Show Discussion: Taskmaster S10

By | October 15, 2020

Thursdays, 9pm,
Channel 4

And so we’re finally here, it’s moved from Dave to Channel 4 and we’ll finally be able to find out if this changes the show for the better or worse.

Not that it will be a fair fight, this (and the next) series have been filmed under COVID conditions, with audience reaction recorded from cinema screenings recently.

Our gladiators over the next ten weeks:

  • Daisy May Cooper
  • Johnny Vegas
  • Mawaan Rizwan
  • Richard Herring
  • Katherine Parkinson

What I will say is that it’s got a great promo picture.

51 thoughts on “Show Discussion: Taskmaster S10

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    As for the runners and riders, don’t really know Daisy May Cooper or Katherine Parkinson (although I know she was in The IT Crowd, didn’t really watch it). Enjoyed Marwaan Rizwan’s regular spot on Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club recently, ought to be good fun here. I was a massive Lee and Herring fan back in the day, although I’ve cooled on them both in more recent years. This feels like the sort of show Johnny Vegas was made for.

    1. Steve Williams

      Katherine Parkinson should be well worth watching, she’s been very funny on WILTY. And without wishing to spoil things, Alex says in the interview in this week’s Radio Times that it seems the more intelligent and well-educated the contestants are, the stupider they are on this show (cf David Baddiel), and that incidentally Parkinson has a classics degree from Oxford.

  2. Brig Bother Post author

    Well this is already shaping up to be a great series. I thought the lack of live audience would affect it, but Greg’s kept largely the same rhythm and I’d basically forgot about it by the first break.

    Madly in love with Mawaan – I thought taping the bear and emptying the liquid into the bucket was ingenious, only to have massive trouble with the not stepping on the grass bit. And his disappearing cow.

    Loved some of the vanishings, didn’t realise that case of drawers wasn’t a proper one. OR at least much lighter than the one at work.

    Also enjoyed the extreme tragedy of the egg task.

  3. Chris B

    Not seen it yet, but my podcast app has reminded me that the official podcast is out too and looks to be a Taskmaster’s Little Master type thing dissecting the latest show and behind the scenes type stuff too

  4. Scott

    1) If Daisy gives birth onstage during this series I will not be surprised.
    2) I would watch Johnny in anything.
    3) Katherine seems very Mel Giedroyc in her vague spaciness.
    4) Mawaan is adorable.
    5) Richard’s competitive streak is already seriously evident.

    I would very much like to see a Taskmaster: Uncut, which has the same tasks but expanded chat. It definitely felt like a lot of very funny stuff got left in the editing suite.

  5. Mika

    Happy to get to watch this from overseas without VPN magic. First series I’ll be watching ‘live’. (Hopefully they start putting up Series 8 next week)

    Didn’t notice the lack of audience that much, and the laugh track felt appropriately used.

    Did kinda feel like the tasks this episode were… a bit hard…? The glass one and the egg one felt more like “win/lose” Mole-style tasks. That were basically setup to fail.

    1. Steve Williams

      Wogan said that his favourite episodes of Blankety Blank were those where nobody scored any points or won any prizes, because to him that summed up the whole ethos of the show as a bit of idle fun they were just doing to have something to do. To me that’s the same ethos as Taskmaster and I was thoroughly amused when nobody scored any points in the glass task.

  6. Brig Bother Post author

    1.68m last night which is pretty good, and likely to do well in consolidated and good word of mouth.

    Difficult to know what C4 were/are hoping for, I think under 1.5m for the premiere would have been disappointing given the push it had. I still think there’s probably an upper limit for the show and it’s probably around 2m (which they’d be very happy with, to be fair), we’ll see. Apparently it beat an Apprentice clip show which had 1.33m which seems extraordinarily low, even for a clip show.

    For reference, a first run ep on Dave would secure around 600k and consolidate double that. An episode of Cats Does Countdown around 900k-1m, so by those metrics bosh, it’s job done.

