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Quarantine Boredom Leads To Creative Bonus Episode Of ‘Mythic Quest’

Apple TV show produces a show from lockdown

Reported by Beth Accomando

As people learn to cope with working from home, the creative team behind Apple TV’s “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” decided to tap their creativity to challenge the limits of lockdown.

Put restrictions on artists and sometimes that’s when they become the most creative. Such is the case with “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” and its "Quarantine" episode.

Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

The Apple TV show was created by alums from “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and stars Rob McElhenney as Ian Grimm, the narcissistic creator of the Mythic Quest game.

Photo credit: Apple TV

Rob McElhenney, one of the stars and creators of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," stars as Ian Grimm in the Apple TV series "Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet." He created the show with Charlie Day and Megan Ganz.

“Mythic Quest” ended its first season with a bonus quarantine episode that not only displayed amazing ingenuity, but it also delivered a funny, sweet, poignant and ultimately uplifting story without ever feeling cloying or calculated. Hornsby was one of the writers for that episode.

"We saw an opportunity to kind of to tell a story where we could touch on both the mental toll it takes, the physical toll, the adaption that you have to make, even with dealing with having to zoom and the reality of that.

F. Murray Abraham plays an older writer who needs to learn Zoom for work meetings. The hilarious efforts to teach him how to use the app may resonate for anyone who has been having Zoom meetings with older family members who always seem to be pushing the wrong buttons.

"I mean the amazing irony of those scenes is that in order for us to capture them on film F. Murray Abraham had to deal with an impressive amount of technology," explained Megan Ganz, one of the show's co-creators and a writer on the quarantine episode. "He had to set up his own camera, adjust all the features; the stuff that he had to do to get to the place where he could pretend to not understand technology. It's like mind blowing."

Ganz said it was took just three weeks from conception to air, and was extremely challenging since everyone was sheltering at home.

"Ultimately, it was very invasive to the actors homes because we were sending them kits, essentially sanitized kits that had iPhones and camera stands and lighting and things to put on their walls so that it would feel more like their characters and the actors had to using their spouses or roommates in order to help us," Ganz said.

Hornsby added that it had a do-it-yourself feel, "That being said, we had a crew of hundreds on these calls watching and directing and helping and there was something really fun about that."

Photo credit: Apple TV

Apple TV's "Mythic Quest:Raven's Banquet" delivered a clever episode from quarantine in which the characters also had to deal with sheltering at home and using Zoom.

The episode concludes with a Zoom meeting in which everyone plays a small part in creating an amazing Rube Goldberg device through a chain reaction of video screens.

"[The episode] really bonded us, kind of in a way relative to what happens at the end of the episode we had that moment in making the show. It felt like we all came together to have this cool, triumphant moment," Ganz said. "It's been the highlight of quarantine."

Hornsby added that they wanted the show to address the problems of quarantine, but to end on a high note.

"Even though we're going through all this separate, we are also going through it together and we can work together to make this as good a situation as possible and that ultimately we're all connected," he said.

How they’ll all connect to create season two of “Mythic Quest” is still uncertain. In the mean time, I urge you to check out the quarantine episode and may be you’ll be inspired by their creativity.

Check out my full interview with the writers on Cinema Junkie Podcast 198.

Just noticed a panel at Comic-Con@Home about the Women Behind "Mythic Quest." It's free so no excuse not to check it out.

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Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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