My wife and I were introduced to Good Mythical Morning in 2018 (maybe 2017) by a friend that watched the show. Though my wife enjoyed makeup and parenting blogs on YouTube, I didn’t use YouTube for anything but music. GMM changed that. We now watch the show daily, even if it’s just on in the background. I purchased the duo’s first book – Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality – shortly after becoming a fan two years ago, but have only now gotten around to reading it. It was, more or less, what I expected, and that’s not a bad thing.
This field guide is a great coffee table book. You leave it out for all to see. It looks good there next to a small cactus plant and your shopping list. Sometimes, you use it as a coaster. Flip through it at random for ideas. Yes, this is that kind of book.
Inside, you will find various courses and stories, including “Make a Bold Hair Choice,” “Eat Something That Scares You,” and “Conduct a Weird Experiment.” Some of these chapters are funny and informative, others are okay to skip. Again, remind yourself this is a coffee table book – not every chapter is going to be of interest to you. There are pages that are designed to be eye candy – they are bright, colorful, and loaded with pictures and/or fun fonts – but were a bit boring to read. Skimming was a good friend of mine off and on in this book, and that is okay! It’s not like this book is disappearing onto a shelf – it will be right here in the living room for whenever I want to look up something.
One thing I learned from reading this book is that Rhett and Link are good at writing. Granted, I have no idea how much guidance and editing they received throughout the process, but they have a great narrative style that works perfectly for this field guide. They crack jokes often and, in general, write in an airy, comforting way. I am very curious to read their fictional novel, The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek.
It was also reinforced with me that these guys are comedians and musicians (not that we get much of anything music related in this book). They are funny to read, whether the duo is discussing something from their past or just telling us how to get unlost. The earliest chapters deal most in their childhood, so you can find their friendship-centered pages there. In the later half of the book, the guys mostly talk about how to throw a good party (they offer up some awesome ideas there) and how to build your character.
I will say my favorite sections of this book talked more candidly about the guys’ marriages, like how they met and dated. It was cute and consisted of anecdotes I didn’t already know from watching the show. I also particularly enjoyed the invention pages, and those that featured fan art. And even though it ended up being a pretty boring documentary, the book even directed me to a really early YouTube film the duo released years ago: Looking for Mrs. Locklear.
Now, for those unfamiliar with Good Mythical Morning, Rhett and Link try all kinds of crap on it, like eating bull testicles or learning how to sumo wrestle from a world champion. Some of their best episodes are “Will It ___?” in which their chef concocts specialized food experiments, such as Gushers French Toast. My wife and I love these episodes where the food is actually interesting and possibly good to eat. Of course, Rhett and Link also fill most of their episodes with disgusting things you would never want to eat. But I digress. Good Mythical Morning does a lot in food and experimentation. Yes, they also do other things – like yoga with snakes, or holding musical notes with 5 Seconds of Summer – but a lot of what they do involves eating. Unfortunately, this book does not feature a chapter of recipes for some of the wildest dishes they’ve made/eaten on the show. This is not only disappointing, but a bit of a slap in the face considering that’s one of the most important aspects of their show.
I was also hoping to get more of a biography about the show’s creation, including its early days, growing its staff, getting more advanced equipment, branching out into other shows (like Mythical Kitchen, which – to be fair – wasn’t a thing until after this book was written) and so on. Instead, you get some background information about Rhett and Link growing up – which is good and all – but very little about Good Mythical Morning itself. That was a bummer.
I think a sequel needs to be written, one that goes into detail on things I listed above as missing. I think that would be a book I enjoy more. This field guide is a bit too gimmicky at times. Still, I love Good Mythical Morning, and this book presented me plenty of laughable moments, great design work, and some fun ideas. And for that, I definitely recommend it for fans of the show. And if you don’t already know these guys, then this book might just help push you in the direction of Good Mythical Morning. Trust me, the show is much wilder than this guide.