Ever wondered what it’s like to work for a game developer? The Apple TV+ show Mythic Quest dives into that… sort of. It’s not like it even comes close to a real developer, but the comedy is entertaining. OMT editor Dennis Mons spoke to the cast for the third season of the delightful series.
In case you have no idea what Mythic Quest is: it revolves around a developer who is (initially) working on a huge open-world game, a la World of Warcraft. We take a behind-the-scenes look at this comedy, and while the company is heavily exaggerated, it’s a delightful office series akin to The Office.
Mythic Quest is not The Office, and yet it is
It’s wonderful when a TV series appeals to my inner (and outer) nerd. And the first two seasons of Mythic Quest certainly did. It’s about a megalomaniac, self-centered but charming boss Ian Grimm (played by Rob McElhenney), and his associate Poppy Li who develops the game and grumbles wonderfully often.
But the rest of the company is intriguing and hilarious as well, such as the ‘old-fashioned prose writer’ CW Longbottom (F. Murray Abraham), the money-grabber Danny Pudi (Brad Bakshi), and the somewhat goofy producer David Brittlesbee (David Hornsby) not getting under control.
All in all a wonderful series, and this week, season 3 started, and I got to chat with all these people.
Actress Charlotte Nicdao (Poppy Li) is a big fan of Star Wars, especially Yoda. Next to her was Imani Hakim, who plays Dana in the series.
Charlotte: If you were Poppy, would you make a Star Wars game?
Charlotte: “If I were a combination of Poppy and myself, I would 100 percent make a Star Wars game. But only Poppy would certainly not want to make a Star Wars game. She is much more concerned with her legacy.”
Imani, your character started as a tester, and with Rachel (played by Ashley Burch), you were such a cute couple on the couch during game testing. But your character gets quite bossy in the new season.
“Haha, yes, as a character… I learned it from the best through the people around her. She has a strict goal in mind and is no longer the sweetheart from the first two seasons. No one should stand in the way of that.”
You learned it from the best because, in the new season, you click with Ian on a higher level as a clone. Did you study Rob to get that done?
“Oh sure, I was that creep constantly cheating on him. His mannerisms, his tone of voice. It was a funny process.”
Rob (also the series producer) is quite all over the place, as we can see, for example, in the series Wrexham (where he bought a football club in Wales with Ryan Reynolds, ed. ). Is he like that on set?
Charlotte: “Oh yes, he always has so much energy, which is contagious. This season has revolved around Poppy Li, Dana, and Ian. Working on the new sterile set was also a fun challenge, which I hope people enjoy. After all, there wasn’t, and that’s how it was meant to be, much to work with. Our energy was, therefore, even more, important to use this season.”
Time to sit down with David Hornsby, who plays David Brittlesbee and co-produces the show.
I admit frankly: I watched all ten episodes of this season in one evening (sorry people, advantage of the trade, the series has a new episode every week, ed. ).
“Really? Ooh, what’s your verdict? You’re one of the first, then.”
“We have a lot of characters, and it’s an ‘office comedy,’ and that’s why we need to have characters from all walks of life. And so we focused on the fact in the video game world, there is something for everyone, from the “lone testers” to Ian and Poppy, who created the game. So you have that world, but also Carol from HR ( played Naomi Ekperigin, ed. ) who wants to go home at the end of the day.”
Now gamers want to be rather. Stiff. You once said in an interview that gamers’ backlash on social media, for example, can be rough. Did that bother you while making Mythic Quest?
“Not really. But there’s still time, haha. But with a show like this, you want to show satire from both sides. On the one hand, you have these huge game companies that are platforms, but on the other hand, they also have a responsibility to address difficult social issues when they are in the game. Are you just a platform? Or are you also approachable like major social media platforms such as Twitter?”
Speaking of major social media platforms, you’re diving into the Metaverse in Season 3. How come?
“That’s mainly because of Rob. He’s obsessed with it. We got books printed on the subject by him, and he sits in that ‘space.’ So it was fitting if Ian, Rob’s character, had that same obsession. That’s why Ian and Poppy’s new office looks like Web 2.0 instead of Web 3.0… No, wait, it doesn’t matter. I have no idea what I’m saying. But that shows: I have no idea.”
Finally, I had enough to discuss with a special couple: in the series, the character Carol ensures that the character Brad Bakshi (played by Danny Pudi) returns to Mythic Quest. And perhaps this is the best combination of the season because they are rather unreliable and hilarious.
Okay, you guys are very sneaky in both season 2 and now in season 3: But which character of you is more conspiratorial?
Naomi: “Haha, Brad is way more conspiratorial than Carol!”
Dan: “Haha, I’d say Brad too, but Carol suddenly allows Brad to return to the office. What is she hiding to get to that point!? We need each other. Point!”
The combination of you two in Mythic Quest is brilliant
Danny: “I loved that about that character too. In season two, Brad went into jail, and everyone was like, ‘could happen,’ and then he comes back, and pretty much everyone is like, ‘oh, he’s back. It just made sense to me. It makes sense in a Mythic Quest-esque way.”
Naomi, there’s a huge rant against a middle-aged white guy at one point (Phil, ed. ), and it’s possibly one of the funniest rants in the new season. Where do you find that energy?
Naomi: “Dennis, that’s how I am. If you need someone to yell at you for no reason: ‘I’m your gall’!! The character Phil is also so nice to rant against. That you’re like, ‘Phil, do I have to do this again?’. At Mythic Quest, I can also improvise and shout what I want, and then I’ll hear if it’s okay.”
Okay, one more question for Danny. You may be the personification of dastardly and rather mean in Mythic Quest. Where do you find such a character?
“Dastardly, I like that *rubs hands*. In addition to American Psycho, this is now a favorite. But it’s just so much fun to play. Brad doesn’t care how he impacts others around him. He wants the money! He doesn’t make group conversations, even when things get chaotic at Mythic Quest. He sits in a corner watching it and thinks, ‘look at these idiots. I’m going to make good money on this.”
So, all in all, a pleasure to speak to these wonderful nerds and excellent actors. Mythic Quest is now on Apple TV+, and as mentioned, be a little patient. A new episode drops every week.