, TMINE? Including The Twilight Zone, Run, The Gulf, Man With A Plan, and Hånd i Hånd

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

Another week of zero acquisitions, but a bunch of new premiere dates at least:

  • The Twilight Zone (US: CBS All Access; UK: Syfy)
  • Run (US: HBO; UK: Sky Comedy)
  • The Gulf (New Zealand: TV3; UK: Alibi)
  • Man With A Plan (US: CBS; UK: E4)

Oops, I missed it

Hånd i Hånd (Couple Trouble)

Hånd i Hånd (Couple Trouble) (Denmark: TV3; UK: Sundance Now)

Anders and Lise are married, in their 30s, love each other and have a wonderful daughter. They’ve been together for seven years now and the struggles of everyday life have started to affect them so much they end up on the verge of divorce. Anders and Lise aren’t prepared to give up on each other though and together start seeing a counsellor.

Continue reading “What time, TMINE? Including The Twilight Zone, Run, The Gulf, Man With A Plan, and Hånd i Hånd”

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Every weekday, TMINE brings you the latest TV news from around the world


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New US TV show casting