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.