I thoroughly enjoyed “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” a new Apple TV+ series from some of the folks behind “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” It’s a workplace comedy set in the world of video games, as we watch an eccentric ensemble develop and design a hugely successful series of games called “Mythic Quest.” Naturally, the struggles of the coworkers wind up looking a bit like the struggles of the game characters — but less violent, physically at least.
The show has a “Silicon Valley” vibe, as it makes fun of high-tech visionary gurus, the cranky people around them, and the eternal clashes between money and creativity. But the characters are more colorful on “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” and — whoa! — there are a few women among them, including a pair of product testers who may be falling in love. I like each member of the ensemble, not least of all F. Murray Abraham as a drunk writer who puts together narratives for the game even though he’s never played a video game. As the game’s creator and the office boss, Rob McElhenney is great as the grandiose Ian Grimm, who has major — and comic — masculinity issues.
I reviewed the show, but wanted to revisit it to point out the ensemble member who made me laugh over and over again: Jessie Ennis, who has had roles on “Veep” and “Better Call Saul.” She plays Jo, an assistant whose meek exterior masks a fanatical woman with a deep attraction to power.
Technically, Jo’s boss is producer David (David Hornsby), but he is spineless so she simply decides without permission to work for Ian instead — something Ian, who loves to be adored, has no problem with. She’s a conservative from the Midwest with the stereotypical good girl’s face, but she’s all fury inside, and when that fury leaks out, it’s hysterical. She is ambitious and unstoppable and, it seems at moments, psychopathic.
I’d say I want to see an entire series built around Ennis’s Jo, but she’s perfect as one of the surprising and off-kilter characters in the larger ensemble. Jo’s whisper-to-a-scream instability is best consumed in small, smart doses.