    But remember the golden rule kids, One Number Is Not A Trend (ONINAT). I think it ought to hold or increase, but we’ll see.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      3m consolidated for ep 1 apparently, which is very good.

      Edit: 1.4m for ep 2 overnight, but might not matter if consolidates double that.

  7. Will Stephen

    Noticing after watching it a second time that the colour buckets were all different for them with the colour eggs matching, I wonder if there’s a theme this series with the colours.

    1. Matt Clemson

      Also, Reddit pointed out that in the egg task, there was a “NO SMOKING” sign in the background that was different for each participant (for one it was NO MOKING, for another it was SMOKIN’, etc)

      If this was WIDM I’d be so trying to figure out which of them means “The mole”. Richard was “NO KING”…. it’s gotta be him!

      1. Chris Field

        I noticed that sign and did a double take whether it was different for Richard or not. Very curious.

  8. Chris M. Dickson

    Low-brow but hilarious outtake, which really illustrates the consequence of not having an audience.

    (And, eh, I thought something was ever so slightly off with the good-but-not-great episode. Maybe the atmosphere because of the lack of audience, maybe the quantity of task material…?)

  9. David

    Taskmaster NZ has started, if anyone’s in the mood for another slightly-less-impressive version of this show.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I thought the first ep was OK, don’t think Jeremy owns the room like Greg does and this may or may not be an issue going forward, but I’m highly amused at Paul Williams having a very similar intonation and mannerisms to Alex Horne despite also looking about twelve – that banter bit at the beginning would have fit right into the UK show.

      Surprised they did the sculpture task and the cocktail task on the same episode – they’re virtually the same task really, make something out of things that follow a lexical rule. The conversation about piss drinking made me laugh quite a lot.

      I think it’s something that may get better as it progresses and the hosts and contestants get to grips with the format more and what’s required for the show to sing. We’ll see, eh.

      1. Dillon Pentz

        Everyone involved definitely gets more comfortable with the show as the season progresses. I went to four of the tapings (eps 3, 5, 7 and 9) and by the end, Jeremy becomes more loose, and in general there was more discussions rather than a feeling they had to breeze through everything to get the shoot done in time (which was a feeling I definitely had with episode 3). Early episodes probably aren’t actually cutting all that much from the episodes for the final broadcast. By the end of it, I don’t think Jeremy becomes an amazing Taskmaster, but he’s definitely more comfortable in the role by that point.

        There are certainly still some highlights to come. Each taping I went to felt better than the last, so it’s a good sign when the first episode is still a solid attempt. Still good enough of an opener that I feel confident we could get a more polished Season 2 next year, but we’ll have to see.

  10. Brig Bother Post author

    Bit of an odd one tonight, didn’t really feel like it got out of second gear especially after the relief of the opening episode – think it definitely missed the live audience, and if it wasn’t for Johnny Vegas the treasure hunt task would probably the sort of one you “hide” mid-series.

    I really like the cast, hopefully it’s just a blip.

    1. Mika

      Yeah, I mostly agree. And it’s weird… seems like a good cast who are all up for a fun time, but something about the tasks themselves doesn’t feel like it’s clicking. Doesn’t help that both episodes are starting off with some of the worst, practically phoned-in prize task submissions.

      1. Chris M. Dickson

        Mmmm. I like the contestants, and largely I like the tasks. (The treasure hunt task was absolutely my jam, and I quite liked the other two main tasks. The live task was a miss for me, other than that the successful use of the process of elimination was rewarded.) There’s something about the warehouse that doesn’t feel very Taskmaster-y, though, in ways that other extensions to the Taskmaster universe have avoided.

        I hope it’s not the lack of live audience that makes the whole thing feel like less of a party, as that feels like a dumb reason to like the show less, but it might be.

  11. Brig Bother Post author

    First ep of this did extremely well – 3m all in, 1m in the 16-34s, actually the third best show in the demo for the week, behind Bake Off (2.5m) and Gogglebox (1.5m).

