#HomeTasking
March 22, 2020 1:23 PM   Subscribe

 
The first season of Taskmaster was an absolute hoot, but it degraded after a while. So far, season 4 has been rather blah and predictable.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 1:32 PM on March 22


The first season of Taskmaster was an absolute hoot, but it degraded after a while. So far, season 4 has been rather blah and predictable.
posted by Old'n'Busted


Eponiblahblah 😋
posted by filthy light thief at 1:40 PM on March 22 [5 favorites]


I binge watched a ton of Taskmaster at Christmas, and while I agree things got a big repetitive at some points, I never didn't find it hilarious.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:57 PM on March 22 [5 favorites]


I love it. How about we sway the negativity to positivity, eh? Love this idea and it’s definitely great for families.
posted by knownassociate at 3:20 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


The first season of Taskmaster was an absolute hoot, but it degraded after a while. So far, season 4 has been rather blah and predictable.

I will fight you, especially since they are all pretty dang fresh to us. Or at least, the degradation didn’t really start until after Liza Tarbuck’s star turn on Season 6.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:35 PM on March 22


We've watched the first four series on YouTube, and found them all enjoyable.
posted by jazon at 5:55 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I loved them all and frequently rewatch the entire show from start to finish. The only season that is so-so is the unsuccessful American version. And even THAT one has its moments (and my discovered love for Ron Funches and Kate Berlant).

As for this #HomeTasking idea: I love it.
posted by UltraMorgnus at 5:57 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


I binged the whole thing over Christmas and while, yes, certain contestants are not as strong (either comedically or competitively) as others, and the majority of the prize tasks absolutely can't compete with a couple of astronomical high points (Josh Widdicombe's tattoo, Rhod Gilbert's video), that's to be expected. It's still pretty good throughout.
posted by juv3nal at 6:25 PM on March 22


What I truly love about it is that it’s most often an exercise in weird creativity. It feels a bit like something right out of fluxus, or the oulipo, or surrealists: here’s a constraint, work around it. Of course, that might dress the whole thing up more than is intended but that’s just fine. It’s vaguely high concept with a very social execution.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:38 PM on March 22 [6 favorites]


What I truly love about it is that it’s most often an exercise in weird creativity. It feels a bit like something right out of fluxus, or the oulipo, or surrealists: here’s a constraint, work around it. Of course, that might dress the whole thing up more than is intended but that’s just fine. It’s vaguely high concept with a very social execution.

It's not just the lateral thinking itself, I think. I like it when someone successfully executes a bit of lateral thinking and then you sometimes see the other contestants pretend to be incensed about it and claim it's cheating.
posted by juv3nal at 6:46 PM on March 22 [3 favorites]


I also enjoy the creativity that goes into thinking up the tasks in the first place. Some of them are mundane and some of them are surreal and sometimes they clearly try to push contestants in one direction and fail and other times they are obviously leaving lots of loopholes open.

It's a show that you can think a lot about or just watch and find funny, either way. You can almost even play along at home -- like, what would I do if I had to do that task? And then find out whether your idea was dumb and unworkable or a total winner.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:50 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


Taskmaster is definitely a show that relies heavily on the contestants.

Season 9 (the last one) was a weak cast. Jo Brand especially was a poor choice.
If you aren't willing to look absurd, maybe have your agent book you on something else.
posted by madajb at 7:06 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


fuck i should have thought to post this
posted by taskmaster at 8:25 PM on March 22 [28 favorites]


So far, season 4 has been rather blah and predictable.

There is no. way. you saw Noel Fielding hiding in the fruit bowl.

Alex Horne looks legitimately haggard in the video. I'm looking forward to trying the tasks!
posted by carsonb at 8:32 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Taskmaster is definitely a show that relies heavily on the contestants.

Indeed. I think of the usual suspects on the merry-go-round of panel show participants and think some of those who have never been on would be great (Sean Lock’s carrot-in-the-box cunning might serve him well for the lateral thinking aspect of it), some would be terrible (I cannot imagine David Mitchell enjoying this) and some are still a mystery (Phill Jupitus seems like he might be perfect; Sue Perkins even more so. Lee Mack... maybe?) but I am only up to season 5 so far.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:58 PM on March 22


They promised us that Louis Theroux would be in an upcoming season. Louis Theroux!
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:03 PM on March 22


Alex Horne looks legitimately haggard in the video.

True, but he is in a field where working from home is barely an option. This must be a stressful time. A lot of my friends are actors and musicians and directors and this is disastrous for them.

I would just add that when I first started watching Taskmaster, I didn’t know Horne was the brains behind it. I recently saw a joint interview with him and Davies about the show and Horne said he didn’t think he really had the personality to be the host but was temperamentally better suited to being the foil. I remarked after seeing him being cuddled by five different contestants that he seemingly has the smallest comfort zone of anyone on TV.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:05 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


So far, season 4 has been rather blah and predictable.

