I’d never even heard of Taskmaster until this latest series, and it only crossed my path because I follow James Acaster on Twitter, and he was a participant in the latest series. I like Acaster’s work, and some of the clips and gifs I’ve seen have made me wonder what all the fuss is about.
I had to do a bit of digging to find where I could watch this show – it’s broadcast on Dave, which means it’s part of the UK TV family. There’s an on demand app called UK TV Play (I do not recommend this app, it’s very poor compared to other video streaming efforts). So, I downloaded and started watching.
Genuinely, I thought, I’ll just check out the first episode of the first series and see what it’s all about. I binge watched that first series in a weekend, and started working on the second.
It’s crazy but brilliant.
In case you don’t know, five guests are put at the whim of Taskmaster Greg Davies and series creator/able assistant Alex Horne. Each episode features a handful of tasks, for which points are handed out, and one of the comedians will win the episode, and then the points are added together to get a series winner too.
Yea, Mr C didn’t seem all that thrilled when I used that explanation to try and convince him it was good, either.
Perhaps, with the admin out the way, it’s time to talk about the tasks. They are both weird, wonderful, genius and silly all at the same time. Getting three yoga balls to sit on a yoga mat at the top of a steep hill on a windy day. Finding the quickest way of emptying a bathtub without pulling the plug out. Painting a picture of a horse whilst sitting on a horse.
Some are more cerebral, some are basic, and the highlights are seeing how each contestant approaches the tasks differently. The good thing about it, too, is because it’s the same set of people over the course of a six-episode series, you get to know who will try and twist the rules for an easier life, who’ll think outside the box, and who will just jump right in with both feet and see what happens. I read somewhere that the producers approach it a bit like a continuing drama in that sense, and I think that adds to the fun.
So, there are seven series with Acaster in the latest batch that has just finished. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do but at the rate I’m going, I’ll be up to speed in no time. And then they’ve just realised a Taskmaster book, with tricks and tips and tasks to put on your own Taskmaster event. Wondering which of my family and friends I can convince to give it a go.