HarmonQuest, Seeso’s new comedy, features Dan Harmon and his pals playing a Dungeons & Dragons-esque fantasy role playing game in front of a live audience. As the players improvise their way through the quest, the story is animated to hilarious results. But this isn’t just a show for nerds; here are five reasons why you should be watching HarmonQuest.
The Fellowship of the Quest
HarmonQuest is a perfect blend of Dan Harmon’s venerable comedy and animation experience (Community and Rick and Morty, respectively), his podcast Harmontown, and his unbridled love for fantasy role-playing games. His character, a half Orc named Fondue Zoobag, is the flawed but lovable heart of the quest. Joining him are Erin McGathy as a red-headed Barbarian named Biaro Shift, Jeff B. Davis as a green goblin named Bone Weevil, and Spencer Crittenden as the Game Master who ties it all together. Neither the players or characters take themselves too seriously, and as dice are rolled and the Game Master lays out the gameplay, their improv skills are on point. The result is a gang of outcasts that hilariously and successfully fumble, fight, and advance their way through an epic quest.
The Guest Stars
Each episode brings a new character into the storyline, and the guest stars are a who’s who of comedic talent. The roster includes Chelsea Peretti, Aubrey Plaza, Nathan Fillion, Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani, John Hodgman, and Paul F. Tompkins. The players range in fantasy game experience and knowledge, but they all eagerly jump into the action. Each guest star adds a slightly different twist to their own episode, and their character clearly reflects the guest’s real life personality without derailing the overall quest. Plaza’s gnome, Hawaiian Coffee, casts a shrinking spell on Bone Weevil just ’cause. Hodgman’s character is creatively named Han Jodgman and has a plotline involving 100 sandwiches. Middleditch, probably the most experienced gamer of all, brings his own dice to roll the fate of his character, Dildo Bogpelt, who blows erotically shaped smoke rings out of a pipe.
The story is standard fantasy fare: An unlikely threesome sets off to protect/collect a series rune stones and encounters trials, dragons, ghosts, and other evils along the way. But the devil is in the details, and the element of randomness via the Game Master’s dice and whims creates a unique spin. The story moves collaboratively in serial form, and the episodes are easily bingeable. The characters are subject to both surprise and delight at the same time as the viewers, and the animation brings the whole fantasy world to life (including the players’ non-sequiturs and comments, which sometimes are the best part of the show). If you’ve ever wondered what a Barbarian rage looks and sounds like, fear not — you will find out.
You Don’t Have to Know Anything About Role-Playing Games…
Never played Dungeons & Dragons before? It doesn’t matter. The series is a box of laughs and improv decorated in fantasy gift wrap. You don’t need to know what an Orc is, why you roll a 20-sided dice, or how many charisma points are necessary for a journey. D&D fans will appreciate the gameplay nuances, but the real joy is in watching the players make and react to spontaneous decisions as they find themselves in predicaments of various outrageousness. It’s a creative and fun story that happens to take place in a fantasy world. It also helps that every player on the show is truly funny, whether it be in an outright or dry manner, and the resulting interaction between the characters is anything but boring.
…But The Show Will Pique Your Interest in Them
Sitting around a table roleplaying has never looked so fun. The series plays out like a tricked out version of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, and it encourages quick thinking, problem solving, and teamwork. Plus, any game that has room for characters named Eddie Lizzard (Nanjiani) and Deepak Chopra (Peretti) or swords aptly called “Only Friend” and “New Friend” are worth looking into. HarmonQuest will have your imagination working in overdrive and encouraging you to say, “Let’s Quest!”
All 10 episodes of HarmonQuest are currently available on Seeso.