Series 4 includes a series of tasks set only to Mel Giedroyc involving a giant, oversized beach ball, designed for the sole purpose to see how far they could push her before breaking her sunny outlook on everything. If you can't love that, I can't help you.

Granted, the very first task of series 1, episode 1 set a high bar with Romesh Ranganathan throwing a watermelon on the ground and then proceeding to nearly kill himself by cramming as much of it in his throat as he possibly could within a minute, set against Roisin Connaty realizing she needs a tool or something to open the watermelon and taking a practically leisurely stroll to get a knife from off camera and managing to get only a couple of bites within time. Maybe it's been downhill since then but at least through series 4, which is all that I've been able to watch through the official YouTube channel, it's still in the comedy Alps.
posted by biogeo at 9:26 PM on March 22 [5 favorites]


Jo Brand was very funny. She stayed true to her brand and character and it was great. Her doing tasks her own way or not being bothered about something made me laugh
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 10:41 PM on March 22 [4 favorites]


Okay but if anyone says it’s downhill after watching season 5 then there will be massive points deducted.

(Rosalind is a fucking nightmare, though.)
posted by paisley sheep at 11:18 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


Roisin is comedy gold. She is like one of my sisters when drunk, only she's sober (I think). I adore her and the entire premise is so brutal. Where are you getting episodes, I can never reliably find them on youtube.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 2:37 AM on March 23 [1 favorite]


HomeTasking Task #1 is out: you have, as of this post, 29 hours, to throw a piece of A4 paper (the standard paper size in metric countries, so I guess America can use US Letter?) into a bin. Most spectacular throw wins.
posted by Merus at 3:09 AM on March 23


I would just add that when I first started watching Taskmaster, I didn’t know Horne was the brains behind it.

I discovered that within the first episode or two while I eas reading about the show, which is good, because knowing that allowed me to not be squicked out by the amount of abuse that Alex takes in some episodes, both from the contestants and from Greg. If I hadn't known that Alex was in charge of basically everything on the show, I would have found that too upsetting to continue watching.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:00 AM on March 23


I highly recommend The Horne Section Podcast, which is musically hilarious. Alex and the band talk to various comedians and actors. The Greg Davies episode, where they sing "Nans" (about Greg's nan and the Queen, as seen on the Royal Variety Performance), is amazing.
posted by vickyverky at 6:19 AM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Where are you getting episodes, I can never reliably find them on youtube.

The Taskmaster official YouTube channel has all episodes up through series 4 as of last week, and has been uploading one new episode every Monday. The last episode of series 4 was last week, so I don't know if series 5 is going to start being uploaded today or not, but I hope so!
posted by biogeo at 9:25 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Less officially, all of the episodes to date are on Daily Motion or at least they were a few weeks ago.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:56 AM on March 23


Official Taskmaster YouTube works in the US too (for me at least)
posted by Bunglegirl at 11:22 AM on March 23


Nathan, age 8, has a great entry for task one, while channeling Aisling Bea: Twitter link.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:23 PM on March 23


Fun facets about Alex Horne:

-- he has an bachelor's degree in classics from Cambridge and wrote a dissertation about anagrams in Virgil
-- he was hugely inspired as a kid by Oregon sawmill worker/palindromist Howard Bergerson's book 1971 Palindromes and Anagrams (which is in fact great, RIP).
posted by msalt at 4:45 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


I haven;'t seen anyone else mention it, so let me suggest that, if you like Taskmaster, you might enjoy Alex Horne's OTHER gig: Alex Horne and the Horne Section

My favorite bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4DCJWDhWeA
posted by UltraMorgnus at 5:02 PM on March 23


Alex also created The Button which was in the same friendly competitive style as the GBBO. Families competed to win tasks like who could get the most strangers into their living room. One family (mom and son) looked around at their spotless white couch and carpet and declined that challenge right off the bat. Tasks were surprises and families had to complete them in their home. It was a surprisingly good show.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 5:42 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Season 9 (the last one) was a weak cast. Jo Brand especially was a poor choice.
Thems fightin' words, mate.
posted by vac2003 at 6:24 PM on March 24 [2 favorites]




> The results of the first task

"Throw..."

In these tough times is reassuring to see that general human intelligence is not improving.

/s>
posted by humboldt32 at 10:20 AM on March 25


Feel like we are not keeping up with these tasks!
Number 2: Turn Your Bathroom Into A Venue For A Great Night Out
Number 3: Make The Best Dancing Elephant
Number 4: Camouflage Yourself, Then Reveal Yourself
posted by Going To Maine at 9:22 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


I watched these the other night and they're great. Thank you for posting this. Especially impressed with #4, camouflage.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:31 PM on April 2


Omg. The bathrooms.

I loved the scout camp and would have definitely given it points.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:09 AM on April 3




Silently Recreate a Famous Movie Scene

I think this is my favourite so far. Some great animal acting.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:16 AM on April 10


There are about 9 different Jurassic Park ones in there that were killing it.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:41 PM on April 10


Famous movie scene definitely the best.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:16 AM on April 16


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