Barry Jenkins has championed the special quarantine episode of Apple TV+’s “Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” as one of the best television episodes in recent memory. The acclaimed director interviewed “Mythic Quest” co-creator and star Rob McElhenney about the episode in an FYC interview that will be streamed Wednesday evening from Apple, and IndieWire is exclusively premiering a clip from the upcoming interview, which can be viewed below.
McElhenney noted that the idea for the show’s quarantine episode came shortly after the “Mythic Quest” writers completed work on scripts for Season 2, around a month and a half after social distancing guidelines effectively halted all Hollywood productions. “We started thinking about how we wanted to get the crew paid,” he said. “We started brainstorming and then we thought, ‘Wow, maybe we can actually shoot an episode from home.’”
McElhenney noted that he was particularly inspired by “Saturday Night Live” and various late-night talk shows which have continued to film new episodes (albeit with some limitations) throughout the last few months. Given that the “Mythic Quest” team didn’t have access to a large studio and the other tools that are typically key to premium TV, McElhenney said that ensuring the special episode retained a high-quality look was a top priority.
“Let’s make sure we make it feel like a premium episode so you wouldn’t look back on it in three or four years’ time and look at it as us making do with our limitations, but that we used our limitations as an asset,” he said. “The telecommunications device we communicated through was used as a creative choice, as opposed to just a limitation.”
The “Mythic Quest” quarantine episode was well-received by critics, including IndieWire’s Eric Kohn, who praised it as the series’ best episode in his May review. “’Quarantine’ disposes of the most obvious shelter-in-place bits we’ve seen spoofed on “SNL” and elsewhere — gags about showing up shirtless or showerless to Zoom meetings (or, in this case, ‘MythiCom’) speed by — then builds to a satisfying and even emotional exploration of the psychological toll of coming to grips with living alone,” Kohn said in his review. “For years, the gaming world was largely understood through popular culture as a distended joke; ‘Mythic Quest’ pokes fun at it, while constructing real personalities in the process.”
Jenkins’ full interview with McElhenney will be streamed at 6:30 p.m. PT here. Watch the teaser below: