Taskmaster is the most beautifully insane series on television, and though it’s no longer airing on The CW, the full eighth series is now streaming on CW Seed – and the first seven series are available on YouTube for absolutely free. So why should the mayhem stop just because it’s moved two inches to the left?
In the spirit of continuing to celebrate Taskmaster‘s brilliance, every Friday we’ll be looking at each series 8 episode and offering commentary on the tasks, the quips and the complete failures. Obviously that means spoilers, so if you haven’t seen this series or this episode yet, head on over to CW Seed to watch along.
Without further ado, here’s the scorecard for ‘Stay humble.’
Prize Task: The best face.
Lou Sanders gets things off to an uncomfortable start by declaring that she’s brought the face of the child that she and Greg might have. Paul Sinha comes in with a two-foot cardboard version of his own head, which he did not make; he found out that someone sells them. Paul also makes a huge mistake in admitting that Greg’s mom asked him for tips on weight loss because “I think Greg needs them.” Awkward.
Sian Gibson gets smart by bringing in a picture of Face from The A-Team, and is shocked when Iain Stirling gets the joke. Joe Thomas shows up with the face of a hideous fish, and Paul doubles down on the mom jokes by saying “Is that how your mum sees you, Greg?” More importantly, how is that the best face, Joe?!
But Iain arrives with an adult onesie that’s got Greg’s face plastered on it. Oh, by the way, he had the same image put on the outfit he’s wearing for this episode. That doesn’t seem stalkerish at all. Ultimately, Greg decides to go with the person who sucked up to him as opposed to the person who insulted his weight, and Iain gets five points.
Task No. 1: Divert the sand from Bucket A into Bucket B. You may not touch the sand. You may not move the buckets. You may not leave the room. Most sand diverted into Bucket B wins.
First of all, the set-up for this looks like a low-budget horror movie, considering that everyone starts attached with Bucket A over their head. Joe Thomas already looks like he thinks he’s going to be murdered.
What they don’t realize is that once they detach themselves from the bucket, that exposes a hole and the sand begins to drain. “How much sand is in there?” a panicked Sian exclaims to which Alex deadpans, “There’s a bucket full of sand.” Joe declares his turn a “f–king disaster” and still looks ashamed of it when watching it back in the studio.
Iain realizes that he’s touched Bucket A so he goes and moves Bucket B, therefore immediately disqualifying himself. Upon realizing he’s broken every rule for the task, he decides to go all-in (or all-out) and leave the lab.
Paul takes his usual slow and steady approach, moving small amounts of sand with egg cups and then a colander. He’s fine, though, because he figured “some f–k” would disqualify themselves. Iain helpfully raises his hand. Lou wins the task.
Task No. 2: Make the most realistic injury using food.
This sequence starts with Alex getting whacked by the door. God bless Alex Horne for all the punishment he takes in the name of Taskmaster – a healthy sampling of which happens in this task.
Lou creates a massive dog bite out of noodles. Joe’s bit looks more like a morbid cologne advert but it ends up with him having a faux birthday candle shoved in his eye. Paul appears to just be doing a crossword before he throws up a large quantity of what’s supposed to be blood but is actually ketchup.
As for Iain, he massively overacts while looking like Alex has horrifically assaulted him. That leaves Sian, who giggles at the idea of leaving a murdered Alex outside of the shed. Apparently one of the rubber ducks had enough of him. At least that’s what it looks like, but then she tells a very convoluted story about Alex actually dying by his own pen and the duck being a random bystander. Still, she gets five points.
Task No. 3: Have a long-distance game of catch with this beach ball. Greatest distance apparently covered by the beach ball wins.
This is a team task, with Iain, Paul and Lou once again battling Joe and Sian. It absolutely has to go better than last time, especially because the teams have two months to edit together their videos. And because it doesn’t involve them being in the same place.
The first group covers more than 10,500 miles taking the ball to various locations around the world. The second group is funnier because Sian brings in the Tree Wizard himself, Romesh Ranganathan, to announce where she is every time she’s allegedly there. No one’s buying that and she and Joe lose.
The best bit here, though, is that Alex brings out a video of Paul playing with himself. The banjo music makes it and Paul gets a bonus point for effort.
Task No. 4: Herd the most ping-pong balls into the ping-pong pen. You may only touch the ping-pong balls with the basketball, the string underneath, or one little finger. You may not move the pen.
Speaking of playing with balls, here are even more of them. Both Joe and Lou ask for scissors so they can cut open the basketball and use it as a bucket. Greg says that this task has restored his confidence in Joe’s mental health; Joe quips that he now does this twice a week.
How does everyone else fare? Paul looses all the ping-pong balls onto the world and can’t control any of them. Iain tries to make several quick trips in small amounts and Sian tries to chuck the balls into the pen with the string only to see some of them bounce out. Essentially, they’re all hopeless.
Paul only ends up moving one ball. That means Joe and Lou are tied, but then Greg reveals there was a special ball that says “Herd me and halve your total.” He was screwing with everyone again. With their numbers cut in half, the two are shocked to hand the victory over to Iain by a mere half-ball.
Task No. 5: Recreate the scene in the box. Most accurate scene recreation wins.
Everyone is very quickly paraded past a pool table with random objects on it and then scrambles to come up with their own version of it. Iain just starts whinging again, claiming he doesn’t remember it ten seconds later. There are balloons and bits of paper and it’s arts and crafts class gone wrong.
Lou settles for just drawing what she saw on two pieces of paper while Sian has detoured into would-be balloon animals. Joe ultimately gets five points for at least something that vaguely looks familiar. However, that doesn’t stop Iain from winning the episode and now being able to cart around a giant version of Paul Sinha’s face.
What have we learned today? We’ve learned that slow and steady doesn’t always win the race, that the Tree Wizard is still alive and well but didn’t teach Sian Gibson how to properly make balloons, and that you should always check your balls.
Full episodes of Taskmaster are available for free on YouTube. All 10 episodes of Taskmaster series 8 are now streaming on CW Seed.