Article: The Prolific Rob McElhenney And Award-Winning Director Barry Jenkins Talk About Diversity In “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet,” The Unique Quarantine Episode And More In Their Fascinating, Virtual Conversation – RECAP!

Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet
Photo Credits: Apple TV+

On your mark. Get set. GAME! The world of gaming truly is a universe of its own – from e-sports to cosplay to being transported into the different worlds of the video games we play. In Apple TV+’s hit series, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, fans are not just transported into the world of video games, but the video game studio itself. Sometimes, the hardest video game boss to beat, is the creator of the game!

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet follows “the owner of a successful video game design company and his troubled staff as they struggle to keep their hit game ‘Mythic Quest’ on top” (source).

The remarkable series, created by Rob McElhenney (who also stars in the show and serves as executive producer), Megan Ganz and Charlie Day, has the perfect blend of comedy and relevant topics. For video game lovers, you will be obsessed with this series. If you’re a comedy fan, you will be hooked on this show (if you aren’t already, of course!). And, if you love shows that revolve around an office setting, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is for you! This series is one that you truly can’t get enough of.

 

Starring McElhenney, David Hornsby, Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, Ashly Burch, Jessie Ennis, Imani Hakim, and F. Murray Abraham, the gifted and incredibly talented cast have brought to life an outstanding show that can’t be beat. It’s entertaining and witty and just the kind of show you’ve been looking for to binge-watch.

Adapting to the current situation we all are going through right now with the pandemic, the cast and crew of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet got right to work to bring out a phenomenal and unique, quarantine episode. Creative and produced in a way that looks like it was filmed in a studio, the quarantine episode was an absolute masterpiece.

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So, what happens when two geniuses get together for a fascinating conversation?! You get Rob McElhenney and award-winning director Barry Jenkins’ virtual conversation about the exceptional series, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. Academy Award-winner Jenkins proudly praised the show and had a terrific, virtual conversation with McElhenney on July 1, 2020. Needless to say, it was so magnificent to see the two masterminds picking at each other’s brains.

One of the many brilliant aspects about the series is the diversity of its cast-members. Jenkins asked McElhenney about how the cast of characters were brought together. McElhenney stressed how the creative team strived to stay true to the real atmosphere of a gaming studio.

“We really wanted to make it feel as authentic as possible,” said McElhenney. “You’ll notice that when you walk into a gaming studio that it really is a pretty diverse mix of people from all over the world who have come together for their love of games and wanting to work in the industry. And, you’ll also notice as you walk around those studios, and we made a point of making sure that it felt like this on the show, is that the younger people, it’s pretty mixed male / female and the older people, it’s just all dudes, and it was because there was a concerted effort made maybe like 10-15 years ago to bring a lot more women into the world of gaming. But in doing so, they were brought in in entry level positions, and so they are making their way up through the ranks, but you’ll see a lot of executives are middle-aged dudes. So, the dudes in the show, myself, David Hornsby, Danny Pudi, are all of a certain age, and then of course, you have C.W., who’s Murray, who’s 80-years-old, and then all of the women tend to be 30 or under, and that’s pretty representative of the way it actually is.”

 

A fan-favorite series, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet surpassed fans’ expectations with its recent quarantine episode. Profound director Barry Jenkins described the episode as “one of the best episodes of television, this year or any year.”

“It really was born out of us talking every day, Megan Ganz, David Hornsby, and I, my co-executive producers,” said the talented McElhenney. “We were writing, finishing up writing season two, because we had not finished writing the scripts prior to us starting production, so, we were using that time to finish up the scripts, and then we finished, and we were about a month and a half into quarantine, and we just started thinking about how we wanted to get the crew paid really. How could we figure out how to get everybody paid for three weeks and we started brain-storming and then we thought, wow, maybe we could actually shoot an episode from home. We had seen maybe one episode of SNL and they had figured something out, so we saw some late night talk shows figuring it out, so we thought let’s give it a shot. But, if we do so, let’s make sure that we can make it feel like a premium episode. That you wouldn’t look back on it in three years or four years time, and look at it as us making do with our limitations, but that we used our limitations as an asset…”

Jenkins expressed his admiration towards McElhenney’s work and the development of the quarantine episode in just three weeks. The acclaimed director said that “making anything is very difficult” but it is even more so to “coordinate all of these things when you can’t physically be together to do this thing that’s normally a communal experience.”

 

“First of all, I will say this and it’s true that it’s only a testament to the cast and crew and the relationship we all have with one another that we were able to do it,” said McElhenney. “We were lucky enough to have built a rapport over the course of the first season and we had already prepped the second season, so we all have a pretty good relationship, a pretty great working relationship, and we communicate really well… The prep was the hardest part. We wrote the episode in about three days, a little less than three days, because that’s how much time we had, and we knew we wanted to make sure that at best, we were making something that was really funny and would bring some levity and joy into people’s lives, if only for 25 minutes, or that would be at worst, and at best we could make something that made people feel a little bit less alone, and that we were all going through the same thing together. That’s how we came up with the Poppy storyline and also to a certain extent the Ian storyline, and neither one of them are handling it very well, the isolation. They’re responding in two very different ways, and Ian’s is obviously comedic, but there’s still something really tragic in that behavior and Poppy is just a little more in tune with her own emotions, so therefore, she was diverting into another direction, and we recognized that we wanted to tell that story because mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health…”

Entertaining, hilarious and a show that will have you wanting to get your game on – you need to watch Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet streaming now on Apple TV+.

 

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