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Mythic Questnote  is a comedy web television series that premiered in 2020 on Apple TV+. It was created by the team behind It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and is co-produced by video game studio Ubisoft, who also created the game content shown in the series.
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The show follows the behind-the-scenes exploits of the game studio behind Mythic Quest, the world's most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. The creative and business sides of the studio are in constant conflict as Ian Grimm (Rob McElhenney), the creator and creative director, is distracted with whether or not their work is establishing a worthy legacy for himself. Lead programmer Poppy Li (Charlotte Nicdao) prioritizes making the game an enjoyable work of art, lead writer C.W. Longbotton (F. Murray Abraham) pretends he's got a handle on the game's story, while head of monetization Brad Bakshi (Danny Pudi) just wants to keep the money flowing. In the midst of it all, affable but exploitable EP David Brittlesbee (David Hornsby) tries to assert his authority, including over his slightly psychotic new assistant Jo (Jessie Ennis), while recently-recruited testers Dana (Imani Hakim) and Rachel (Ashly Burch) try to keep their heads above water.

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As all this is going on, the team struggles to remain in the good graces of their player base, terrified at the very real possibility that millions of people will turn away and result in the studio's closure.

Three seasons have been released, and the show is confirmed for a fourth. A spin-off series, Mere Mortals, was announced during the third season.


This series provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Brad discusses his dream to own his own money bin just like Scrooge McDuck. His actor previously played Huey Duck in the 2017 reboot of Ducktales.
  • Adam Westing: Season 3 features Joe Manganiello, who makes no secret of his many nerdy interests, as the overzealous potential lead actor in a planned Mythic Quest adaptation.
  • The Alcoholic: C.W., who's rarely seen without a bottle or flask in hand.
  • The Alleged Boss: David often fills this role. Despite being the game's executive producer, and thus, in charge of managing the entire studio, he's shown to not only be woefully ineffectual at controlling his team, he knows it.
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  • Anti-Climax: In-universe as episode 2 is all about avoiding this. For years, the game has built up a mysterious Masked Man armored knight with fans buzzing on his identity. Ian has hyped it up as "it'll blow you away" when fans find out his identity. The problem is, despite what Ian and C.W. tell everyone, they have never had any plan for who the Masked Man is and now realize if they don't come up with something big, the backlash will be huge.
  • Ax-Crazy: Jo is perfectly OK if her actions result in someone else's death.
  • Batman Gambit: Brad is an absolute master of this:
    • When it's revealed through a Kotaku article that Neo-Nazis are using MQ as a gathering ground, David decides to put together a statement denouncing the Nazis, and have them banned from the servers. Brad, not wanting to lose the revenue stream that the Nazis generate, instead hamstrings David's announcement by insisting that David put together a committee to decide which racial and social groups are acceptable and which aren't, all for the sole purpose of distracting David from producing the statement.
    • When C.W. refuses to write a backstory for Dana, Brad replaces him with a robot that apprently uses AI to create stories. He even produces a couple of pages purportedly written by the robot, and leaves the machine in his office to taunt C.W., who slips into eventual despair after reading the pages and acknowledging their brilliance. Brad eventually reveals that the pages are actually C.W.'s own work, and the "robot" nothing more than an air conditioner - the whole point was to make C.W. beg to be allowed to write anything the company needs, which is totally successful.
    • The most simple gambit for Brad occurs during the quarantine episode. David wants to make a $100,000 donation to charity, but Brad refuses on the grounds that he doesn't do charity, as he gets nothing out of it. David offers to play him in Street Fighter as a bet; if David wins, Brad has to make the donation, but if Brad wins, David has to shave one of his eyebrows. After David loses, he begs to go again, so Brad ups the stakes to $300,000, and if David loses, he also has to shave his moustache. Brad wins, resulting in David shaving; Brad then reveals afterwards that he made the donation anyway, and in fact, was always going to make it - he just wanted David's dignity for it, and knew that David wouldn't be able to refuse the bet.
