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Primetime Picks… 2/7/20

Feb 07 Posted by in Features | Comments

Today Apple TV+ has released the entire nine-episode first season of its new comedy Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. The series is a workplace comedy that follows a video game company preparing to release the first major expansion to its massively popular Role Playing MMO game Mythic Quest. Creative Director Ian Grimm (Rob McElhenney, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is a bit of an eccentric and is nervous about the release. He is constantly tinkering with the code and wants to delay the launch, but the rest of his team are ready to move forward. Ian is constantly butting heads with lead programmer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao).

The series reminds me of Silicon Valley, if Pied Piper were a video game company. The show finds humor in the interactions between the departments of the company, from marketing, to the designers and coders, to the testers, the all important (but obnoxious) gameplay streamers, the odd creative director, and even the head of HR, whom the employees treat like their personal therapist. The amazing cast also includes Danny Pudi (Community), David Hornsby (Good Girls), Jessie Ennis (Better Call Saul), and the hilarious (who knew?!) Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham (Homeland) as the game’s writer, who treats his work like he’s writing a Shakespearean masterpiece. Other characters include internal game testers Rachel (Ashly Burch, Critical Role) and Dana (Imani Hakim, Everybody Hates Chris), and 14-year-old YouTube gamer Pootie Shoe (Elisha Henig, The Sinner).

I checked out the premiere, and really enjoyed it—there is some great chemistry between this ensemble cast. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the show. The series is co-created by Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Megan Ganz, who had all worked together on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The show has already been picked up for a second season, so there’s plenty more to come.

 

Today Netflix has released the first season of thriller Locke & Key, the long-awaited adaptation of the popular graphic novel. Over the years there have been several failed attempts to bring this story to the small screen, but now it’s finally here. After her husband Rendell (Bill Heck, The Alienist) is murdered by one of his students, Nina Locke (Darby Stanchfield, Scandal) is looking for a fresh start. She and her children move from Seattle to the small coastal town of Matheson, Massachusetts, to Rendell’s ancestral home, a large estate known as Key House. Rendell and his brother Duncan (Aaron Ashmore, Killjoys) didn’t really have fond stories of the home, and have let it fall into disrepair.

As teenagers Tyler (Connor Jessup, Falling Skies) and Kinsey (Emilia Jones, Utopia) attend the local boarding school, and Nina tends to renovations, youngest Bode (Jackson Robert Scott, It) is left to explore the house and grounds on his own. He starts hearing whispers that tell him that the house contains magical keys, each with its own unique power. So he starts seeking out these keys and testing their powers. His siblings initially don’t believe Bode’s stories, but soon witness indisputable proof. As the children learn more about the home’s tragic past, they also discover that an evil creature is also trying to collect the keys to harness their powers. The siblings must band together to figure out what is going on, and how the secrets of Key House are related to their father’s death, and ultimately stand up against the evil forces at work there.

I checked out screeners of the first two episodes and was instantly and totally sucked into the world that this show sets up—I would have binged even more of it had I had time. The series is mysterious and creepy, with amazing production value. With each episode, the world becomes richer, and the mystery deepens. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out.

 

Tonight, I’ll also be watching/recording Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector, and The Graham Norton Show.