Taskmaster

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alistercat

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Since the UK gameshow Taskmaster got a lot of buzz on GB's GOTY lists I thought I'd start a discussion here to talk about it! Thanks, @caseymalone

I live in England so UK comedy isn't novel to me but even still, Taskmaster feels like the best original show in the last 20 years. Aside from the comedy, there is a lot of interesting game design. Many episodes feel like a series of WarioWare minigames. In many cases the rules are only there to encourage contestants outside the box thinking and creative solutions. Casey said it a lot better than I could, so go read his GOTY article linked above.

Who else enjoys the show? Which is your favourite series? Also, why was the (cancelled) US version so terrible? Despite friend of the site Ron Funches being on there (which is dream casting for me) I couldn't stand more than 10 minutes of it.

For those curious, Taskmaster is available on their youtube channel for people outside the UK, and on All4 for UK viewers.

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imhungry

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Absolutely love Taskmaster! I agree there's really some brilliant design happening in quite a few of the tasks, not just in provoking hilarious comedy but even just purely from a fun standpoint.

It's basically impossible to pick a favorite series for me, though it'd probably be between 4, 5, 7, and the most recent Series 10, which produced some truly magical moments and was even completely hilarious in the studio portions despite the lack of an audience. Bonus shout-out to the New Year special which left me sorely wishing for a full series with that cast.

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alistercat

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@imhungry: I'd also be up for a full series. I'm not a fan of the short one offs they've done just because it's harder to get invested. That is also one of the worst things about the US version.

I didn't expect to like Rylan so much but he has a great sense of humour about him.

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FinalDasa

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#4 FinalDasa  Moderator

Amazing that in the previous 3 months so many people I know somehow independently found and enjoyed Taskmaster, including myself.

Not only is it a good show they found the right tone for the "game show". A shame the American version didn't understand that but I'm very okay just enjoying the original.

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Retris

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@finaldasa: To tbh honest, I don't think American tv understands panel shows either. Or any sort of improv comedy for that matter that isn't Whose Line but even then that's just the British version but with a different host.

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Atlas

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I only got into Taskmaster last year, but I watched pretty much every series straight with my sister and then watched the latest series as the first one I was watching as it happened. I've always been a big fan of UK panel shows and knew Alex Horne (and his band) and Greg Davies from appearances on things like 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and had always seen TM advertised on Dave but never actually watched any of it until last year. So yeah, was pretty excited to see so many people discovering it, especially non-Brits.

Favourite series is a tough one. Most times picking series will be based on which contestants entertained me the most, because there hasn't been one so far where there hasn't been someone I really loved watching. The first series I watched was 4, but series 5 was a great all-around crew that also had my favourite contestant and one of my favourite comedians, Bob Mortimer. Series 10 definitely had loads of laugh-out-loud moments, and I think Johnny Vegas was an inspired choice for the show, but Daisy May Cooper ended up being my favourite, although watching Katherine Parkinson's mind unravel was also a big highlight (same thing with Series 8 - watching Paul Sinha be so befuddled by the tasks while walking around in a dressing gown and pyjamas was never not hilarious).

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Sweep

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#7 Sweep  Moderator

I will watch anything with James Acaster. I think he's one of the most original comedians in the world right now.

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Onemanarmyy

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#8  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I had never heard of this, until i saw that clip of Joe Wilkinson's potato throw a month or two ago. I should give this a shot, eventhough i'm horrible at sticking with a show.

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someoneproud

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#9  Edited By someoneproud

Taskmaster is a rare gem of a show. Alex Horne is a treasure and Greg Davies is the perfect blend of no-nonsense school teacher and mischievous tyrant. The series with Bob Mortimer is the first favourite to come to mind but they all have their moments.

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alistercat

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@retris said:

@finaldasa: To tbh honest, I don't think American tv understands panel shows either. Or any sort of improv comedy for that matter that isn't Whose Line but even then that's just the British version but with a different host.

From what I saw of it, they seemed to treat it like an actual competition. The UK version always feels like a bunch of friends making fun on themselves and each other, but not in a humiliating way. Unless you're having a mask made of food eaten off your face.

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alistercat

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My only criticism of the show is the amount of food waste. Considering how many families are relying on foodbanks right now, I hope going forward they don't destroy/waste as much food.

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Ares42

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Amazing that in the previous 3 months so many people I know somehow independently found and enjoyed Taskmaster, including myself.

It's just Youtube advertisement. Not saying it's not a great show, but the reason it's caught on this year is because they payed a bunch of money to get put on everyones youtube feed.

Unfortunately the full shows on YT is blocked in my country, but I still have access to all the other random videos. From what I've seen my absolute favorite moment has to be Ed Gambles Chickpea Romance.

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alistercat

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rahulricky

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@alistercat: They started to acknowledge the food waste a few series ago and I believe regularly donate to try and offset it https://twitter.com/alexhorne/status/1182039377846968320?lang=en although I was disappointed to see tasks continue to be designed in a way that makes the waste inevitable.

Big fan of the show (and the new accompanying Ed Gamble-helmed podcast is enjoyable for fanatics). I took part in the Taskmaster at home they made at Christmas and it was a great and chaotic online hangout with friends.

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alistercat

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@rahulricky: That's good to know. Though the task they mention here didn't waste that much food. I'm thinking more of Rob Beckett ordering 100 pizzas, or food they use that isn't destroyed but will go uneaten. Hopefully they keep it in mind more going forward.

I just started listening to the podcast! Unfortunately the feed is busted on my podcast app and won't work so I've been using youtube.