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Apple hopes a new comedy from ‘Always Sunny’ stars will be a breakout hit

Published Jan 9th, 2020 5:43PM EST
Apple TV Plus
Image: Tony Avelar/AP/Shutterstock

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+ may not have a wide selection of content just yet, but that’s partially by design. Whereby Netflix routinely rolls out dozens of new series every single month, Apple has said that it’s taking on a quality-over-quantity approach with respect to its original programming. By inking exclusive deals with prominent creators like Damien Chazelle, Apple is hoping to carve out a unique niche for itself amidst a media landscape that has become incredibly crowded, if not downright overwhelming.

Earlier this week, Apple introduced a trailer for its first pure comedy, a series called Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. Set to land on Apple TV+ on February 7, the series stars McElhenney (of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame) as a self-centered creative director of a video game franchise. The series itself is the brainchild of McElhenney, his Always Sunny cohort Charlie Day, and acclaimed comedy writer Megan Ganz.

Given the star pedigree of the folks behind Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, it’s only fair to wonder if the show might prove to be Apple’s first breakout hit. While Apple has seen some success with shows like The Morning Show, the company’s streaming service hasn’t yet had a hit break into the mainstream a la Game of Thrones or Stranger Things.

Touching on this point, Variety recently published an interview with the show’s creators who provide us with some interesting background on how the show came to be and what we can expect from it.

Apple no doubt hopes that gamers, who collectively spent a record $43.4 billion in the sector in 2018 in the U.S. alone, will flock to the series given its subject matter and the pedigree of its creators.

McElhenney and Day wrote the initial drafts of the script, but when Day went off to work on a movie, McElhenney reread their work a few times and felt something was missing. To find out what that was, he turned to Ganz.

A veteran of the shows “Modern Family,” “The Last Man on Earth” and “Community,” Ganz says she found humor in the relationship between Ian and Poppy, the game’s lead programmer, played by Charlotte Nicdao. Poppy is brilliant and a major part of the game’s success, but is consistently overshadowed by Ian.

Interestingly, McElhenney relays that working with Apple on the project was a great experience. This is a point worth noting given some earlier reports from a few months back which claimed that Apple executives were far too involved in the creative process.

All that said, is there a chance that Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet will generate some traction and attract viewers? It’s possible, but the trailer Apple released doesn’t instill a whole a lot of confidence. If anything, the show seems like a poor man’s version of Silicon Valley. All the same, it’s not uncommon for great shows to have mediocre trailers, so perhaps Apple’s first comedy series will deliver in a big way. The good news is that we only have to wait about four more weeks to find out.

If you haven’t yet given Apple TV+ a spin, it’s just $4.99 a month. While that may not seem like a bargain given the streaming service’s diminutive library, you can enjoy the service free for a full year if you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Mac, or iPod touch.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.