The first season of “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” was a lot of fun. The Apple TV+ workplace comedy, set in the offices of a popular video game, established its ensemble of characters beautifully, giving each one a bunch of peculiarities, manias, and obsessions. There was Rob McElhenney’s Ian, the boss overcompensating for masculine insecurities; F. Murray Abraham’s C.W. Longbottom, an alcoholic fantasy writer of the old school; and Poppy, Charlotte Nicdao’s neurotic, brilliant, awkward engineer. Created by some of the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” folks, the season was a promising introduction, crammed with offbeat wit and satirical takes on the gaming world.
What about season 2, which is now getting a weekly release? It’s good enough. This time out, the writers play around with the characters, putting them in various alliances and face-offs and expanding their backstories. The theme of the season is power — how to grab it, how to use it most effectively, and how to hold on to it.
Some of the developments are more successful than others, but that hit-or-miss quality doesn’t detract from the overall giddiness of the nine episodes. The efforts by Ian and Poppy to co-lead the team are amusing, as each vies to be the more original and creative one. They’re both ego-driven, though his hunger is a lot more obvious than hers. The history of C.W., established in a stand-alone episode in which we see exactly how the young writer (played by Josh Brener) won a Nebula Award, is excellent, and so is its follow-up episode, in which William Hurt guest stars as one of C.W.’s old friends. The war between Danny Pudi’s Brad and his brother offers us a better look at Brad’s coldly cynical ways, and the compulsions of the power-adjacent Jo, played by Jessie Ennis, are always a kick.
I was less taken by the office romance between Dana (Imani Hakim) and Rachel (Ashly Burch) and the repeatedly established impotence of boss David (David Hornsby), but that’s the way ensemble comedies operate. Certain characters and situations speak more to certain viewers — deep down, I always really watched “Seinfeld” for Elaine, for example, even while I liked the rest of the show, too. Like “Silicon Valley” and “The Office,” “Mythic Quest” is a humorous take on intense workplace relationships — our office spouses, siblings, and parents — and the eccentricities and competitions that ensue.