Taskmaster – The Greatest Show You’ve Never Watched

What Exactly is This?

I know that I don’t usually cover live-action TV, but if you are in my Discord, you’ve likely seen some of us watching a show called Taskmaster. Genuinely one of the greatest shows I’ve watched in a good while. In some ways this is a British gameshow, much in the same way that “Qi” is a gameshow, which is to say it really isn’t. Five contestants (usually comedians) compete for the most points by doing deceptively simple tasks in order to have the most and take home some sort of “prize” at the end of the show. Each season follows this format, replacing the cast at the end of the season once an overall season winner has been declared. Really though, the focus is on the creativity and hilarity that ensues as each person tries to tackle the given tasks. Let me show you what I mean.

A Quick Look

Hosted by Greg Davis and Alex Horne, Taskmaster runs 11 seasons with multiple specials for a current total of 96 episodes! However, more seasons are already scheduled for release later in the 2021 year. With each episode featuring several tasks, you’ll have plenty of episodes to enjoy. Here’s a quick segment from just one of these episodes:

The tasks can get fairly whacky and ridiculous though, some of my favorites are when the contestants have to make little short films or put on little skits. Some tasks also have clever loopholes or little tricks, and it’s a great feeling when you are able to identify the correct solution, but even better still when the participants manage to do so as well.

Is it Really That Good?

Even after showing you that though, I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves if this is really worth your time or not. I promise you, it absolutely is. While I’m only just now finishing up season 5, each passing season has only gotten better and better. It’s true that some episodes are more memorable than others, and I don’t care for some casts as much as others, but I’ve yet to see a bad episode in the bunch. So yes, you should definitely be watching it.

Why Haven’t I Heard of This Before… or Have I?

This question is mostly for my American fans, because in several other countries Taskmaster has enjoyed success in multiple countries. However, in the US and a few other countries, the show only received a single season in 2018 before vanishing from their networks altogether. This is a real shame, but after having watched an episode for the sake of review…

So I don’t LOVE this video, but I agree with a lot of his points

British Panel Shows are Funny!

At the end of the day these “gameshows” are criminally underappreciated. Sure, some migrate over our way as you might have seen, but they rarely do as well as their British counterparts. There’s a level of comfort and ease at which the British cast members of panel shows jab at each other while keeping things light and entertaining, often times even hyping each other up at key moments. In short, it’s all in good fun.

What’s more is that I often learn something interesting in these shows or discover new personalities to enjoy. This makes it all the more exciting when things carry over from show-to-show, as many of these comedians feature on several different panel shows at one time or another. Even if you don’t know any of the cast members initially, by the end of any given season, they can feel like people you’ve known for a long time, which is not something that’s easy to capture.

You Can Watch Taskmaster RIGHT NOW!

The best part of all of this though is that these types of programs are easily accessible, in full, and often legally, on YouTube. In fact, you can go and watch Taskmaster right now! I’ll get you started with episode one below or you can click the link here to be brought right to the official YouTube channel. I promise, you won’t regret it so enjoy.

There’s a lot more here if you want to deep dive Taskmaster, how it came about, and its other versions, but I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own. Had you heard of Taskmaster before? Are you a newfound fan? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article please consider a donation via the provided buttons below. Thanks for reading, and see you in the next one!

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6 thoughts on “Taskmaster – The Greatest Show You’ve Never Watched

  1. Sorry to be a pedant but QI isn’t a “gameshow” but a panel show/quiz show. Unless there is a different definition in the US, gameshows to us usually involve the public and have some sort of prize at the end of it, QI is a bit of fun.

    I’m actually surprised you’ve heard of QI and Taskmaster in the US – I didn’t think UK shows aired over there. Never watched Taskmaster myself but I know it is so popular that it went from a satellite TV channel to terrestrial TV which is unheard of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I think you misunderstood, I call it a panel show but use “gameshow” as my initial framing since panel shows aren’t really a thing in the US. It’s more to make the concept easier to understand.

      Channel 4 shows don’t air here but the internet is magical and my interests wide 😉 I’ve seen a lot of cool stuff as a result.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah right. Sorry! 😦

        Panel shows on TV and radio have existed for a long time here in the UK but really boomed in the 90s with the rise of the satirical comedy panel show, covering subjects ranging from sport, music, current affairs, etiquette (!), dating tips, parlour games, general knowledge, TV, film, sci-fi. and antiques.

        “Taskmaster” started on a satellite/Freeview channel called DAVE with a modest audience reach, that is known for showing mostly re-runs of BBC comedies, panel shows and Top Gear, with the occasional original programme. It became such a cult hit that CH 4 picked it up and exposed it to a wider audience as well as a bigger budget.

        if you like good quiz shows you need to check out The Chase/Beat The Chasers or Pointless, and for fun on Ch4, The Crystal Maze, if you can or haven’t already. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No worries, it’s all good haha.

          Yeah, the US sort of has panel shows but most of them have gameshow elements thrown on top for viewership. That’s why I initiated my conversation using the gameshow framework but worked out from there.

          Ah yeah, I knew it was on CH 4 to start with, but that makes sense. I think the move to CH 4 was ultimately good for it though.

          As for your other recommendations, The Chase is actually a gameshow here, practically identical. Pointless I’ve seen a few episodes of but seen the least of shows we’ve discussed and of course The Crystal Maze is a staple 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I knew The Chase was on a few years ago in the US but I thought it got cancelled. The UK version is much better as there are 6 Chasers and not just The Beast, plus Bradley Walsh is a funny host and the show isn’t as short or as stiff and po-faced as the US version.

            Pointless is best when it is a celebrity version as it exposes many of them as completely clueless about everyday subjects. >.<

            Crystal Maze was cult viewing in the 90s with original host Richard O'Brien but Richard Ayoade has made it his own with this reboot! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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