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In February, Apple TV+’s Mythic Quest is the next “game devs on TV” show

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The trailer for Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet.

Yesterday, Apple solidified its most high-profile 2020 original series debut so far: Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet is a half-hour comedy from the team behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and all nine episodes of the show’s first season will be available to subscribers of the new streaming service on February 7, 2020.

For fans of modern TV comedy, the cast and crew involved might be particularly exciting. Sunny alums Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day are executive producers, and McElhenney and Megan Ganz (Sunny, Community, Modern Family) co-created the series. On camera, McElhenney stars as the fictional game company’s creative director, Ian Grimm, and the rest of the cast is equally delightful: Danny Pudi (Abed on Community) and F. Murray Abraham (Dar Adal on Homeland) headline an ensemble with Imani Hakim (Everybody Hates Chris), Charlotte Nicdao (Thor: Ragnarok), David Hornsby (Cricket on Sunny), Ashly Burch (an actual video game actor in Life Is Strange), and Jessie Ennis (Better Call Saul). The series is a collaborative production between Lionsgate, 3 Arts Entertainment… and Ubisoft, which debuted a teaser back at E3 2019.

The basic premise sets up Mythic Quest as a massively popular medieval-styled MMORPG on the brink of pushing out its first major expansion. (Hmmm, MQ kinda-sorta sounds familiar.) We see Ian Grimm (McElhenney) and his team watching a trailer for this release that puts the game in totally appropriate cultural context. “When we think of cultural touchstones, we think of ET, Star Wars, Avatar, and yet our industry drawers the entertainment business,” Grimm says, moments before appearing shirtless in what appears to be a gladiator-type arena. “When we think about legends, why not think about Mythic Quest?”

Sunny has always been a particular brand of humor, so maybe “your mileage may vary” should be the expectations for Mythic Quest once it launches early next year. But either way, it’s yet another example in what’s been a growing, recent string of game developer portrayals in the second half of the decade. AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire (2014) might be the pinnacle of these, with Kotaku UK even calling it the only show that even got games right (likely not a goal for Mythic Quest). But HBO’s Silicon Valley had a few recurring game development characters, the lead in Netflix’s Russian Doll is a game developer, and in the last two years NBC debuted then cancelled a series called I Feel Bad that used a game development company as its setting for office-place humor. Wherever Mythic Quest falls in that spectrum, we’re at least safely assuming these developers won’t end up in a time loop where all roads lead to destruction (ala Netflix’s also game-developer-centric, Bandersnatch).

Listing image by Apple TV+

Netflix cancels its Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival

Screenshot from Mystery Science Theater 3000's opening credits in which the show's title is projected an unconvincing moon.

Enlarge / Mystery Science Theater 3000. (credit: Mystery Science Theater 3000)

Netflix will not produce a third season of its Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival, according to a series of tweets from the show’s star, Jonah Ray Rodrigues.

The text of his Twitter thread follows:

So, Netflix decided to not do another season of MST3K. We are off to Get Down in Lilyhammer while the OA helps us take it One Day At A Time. We will be in group therapy with Tuca & Bertie, Jessica Jones, & Lady Dynamite. The sessions will be run by Gypsy (w/ Naomi Watts.) thread

We don’t know what the future holds for the show, it always seemed to figure out how to survive. From Comedy Central to SyFy. Then kept alive by RIFFTRAX & Cinematic Titanic. whatever happens, I want everybody to know that getting a chance to be on this show was a dream come true

Getting to work with old friends while making new ones was a gift I didn’t take lightly. Collaborating with heroes from my childhood is something I’ll never stop beaming about.

So, Thank you Joel & especially all the MSTies who embraced me as a mug in a (yellow) jumpsuit. I know it wasn’t easy accepting a new guy, so I appreciate the warmth.

This is the fourth time in the series’ history that it has been canceled in one way or another. Fans have repeatedly rallied to bring it back on new networks or, in some cases, in totally new formats and spinoffs like RiffTrax. Also on Twitter, MST3K creator Joel Hodgson said, “It’s not the end of MST3K, It’s just the end of the first chapter of bringing back MST3K.”

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Google is offering refunds for players who bought new Stadia freebies

Google had some good news to share with Stadia streaming’s early adopters yesterday: their $10/month Stadia Pro subscription will grant access to two new titles—Farming Simulator 19: Platinum Edition and Tomb Raider: Definitive Editionstarting next month.

That didn’t come as welcome news to all Stadia owners, though, because those games had already been on sale as Stadia launch titles for the week leading up to the announcement. That means a fair number of Stadia Pro subscribers had spent $49.99 (for Farming Simulator) or $9.99 (for Tomb Raider) on games that would be free in less than two weeks’ time.

Google, to its credit, has not ignored these players. “Because of the proximity between the launch of the platform, and the announcement of these titles in Stadia Pro, we’re happy to assist you if you’d like to request a refund if you have purchased either or both of these titles, even if it’s outside of our normal policy,” a Google community manager wrote yesterday afternoon.

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