We watched Mythic Quest season 1 during the height of the pandemic when places to go were few and things to watch online were many. It was a zany workplace comedy with the talents of Rob McElhenney, David Hornsby, and Danny Pudi leading the charge and it was a surprisingly good time.
If you don't know, Mythic Quest is a 30-minute workplace comedy starring Rob McElhenney as Ian (pronounced like ion instead of ee-yan), the creator of the eponymous Mythic Quest and the antics of the misfits that make up his crew at the game studio.
Season 1 was a comedic, heartfelt, and introspectively look at its protagonist Ian. As the series grew it began to accomodate its supporting players more as the workplace dynamic slowly coalesced into a found family narrative that we see ourselves getting invested in as we look towards season 3.
While reviewing the season we were also invited to a roundtable interview with the cast and our tiny fan brains nearly imploded at the sight of these stars.
Editor's note: It was one of the most nerve-racking things we've ever done and Zoom interviews are just as scary as in-person interviews.
Supporting cast gets room to shine
We lowkey loved Naomi Ekperigin's potrayal of the exasperated PR rep all the way in season 1 and we're so happy to see her role expanded in season 3.
In our time with her we asked her if many HR reps came up to her in real life to which she responded "Yes. They DM me and tell me they feel seen." As hillarious as that sounds, we can only imagine the kinds of things HR staff have to actually mediate in a workplace.
Alongside her this season is Danny Pudi's manipulative forrmer Chief of Menotization, Brad. Having been released from prison he plays the role of a reformed man and is brought back into MQ by Naomi who hires him as a diversity hire: he's a person of colour and a former inmate.
Ashly Burch and Imani Hakim (Rachel and Dana respectively), both testers in season 1 have received more attention as well this season and we see them find their own footing and where they belong in their careers.
But of all of the roles that received extra care and attention this season, we enjoyed Jessie Ennis' Jo the best. Jo brings her signature brand of chaotic energy again this season but it's centered on her devotion to the long-suffering Executive Producer at MQ David, played by David Hornsbury.
Fun fact, David revealed in our interview that his real life love for cookies has influenced many stories in the show as well.
Jo was more a caricature than fully-fleshed person but season 3 sees the agent of chaos being transformed into a somewhat-empatic human being—she does so with a literal tank in episode 3 but hey, that's growth.
Poppy and Ian continue to butt heads
Our love for MQ was solidified in the special Quarantine episode which was filmed mid pandemic. Not to give anything away, but the ending of that episode crystalised Poppy and Ian's dysfunctional mentor-mentee relationship for us and we couldn't wait to see how it would evolve as Poppy's acclaim as a game designer continued to grow.
Played by the standout star of season 1, Charlotte Nicdao, Poppy Li is a conflicted character who wants Ian's approval but at the same time cannot get out of her own way when it comes to forming a healthy relationship with him and her workmates.
After the crescendo of season 2—Poppy and Ian opening their own studio, GrimPop—season 3 resets the table once again as the pair are at odds with each other at GrimPop HQ.
The GrimPop office, located in the same building as Mythic Quest, is a "Reflection of the mind of Ian" as Executive Producer David Horsnby put it. We think the emptiness of the office reflects Ian's own emptiness this season as he's without a game to call his own for the first time and it's also reflected in his character Ian who drifts through episodes in season 3 without much agency.
Poppy on the other hand is furiously trying to build her own game, Hera, while trying to come out of Ian's shadow—while working together. We didn't enjoy this dynamic as much in Season 3 because, frankly, we've seen it for three seasons now, but by the end, the show manages to reel us back in all the same as their conflict reached its inevitable breaking point.
The standout episode this season that informs the characters of Poppy and Ian is episode 7, Sarian, and it's a shortlived but welcome look at the inner lives of these characters.
Season 3 is an all-around fun time but we wish there was more
After three seasons we still don't really know these characters very well. It took us one season to understand why Ian pronounces his name that way and it took us three seasons to understand why Poppy pushes away everyone she meets.
Brad is still a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma and during our interview, actor Danny Pudi himself confesses he didn't know the character's actual inner motivations.
We still don't know why Jo is as sociopathic as she is and we wish there was more episodes for introspection each season. Yes, we're all for show don't tell, but there's very little episodes and very few moments of show in between the laughs and the plot for character work and we just wish there was more.
In the end, season 3 is great MQ fun, but we want more from this show at this point.
Stream Mythic Quest now on Apple TV+.