    • Poppy also launches a good one of her own in her attempt to distract Ian so that he doesn't discover that someone hacked the Masked Man. She moves new programmer Paul, who stands at 6'6", into the main office, knowing that Ian's ego will be threatened by his mere physical presence, and result in Ian spending all his time trying to prove himself the office alpha instead of paying attention to the game. It works.
    • Poppy manages to play both David and Ian in season 2, by manipulating both of them to give her exactly what she wants when forced to give a speech at a women in gaming conference.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Carol, the studio's HR manager, whom everyone treats like a therapist (despite her protestations). She tries to get everyone to understand that their behavior is not OK, but no one will listen.
  • Berserk Button:
    • For Jo, it's anyone she deems to be challenging or disrespecting Ian.
    • Do NOT eat Poppy's ice cream sandwiches.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Brad's brother, Zach. He seems a genial, loveable guy who doesn't notice his brother's contempt and everyone loves him. When they're alone, it comes out he's an egotistical, manipulative, ruthless bully who cowers Brad into begging not to ruin his life.
    • Zach also lied to everyone that it was Brad's birthday with a big cake... which is mocking Brad's eating disorder.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: A rather subtle example: it's mentioned that the game's unnamed publisher is based in Montreal (which is how they're only ever referred to), and that they're known for being picky and controlling. Now, consider who co-produces this series, and whose flagship studio is in Montreal...
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The titular game is the show's stand-in for World of Warcraft.
    • Dark Quiet Death, the game published by Mythic Quest Studios' predecessor, which went from an indie survival horror game to a massive franchise including a bad movie adaptation, contains elements of both the original Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil
    • Playpen, Poppy's solo project, is a game with simplistic graphics and massive addiction potential which allows the players to create their own minigames, just like Roblox. While the game is a huge success in Real Life, Poppy's investors are having none of it.
  • Bottle Episode:
    • The quarantine episode, by necessity.
    • "Please Sign Here" is entirely set in the MQ bullpen.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Happens a lot, usually with Ian completely forgetting he once angered someone who's turned it into a vendetta.
  • The Cameo: "Everlight" is narrated by Sir Anthony Hopkins, of all people.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Rachel has a statue of Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn behind her during the quarantine episode. Aloy is voiced by Rachel's actress, Ashly Burch. Doubles as an Actor Allusion.
    • A few quick snippets of unaltered Horizon footage are even used as scene transitions in the season 2 episode, Juice Box.
  • Child Prodigy: Pootie Shoe, despite being a 14-year-old kid, is actually smart enough to hack MQ, take control of the Masked Man, and use him to give away thousands of dollars worth of loot, attack characters with admin privileges, and level the character up with every single spell in the game.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander / Eccentric Artist: C.W.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In the season 2 finale, Jo agrees to a deal from Brad's brother Zach on getting cash for stocks after sharing problems with the company. It's only then she realizes what she did constitutes insider trading and at least ten years in prison. Both Zach and Brad mock Jo on failing to see such an obvious problem.
  • Distanced from Current Events: In-Universe example. After triumphantly implementing adding the Blood Ocean plague to Mythic Quest at the end of Season 1, Poppy is almost immediately forced to patch the plague out of the game after the COVID-19 pandemic. She ends up adding a vaccine to the game instead.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Poppy is perpetually frustrated because she's responsible for the actual work that goes into the game but Ian gets all the credit and glory. On top of this, many of the ideas she suggests are either dismissed or outright laughed at by Ian and the crew.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Rachel and Dana are only known as "Tester" to those who even notice them. This frustrates the two, as they want to move up in the company and be known for other things.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Everyone hates Brad but they tolerate him because his money-grubbing ideas work and he controls the company's finances.
    • To a lesser extent, Rachel's tendency for speechifying and attempts to push social justice issues often result in disdain from most of the MQ staff. The only reason it's not as pronounced is because most people don't remember she exists.
