In case you, like me, missed the Mythic Quest Queer memo, I am here to right those wrongs and get you on board by way of some adorable queer gamer gals.
After binging a few shows in a row (including all of Criminal Minds in the span of a month) and realizing I was rapidly running out of ideas for TV content that wasn’t week to week, so I tweeted asking for recommendations. I asked for hidden gems, and a lot of people didn’t understand the assignment and were pitching extremely popular shows I had either already seen or actively decided not to watch, but a few people I trusted pitched Mythic Quest to me, so I was intrigued. The name itself is enough to feel right up my alley, but these trusted sources knew the way to my heart: They mentioned that Ashly Burch was in it.
I was exposed to Ashly Burch for the first time during a Critical Role one-shot where she played a character that was (relatably) a gay disaster for Laura Bailey. I have since also played video games where she was a regular, comforting voice in my ear, such as Life is Strange and Horizon Zero Dawn. I don’t know if she’s queer in real life, but she has played queer enough that I officially consider her “queer until she says otherwise” and either way she is obviously an ally as she continues to play and is often championing her queer characters.
Mythic Quest is about a video game development company that makes one of the most popular fantasy MMOs. We follow the creative directors and other team members as they fight against deadlines and each other and streamers’ opinions. It’s a quirky office comedy like Parks & Rec, just in a nerdier setting. And as a video-game/fantasy-loving nerd myself, I do appreciate loving digs at nerdiness that don’t feel like punching down. It uses humor to shine a light on things like the lack of women in game development roles and the struggles female gamers face from toxic fandoms, all without MAKING light of them. It’s funny and heartfelt and goofy, and really just exactly the kind of binge I needed in these stressful times.
By the time I found it, Season One (including a very special Quarantine Episode) had already dropped, and in it we meet Rachel, played by Ashley Burch and Dana, played by Imani Hakim from Everybody Hates Chris. Rachel and Dana are testers, which means they spend hours on a couch playing video games, logging bugs and submitting issues. And bonding! It’s very clear from early on that Rachel is Very Into Dana, and will trip over herself to do anything for her. She is over-eager in a way that is both a little cringey at times while also a little too real, and very adorable. It’s clear Dana enjoys Rachel’s company too, but it’s very unclear if Dana LIKE likes her or just regular likes her, something that torments both Rachel and the audience (okay fine maybe just me) for Mythic Quest‘s entire first season. Even through the first post-quarantine episode, a special called Everlight, when the duo is teamed up for a real life LARP competition, their chemistry is real but it’s unclear where Dana stands.
I love that the two main testers for Mythic Quest, as long as one of the highest creatives in the company (Poppy, played by Charlotte Nicdao) are women, especially because I myself love playing video games, and hate that the general gaming community would keep me at arm’s length if they had their say. But luckily I’ve found My People (aka other queer gamers) and we laugh more than we yell while playing Fortnite, and we stream on Twitch not for the numbers but just for the company. The cast also has other hilarious women (because women can not only be gamers, but they can also be funny! Who knew! :end extreme sarcasm:) like Naomi Ekperigin and Aparna Nancherla.
And I know this is probably obvious, but one of the reasons women are so well represented on this show is that the show is co-created by real life funny woman Megan Ganz, and she’s not the only writer in the room, with Ashly Burch even having a hand in writing a few episodes.
Hopefully I’ve already sold you and you’re ready to start watching Mythic Quest (on Apple TV+) but if not, keep on reading, because the the first three episodes of Season Two have dropped and I have some details from that to hook you further.
Keep reading for light spoilers!