As for Poppy, the co-creative director and arguably the hero of our sad, sordid tale, actress Charlotte Nicdao infuses her character with the same level of screaming, crying, and borderline mental breakdowns we saw in Season 1. It’s still a bit exhausting to have her almost always be in that one mode, but even in just these first two episodes, she’s given an extra dose of humanity (and dare I say it, a straight-up win against Grimm) that should give the audience a bit more of a reason to root for her. Even better, it’s done without sacrificing her self-destructive and panic-stricken personality that clearly defines most of her work.
The conclusion of episode 2, wherein Poppy gives a speech at a Women in Games conference (a real-life organization, for the record. It even gives USC Games’ director Tracy Fullerton a cameo) is a wonderful example of how those two disparate sides of Poppy can blend to make a hilariously exaggerated, yet still grounded rant on how people like her are tired of saying sorry for being the mess that they are. Though Season 2 of Mythic Quest doesn’t seem to factor in any of the work-from-home realities of COVID-era game development (aside from one episode shot on iPhones), Poppy’s embarrassing diatribe certainly feels like it was made for people in the video game world who are just trying to get by one Zoom call at a time. By the end of it, Mythic Quest even finds something insightful to say about what it really means to be inspired in your cynical workplace.After the first season’s missteps, it delights me that Mythic Quest’s Season 2 premiere managed to make me give off more than a few full-throated chuckles, and even made me care about characters I initially wasn’t sure I wanted to hang out with. There’s still plenty of the second season left to check out, so of course, it might ebb and flow in quality, but McElhenney and crew seem like they’re finally capitalizing on the chemistry and potential that was there from the beginning.