  • Gentle Giant: Tall Paul, an employee at Mythic Quest played by the 6' 7" note  Humphrey Ker who also happens to be a really nice and easygoing guy.
  • Gilligan Cut: A common trick.
    • Prepared to fight someone in the game, Ian boasts "I can beat anyone at any time." Cut to his character being blown up by Poppy who laughs at just how bad Ian is at his own game.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: After losing two Street Fighter V matches against Brad during the quarantine special, David pulls out an arcade pad and reveals that he's actually a lifelong Street Fighter player. Promptly subverted, as he still gets his ass handed to him.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Ian and Poppy, though it's a more toxic example than most. They're at least ten years apart in age.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Sarian," young Poppy says her mom doesn't know what fun is. Decades later, Ian accuses Poppy of the same thing because so many of Poppy's ideas for their new game involve taking control away from the player.
  • It's All About Me: Ian for sure, called out on it constantly by everyone. Notably when his own son notes Ian has spent their entire conversation talking about himself in their difficult relationship.
  • It's Been Done: C.W. excitedly comes up with a backstory for the Masked Man, only for Ian to realize that it's just the plot of the original Star Wars trilogy.
  • Jive Turkey: Some of Poppy's Australian slang is contemporary ("bogan", "sex pest"), but some of it is a century out of date ("drongo", "cobber"). It may be intentional, as Poppy is distinctly "uncool," despite her insistence otherwise.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: In-universe, Ian strips his avatar down to nothing when fighting the Masked Man, resulting in mass Squick for the audience watching the duel (and the Masked Man himself).
  • Moment Killer: Rachel takes Dana to a video game arcade in order to unwind. The two find themselves in close quarters in an arcade racing game, leading to an Almost Kiss... and then Jo, who's been sent to track down Dana, loudly and obnoxiously shows up to break the spell.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Doc gets one near the end of "Dark Quiet Death", when he realizes that he sacrificed his marriage and integrity for the sake of a more mass-appeal marketable product. Unfortunately, he's powerless to stop it at that point.
  • New Season, New Name: Season one was called Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet, season 2 dropped the "Raven's Banquet" subtitle.
  • Only Sane Man: Poppy when it comes with dealing with issues in the game itself, David when it comes to the day-to-day management of MQ. Of course, the chaotic nature of the studio often sweeps them up as well.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: The episode "Dark Quiet Death" is nothing like the rest of the Work Com style of the show, playing as a fairly realistic drama portraying the start of a relationship through to its end, as the success of their combined work and the concessions they have to make in their vision ultimately causes them to break up.
    • Season 2 has "Backstory!" which recaps C.W.'s life and career arc, from an aspiring writer in the 70s to how he ultimately ended up at MQ.
    • Season 3 has "Sarian," a Whole Episode Flashback split between Ian and Poppy's childhoods, ending with their meeting.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Despite being an egomaniacal Jerkass most of the time, Ian has his moments. The biggest comes at the end of the first season, when he gets David his job back, secures overtime pay for the dev team, and makes Poppy his co-Creative Director.
    • A non-altruistic version occurs with Brad. After Dana is outed as MQ's in-house streamer, and subsequently fired, Rachel begs Brad to get Dana her job back. She asks him if he cares about anything, with his response being that he cares about money, but only as a means of "owning" people. He then does get Dana her job back by promoting Lou the replacement tester... purely to emphasize to Rachel that he now "owns" her too.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: In "Buffalo Chicken Pizza," Ian's speech to Poppy includes "I love you, you love me, and everything else is semantics." Poppy, touched, admits that she loves Ian too, to which he matter-of-factly replies, "Yeah, I know. I just covered that in my speech."
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: The second episode reveals that C.W. has never seen or heard of Star Wars.