  12. Alex McMillan

    I think it’s fair to say I’ve got a mild crush on Paul Williams

    1. Chris M. Dickson

      Yes, though that’s selling it short. Not a spectacular episode, not a particularly clever episode, but it’s been a long time since an episode has been that surprisingly laugh-out-loud funny, considering how limited my reaction was to the first two episodes.

  13. Brig Bother Post author

    Really getting into NZ Taskmaster, some big belly laughs this week, still think Jeremy Wells feels a bit supply teacher in the role (to be fair it’s a difficult role to fill) but Paul Williams is making up for it.

    1. Oliver

      The second episode of Taskmaster NZ was fun and much better than the first – the tasks are really fun.

      The studio segments still aren’t quite there, largely because Jeremy Wells is a bit stiff as the Taskmaster, however he was already better in the second episode so hopefully it keeps improving

      1. Steve

        Someone above who went to tapings 3 5 7 9 did say Jeremy does come more loose as it goes on. The fact that it does appearing to be getting better is a good sign

  14. Brig Bother Post author

    Ep 2 consolidated to 2.7m, for reference. 3rd for C4 for the week, Gogglebox got 6m and Bake Off 10.3m.

    It was also 3rd for the week in A16-34.

    1. Big Dave

      Of course we did.
      It’s not as good as the previous S.P. O’Nage one.
      It’s basically a plug for previous series streaming on All4.

  15. TVs Michael Harmstone

    Taskmaster NZ is still great, but as I discussed with Bindles earlier – Jeremy cannot mark the prize tasks to save his life. This week had someone be VASTLY overmarked (and got eight points more than they should have).

  16. Ryan

    Right then. I have a bit of a bone to pick with Taskmaster Norway (“Kongen Befaler”). I’m watching S1 episodes right now (yay subs!) and the task is “Move the food and drinks to the cups and the dishes on the other table. You have to stay on this side of the fence. The birthday begins in 10 minutes.”
    So the task is that there’s a fence (some rope and posts) dividing two birthday party tables. Move cake, pastries, candies, lemonade etc onto the matching bare table. The bare table is significantly further away from the fence then you would like it to be.
    My first thought? Move the fence.
    Contestant: “If I get the fence loose, can I move it?”
    Norwegian Alex Horne: “Ah, no.”
    It didn’t say on the task that you couldn’t move the fence. It seems quite arbitrary that they can’t move the fence. Isn’t Taskmaster supposed to be about lateral thinking? This kind of irks me.

  17. David

    Taskmaster NZ this week, holy cow. Possibly the best tour de force performance by one contestant in any season of the show. Brilliant.

    1. David B

      Lots of fun in that episode. Really hitting its stride, now. As for the UK…

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Don’t know, that was the all in number week before last, you’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

    1. Ryan

      Have to be honest – I just thought it was a solid episode top to bottom. Haven’t laughed that consistently at a Taskmaster episode for a long time.
      And yes Michael I very much agree with you!

      1. TVs Michael Harmstone

        It was a very good episode. Even the first challenge (which very much stank of a tiebreaker that they thought was hilarious) was something I could have seen Little Alex Horne doing.

        Angella is just a Godsend of a contestant. She’s rapidly becoming one of my favourites ever.

    2. David

      Brynley should have gotten a point off for coming dressed as Leigh. We’ve already established he isn’t outlandish.

  18. David

    I can’t be the only one shocked they did that whole Airhorn Andy/Little Airhorn Andy/Little Airhorn Alex bit without any of the professional entertainers on stage making the incredibly obvious Little Alex Airhorne joke, right?

  19. Alex McMillan

    The finale of Taskmaster NZ had an absolute all-time great task involving using foodstuff to make something IMO.

  20. Oliver

    After a very shaky start, Taskmaster NZ become pretty great in the last few episodes. Really enjoyed it and hope there’s another series.


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