Online Show Review: Harmon Quest, Season 1

Details: There are ten episodes in this season. You can watch it for free on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBTSJlNI_Ks

Harmonquest is an online show where Dan Harmon, the creator of shows like Community and Rick and Morty, plays Dungeons and Dragons with some friends and a new guest celebrity every episode.

In case you aren’t familiar, Dungeons and Dragons is essentially a group improvisational performance game where a group of people play roles and use their imaginations to go on an adventure. One person is the “dungeon master,” who is essentially the god of this make-believe world. He determines how things play out and the players determine what they attempt to do. Whether any action you decide to attempt succeeds or not is usually determined by a dice roll and the dungeon masters discretion.

There are a lot of podcasts and shows on the internet where we get to watch people play Dungeons and Dragons, but this show I think improves on the format in three ways. Firstly, the show is split between crudely drawn animation and the players sitting behind a table in front of a studio audience. Unlike other shows, the animation helps the viewer picture the adventure better. The studio audience also help the overall entertainment with their reactions.

Secondly, the format they use to play the game makes the dungeon master take care of all the nitty-gritty rules and just lets the players improvise and act out the adventure. Dungeons and Dragons has a lot of nitty gritty rules that, when played out in front of a studio audience, can bog down the flow of the show and bore viewers. This expedited format that the show uses works well.

Lastly, the new celebrity guest they have each episode also helps ground the show and add to the entertainment. Some of these celebrities were easily recognizable to me, some weren’t. All of them added something to the show. The best guests were the ones who were clearly famous and clearly had no idea how the game was played. Those guests almost stupidly tried to play this nerdy game and made the show that much more hilarious.

Overall, this isn’t an amazing show, but if you like watching Dungeons and Dragons podcasts with a heavy does of comedy, this is the show for you. Harmonquest may be the most high-profile, most approachable, and most entertaining Dungeons and Dragons podcast on the internet. This is a funny show and should not be mistaken for other podcasts that attempt to be more serious.

Score: 6/10

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