    • Subverted for laughs when Ian tries to explain to Poppy who the Beatles were. When she snaps she knows full well who one of the most iconic bands in history was, he replied "I couldn't be sure, you didn't know what Weird Science was!"
  • Product Placement: Razer products are used prominently throughout the series.
    • The scene transitions in season 1 look suspiciously like For Honor animations, an Ubisoft game. Although somewhat subverted by the fact that the episode doesn't otherwise call them out.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: It's noted several times that C.W. Longbottom won the prestigious Nebula Award for Best Sci-Fi Novel in 1973. (The actual winner was Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves.) CW’s work that won was a rework draft Asimov did for him. Meaning Asimov still won.
  • The Reveal: Episode 8 reveals that Pootie Shoe is actually Ian's estranged son, Brendan.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: The quarantine episode features the entire cast, via video chat, participating in the construction of a video version of one.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Subverted. After being dismissed and ignored one time too many, and fed up with the constant chaos at MQ, Poppy decides to accept an offer of employment from a rival game studio as a creative director. Unfortunately, she flip-flops on whether she truly wants to leave; by the time she's finally, truly had enough and decides that she does, the rival studio rescind their offer, leaving her stuck at MQ.
  • Self-Serving Memory: All over the place.
    • Ian has a remarkable ability to rework things to always be in his favor.
    • Brad isn't far behind him. After Poppy spends all day at a convention trying to get them to accept Dana as their new streamer, it takes seeing some girls excited to hire her. At which point, Brad and Ian act like this was always their idea and Poppy never said a word about it.
    • To be fair, Poppy can fall into this herself, thinking she's the sane person around but just as prone to ignoring the needs of others.
    • Jo talks over being bullied by a girl in school... who wanted her to play with dolls so Jo hit her with vicious memes to almost kill herself. Even Ian calls out "You were the bully in that scenario" but Jo insists it was the other way around.
  • Ship Tease: Rachel and Dana. They're clearly attracted to each other, and are incredibly close, but they're also both socially-awkward to a degree where (as of the end of season 1) neither has actually done anything about it (although there was one moment...).
    • Season 2 finally sees them become official.
  • Shout-Out: The coat of arms on Ian's shield in "Everlight" is that of Wrexham AFC, the soccer team that Ian's actor Rob McElhenney co-owns with Ryan Reynolds.
  • Shown Their Work: A LOT of work was put into portraying game development in a fairly-realistic way. Of course, it helps that the show is co-produced by Ubisoft, one of the biggest real-life game companies in the world, who act as consultants on the series.
  • Spanner in the Works: CW. His treasured Nebula Award is prominently displayed in his office. After someone spots its reflection in Dana's glasses, it leads to her being exposed as an in-house streamer, and earning her the hatred of those who consider her a fraud and losing almost all of the followers she's built up.
  • Stepford Smiler: Sue, MQ's community manager, has shades of this, appearing bright and perky despite her soul-crushing job dealing with MQ's customer complaints.
  • Straw Misogynist: Lou, the new play tester, who acts like a walking embodiment of the stereotypical Gamergate-style misogynist.
  • Stock Footage: Season 2 occasionally uses clips from The Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft's cinematic trailers for its transitions.
    • The pitch trailer for Zeus, Ian's half of the new expansion, is composed entirely of cinematics from other games (mostly from the Ubisoft catalogue). The fun part is picking out which games were used.
  • Take a Third Option: In season 3, Ian and Poppy are at odds on whether to develop Hera, a polished but bland fantasy RPG, or Playpen, a cutesy addictive sandbox game. Eventually they decide on pitching Mythic Quest: Playpen, a sandbox add-on to their signature fantasy MMORGP.
  • Take That!:
    • One episode has the team trying to find the most offensive group possible through a tournament-style bracket so they can ban them under terms of service. Nazis top the tournament, but the final round came down to Nazis versus New England Patriots fans—meaning that Patriots fans beat out zoophiles and cannibals.
