Whenever a dream job comes up, happiness becomes part of the vacancy. Ask too much and the job could be someone else’s. Accept, and another minefield is waiting for you: the unspoken pressure to cede your identity to your job, not to be a person anymore and instead to be a proud dream job haver, happy to work all hours and take on endless responsibilities. This might work, but at some point the person you are will catch up with the life you live and the reconciliation of the two can be a real existential pain up the ass.
At least on Mythical searchIt’s funny.
The second season of the Apple TV Plus series, which premiered on May 7th with two episodes, is about the fight after the fight. It’s what happens when you have the best job you could ever want but have a vague feeling that you may not be the best person you can be. This mostly leads to a lot of comedic power struggles, as inspirational speeches from one character turn into awkward cringe festivities when tried by another, or simple team building tasks turn into a sitcom riff Breakfast club, stuck in a room with everyone until they can get over themselves. (Probably won’t happen.)
Make creators Rob McElhenney, Megan Ganz and Charlie D ay Mythical search
But now he finally has to share. Poppy Li (Charlotte Nicdao) is no longer the underrated engineering genius she was in Season 1 – now she is Mythical searchCo-pilot, a boss who is equally responsible for the direction of the game. That is, if Ian can share it.
More than in the first season Mythical search is based on the toxic yet symbiotic relationship between Poppy and Ian and explores what happens when two people are both uniquely good creative partners and terrible employees ill-equipped to communicate and function in healthy ways. Immersing yourself in the creative partnership of Poppy and Ian Mythical searchThe authors also show an interest in power and how it is used both implicitly and explicitly in the workplace.
Poppy, for example, spends much of season two learning that her manic selfishness, which may have been charming when she wasn’t a boss, now reads very differently. From her new place at the top, a bad joke can ruin someone’s day. Ian, meanwhile, is struggling to understand his younger, subordinate co-workers, who began to work in a time of economic precariousness where they are completely alien to just asking for what you want and standing up for themselves just an easy way to make yourself a goal.
As a comedy made by many of the same writers as it’s always sunny in Philadelphia, the notoriously edgy yet sharp sitcom about terrible people pledging to be terrible together, Mythical search has a knack for making things that sound awful on paper really funny in practice. In both shows, a lot depends on performance: In Poppy, Nicdao creates both a caricature and a three-dimensional person. There is enough pathos in very funny scenes in which she disregards a room full of artists who, unlike the gang in Always sunnyAs soon as she finds out what she’s doing, she’s confused and will try to get better.
Mythical searchThe refocusing on character, however, comes at the expense of research in to the industry. There really isn’t much this season that covers certain aspects of the game industry for their conflict – nothing that really fits in with the highlights of season one, like “Dinner Party,” which looked at how to run an online community with a Nazi problem, or “The Convention” with jokes that target the problems of video games with misogyny.
Instead, the show tries something harder and digs deep into messy characters trying to figure out what they want. In one episode, office villain Brad Baskhi (a deliciously evil Danny Pudi) is taken apart and examined to see what makes his misanthropic heart tick. The constantly inappropriate fantasy writer CW Longbottom (F. Murray Abraham, who spends several episodes videoconferencing) grapples with the past and present of his career in characteristically profane ways. Testers Dana and Rachel (Imani Hakim and Ashly Burch) realize that their status at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy is not necessarily sustainable, which inadvertently hinders mutual efforts due to their different communication styles. And Carol (Naomi Ekperigin) is the stressed out, overworked HR manager who takes care of them all.
Through all of this, the second season of Mythical search will be more like The office or Parks and recreation in his portrayal of difficult, chaotic lunatics who learn to accept and work together. On the face of it, this is a disappointment compared to its more succinct first season, which saw the game industry being shed and celebrated in equal parts. Like these shows Mythical search suffers a little from the need to sympathize and like the bulk of his cast – consider Ron Swanson’s slow dilution in Parks and Rec from ideological opponent to grumpy father figure for the protagonist Leslie Knope. That tension makes the new season a little less fun than the first, but there is still an advantage that is fresh.
Season 2 deals with much more difficult questions Mythical search didn’t necessarily have room to explore in its first season as it was busy introducing all of its characters and opening up a notoriously opaque industry to newbies. There are also more chaotic issues that we as a culture are not particularly good at addressing: recognizing who can speak, who is heard, ignored, remembered, or ignored. And how events that seem insignificant to a person can have a monumental impact on a colleague’s career or the way an industry is perceived by the public.
Maybe this doesn’t sound like it has a lot to do with video games. That is the point: Mythical search always swung bigger than that. Every dream job has a catch.