Rob McElhenney, star and co-creator of Mythic Quest, said the COVID-19 pandemic made him reconsider the friendship between two of the show’s protagonists, Ian (McElhenney) and Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao). After continuously butting heads in Season 1, the two got happier in the special “Quarantine” episode and will continue to do so in Season 2.
“If we were always just constantly at odds with one another, then I don’t understand why these two people would ever work together, let alone be as close as they are,” McElhenney said in a recent Television Critics Association Zoom panel. “At the end of the day, no matter what, they’re going to be there for each other.”
The Apple TV+ original is a workplace comedy in the office of a video game, Mythic Quest. The show produced the “Quarantine” episode remotely after its first season aired.
At the end of “Quarantine,” Ian visited a lonely Poppy at home. Nicdao said Season 2 will show how their relationship fares once they’re back in the office.
“Who knows if they’ll be able to continue to be nice to each other after the fact?” Nicdao said.
Ian and Poppy’s relationship will remain platonic, co-creator Megan Ganz said. Ganz said the love Poppy and Ian share is for the game.
“All of their love is put toward the thing that they do,” Ganz said. “It’s not going to blossom into anything other than, hopefully, a really committed relationship to make this game as good as it can be.”
Mythic Quest Season 2 resumed production in 2020, following COVID-19 safety protocols. The pandemic is also making its appearance in subplots, including one about actor F. Murray Abraham. Abraham takes on the role of C.W. Longbottom, the author whose work the game is based on. C.W. tries to work from home at the start of Season 2, causing comic mishaps as his remote connections fail.
Abraham, according to McEhenney, needed to be on set with the other stars. McElhenney, on the other hand, determined that the 81-year-old Oscar winner was too dangerous to introduce to the set, except under strict safety protocols.
“I said, ‘Respectfully, I do not want to be known as the person that got F. Murray Abraham very, very ill,'” McElhenney said.
McElhenney said he allowed Abraham to film scenes for the season’s seventh episode in person, with a reduced crew. Abraham said he appreciated his character’s Season 2 story lines, trying to figure out Zoom.
“It gave them an opportunity to laugh at my incompetence with computers,” Abraham said.
When Abraham filmed C.W.’s remote working scenes, he was in a hotel. Abraham said he still felt well cared-for by the COVID-19 protocols.
“When I was in the hotel waiting for my turn, every day I was tested, even though I was in the hotel,” Abraham said. “It was very reassuring.”
If Hollywood productions dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mythic Quest makers focused on how the video game industry dealt with it. Ganz said that Ubisoft, the show’s producer, informed them about how their gaming division was dealing with the pandemic.
Ganz mentioned that when Ubisoft made the transition to remote working, they experienced a familiar learning curve. Ganz said that snafus with Zoom, such as muting and unmuting, were normal no matter what sector one operated in.
According to co-creator David Hornsby, the pandemic harmed one Mythic Quest Season 2 episode. The creators were preparing an episode around the annual E3 video game convention. The 2020 E3 has been cancelled.
“We then had to scrap that, because as Ubisoft was saying, no one’s doing E3 anymore,” Hornsby said.
Season 2 of Mythic Quest will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday. “Everlight,” a stand-alone bonus episode, is now available to watch online.