    • Dark Quiet Death's film version - turning a game meant as slow-paced horror with monsters you can't kill into a schlocky action film about an Action Girl blowing through armies of monsters - is pretty clearly mocking the Resident Evil Film Series .
    • Poppy's planning board in "YumYum" lists Half-Life as a potential inspiration, only to have "OVERRATED" underlined beneath it.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Pootie Shoe is a spoiled brat who can make or break a game studio because he has millions of followers. Everyone is terrified that he'll completely turn against Mythic Quest.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: In "Buffalo Chicken Pizza," David invites all the employees in the studio to suggest ideas for a new Mythic Quest expansion, and gets a barrage of vague, cliched, inappropriate, self-indulgent, and half-baked concepts presented as one of these.
  • Threat Backfire: Quite a few times, someone tries to pull the "if you do this, I walk" line. Either A) Ian completely misses it and ignores them or B) they get called on it and forced to go.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: After it's discovered that someone has hacked the Masked Man, and taken control of the NPC to cause chaos, Ian releases a streamed message challenging the hacker to a duel in the casino arena.
  • Time-Passage Beard: "The Casino" shows Ian going from clean-shaven to bearded to show how long the Masked Man has been an issue.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: In Season Three, Dana goes from being a level-headed, generally sweet Gamer Chick to spending most of her time arrogantly ignoring or insulting the people who hired her. Twice, since she goes from working at MQ to working at GrimPop.
    • Carol goes from exasperated but well-meaning to verbally denigrating/abusing employees to prove how progressive she is, followed by firing the only two who aren't somehow "protected" and hiring two middle-aged men so that Phil can't sue MQ and Carol won't lose her cushy new job. This comes after two promotions, so this could be a case of Power Corrupts.
    • Subverted with Rachel after becoming Head of Monetization: Brad taunts her about how much she likes her new paycheck given her former status as a socialist Soapbox Sadie and she's momentarily disgusted with herself, but she doesn't actually change much except that after spending basically the whole series wearing overalls she's now considering buying cashmere pants.
  • Training Montage: Poppy puts Ian through one in MQ, after a) he challenges the Masked Man to a duel in the game; and b) it's quickly revealed that, despite being the game's creator, he absolutely sucks at playing it.
  • Undying Loyalty: Jo is willing to go to great lengths to make Ian happy, up to and including murder if Ian was willing. This frustrates David since Jo is actually his assistant.
    • In Season 3, Jo has thrown herself into being David's assistant, often to a degree that visibly unsettles him. She even lets David "fire" her to cement his place as the company's leader.
  • Victory Is Boring: A subplot in "Brendan" involves Brad distraught after a $250,000 sword he expected nobody to buy sells out immediately, convincing him that his job is pointless since whales are going to buy anything he offers.
  • Video Game Movies Suck: In-Universe
    • The adaptation of Dark Quiet Death, a '90s indie game turned survival horror megafranchise, is a lowbrow horror flick that has little to do with the actual game.
    • In season 3, plans for a Mythic Quest adaptation come up, and multiple characters are extremely skeptical about it, given the usual fan reception of movie adaptations.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • The entirety of "A Dark Quiet Death" is a series of flashbacks that centers on a former game developer, from his creation of the studio that eventually houses Mythic Quest, to his failed partnership with his wife.
    • Most of "Backstory!" takes place in the early 70's during the early days of C.W.'s career. The episode's epilogue shows Ian and Poppy hiring C.W in 2015.
    • Season 3's "Sarian" is split between Ian's childhood in the 80s and Poppy's childhood in the early 2000's, and the pivotal moments that set them on the path to making video games and working together.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Mythic Quest Ravens Banquet

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Familiar With DuckTales

The first video is an excerpt of an interview by the AVClub showing Danny Pudi as a cast member on 'DuckTales (2017)'. The second video is from 'Mythic Quest' (2020), where Pudi's character discusses the DuckTales franchise.

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