DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
'Mythic Quest: Quarantine' is a Lesson in How to Produce Social-Distancing TV
May 22, 2020  | By Mike Hughes
 


The art of social-distancing television has advanced quickly.

It’s been like watching evolution at hyper-speed. In just two months, the lowly water slug has transformed into a mighty cheetah. OK, maybe just into a less-lowly land slug. But it’s been impressive, anyway.

The latest example – and the best so far – is a special episode of Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, called Mythic Quest: Quarantine, arriving today, Friday, May 22, on Apple TV+. It’s often witty, briefly warm, and ends with a dandy visual stunt.

The evolution of at-home music came first. We quickly saw it go from primitive – Sam Smith merely staring into a phone – to elaborate, cutting between people in different homes and different continents.

But a scripted show done from separate homes? That’s been more difficult.

The first at-home Saturday Night Live was interesting but had way too many flailing attempts at one-person humor. The second (scheduled to rerun at 11:29 p.m. ET, May 23 on NBC) was a big improvement. It had better one-person bits – Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci, Kate McKinnon training her cats – plus some well-developed sketches. The third (the season-finale) was another improvement. But those just involved small sketches. What about a full, scripted show?

All Rise came first, partly succeeding. The personal parts worked well; the actual court case and its preparation were lame.

Parks and Recreation special followed, doing much better. It had the sort of humor – true to each character -- that the show thrived on.

And now Mythic Quest takes it further.

The series involves a videogame company, and we meet everyone after a long at-home stretch.

Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) is too hyper, Ian (Rob McElhenney, top, who wrote the episode) is too mellow, and C.W. (F. Murray Abraham), the token old guy, is still trying to figure out all this tech stuff.

David (David Hornsby) is just trying to juggle fragile egos long enough to have a conference call.

Interestingly, we see some surprising layers to Poppy and Ian. We get that brief bit of warmth and then the sight gag. It makes us feel better about the characters, and about the wobbly new art of social-distancing TV.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
BHEJI
Type in the verification word shown on the image.