Worth Watching: ‘Mythic Quest’ on Apple, ‘Locke & Key’ on Netflix, ‘MacGyver’ Returns
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Mystic Quest: Raven’s Banquet (streaming on Apple TV+): You don’t have to be a video-game enthusiast — I’m certainly not — to appreciate the send-up of dysfunctional workplace dynamics in the latest satire from It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day. Pomposity and pettiness are the order of business among a self-important team of video-game developers preparing for a big launch. McElhenney stars as Mythic Quest‘s creative director Ian Grimm, a self-proclaimed “visionary” whose raging ego leaves little room for his timid “executive producer” (David Hornsby) and ambitious engineer (Charlotte Nicdao) to be heard or appreciated. The game’s head writer (a very funny F. Murray Abraham) is usually too inebriated to notice. And when success or failure can be determined by a 14-year-old influencer who calls himself “Pootie Shoe,” no wonder everyone’s a mess.
Locke & Key (streaming on Netflix): After years of development and false starts (including on Fox), the comics series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez finally makes it to TV, with mysteries and freaky wonders behind every locked door. Scandal‘s Darby Stanchfield stars as newly widowed Nina Locke, who leaves Seattle with her three kids to take residence in the Locke family’s spookily Gothic ancestral home, Keyhouse. The Locke siblings — brooding teens Tyler (American Crime‘s terrific Connor Jessup) and Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and precocious Will Robinson-in-training Bode (It‘s Jackson Robert Scott), who’s always inviting danger with each magical key discovery — are still reeling from the trauma of their dad’s murder, glimpses of which haunt them in flashbacks. It’s a juvenile twist on the haunted-house story, but anyone who suffers Stranger Things withdrawal between seasons may enjoy.
Also new to Netflix: the psychological thriller Horse Girl — no relation to BoJack Horseman — starring GLOW‘s Alison Brie as an awkward loner who prefers the company of horses to people and is finding it harder to separate dreams from reality. Co-starring Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser and Search Party‘s John Reynolds — and we swear this isn’t a comedy.
MacGyver (8/7c, CBS): Rejoining the Friday lineup for its fourth season — Magnum P.I. will return when its run is over‚ the action series welcomes Lost veteran Henry Ian Cusick to the cast as ex-MI6 agent Russ Taylor. He recruits Mac (Lucas Till) and the rest of the former Phoenix team to track down a bioweapon before it can be used on a major U.S. city.
Inside Friday TV: The quirky kids’ fantasy-comedy Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (streaming on Disney+), directed by Tom McCarthy, stars Winslow Fegley as young Timmy, a would-be detective who is accompanied on his misadventures by a 1,500 pound polar bear named Total. Totally cool… With the Iowa caucus debacle behind them, and the New Hampshire primary looming next week, the leading presidential candidates will participate in another Democratic Debate (8/7c, ABC) with the network’s George Stephanopoulos, David Weir and Linsey Davis moderating from Manchester, N.H., joined by WMUR-TV political director Adam Sexton and news anchor Monica Hernandez… Chi McBride co-wrote an episode of CBS’s Hawaii-Five-0 (9/8c) in which Grover’s (McBride) niece goes missing, and it’s up to Adam (Ian Anthony Dale, who directs) to rescue her from the Yakuza… Looking for Lifetime’s Supernanny? Jo Frost has moved her act to Fridays (9/8c)… HBO’s High Maintenance (11/10) tokes up a new season, with dealer The Guy (Ben Sinclair) finding a lost dog in his journeys through New York.