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 ‘Rock ‘n’ roll umlaut.’
Prize task: The best see-through item.
“It’s like you want me to attack you,” Greg comments after Alex botches the introduction to this. But that’s not as bad as how Joe Thomas stumbles over his description of a window. Somewhere in his neighborhood there’s a house with a hole in the wall.
Lou Sanders brings in a book of ways to “see thru people” and Paul Sinha shows up with a hula hoop that apparently was taking up space in his flat. It’d be great if he won this episode so he had to take it back.
Sian Gibson gets us back on track with some gin, because Greg might want to start drinking after so many terrible prizes. And in that same vein, Iain Stirling brings in what he claims is a “see-through beer fridge” even though only the front door is transparent.
A thoroughly disappointed Greg questions if anyone is trying anymore and gives four points to Joe.
Task No. 1: Completely conceal yourself inside this phone box. Fastest wins.
Everyone has vastly different interpretations of this task. Iain takes to dismantling the caravan to hide in what’s basically a vertical couch fort, while Sian stuffs herself into several trash bags and Joe has fun with bubble wrap. “Am I supposed to not have a shadow?” he realizes too late.
Lou seems surprised that she accomplished the task while Iain is super-pleased with his success (except for the muscle cramps it gave him). But where’s Paul Sinha in all this? He’s recruiting other people to act as human obstructions. None of them look happy to be there. It took him 22 minutes and you can still clearly see his head inside the phone box.
That means Iain gets five points for being quicker than Lou, which should further boost his ego.
Task No. 2: Design the most iconic album cover, album title and band name.
This team task matches up the same groups as in the previous episodes, and the results are pretty much the same. Joe is a bit pedantic as he and Sian calmly work through ideas, while the other three are just throwing out crazy concepts at random.
The trio have named themselves Lou Sanders and the Lovely Boys, and the cover of their album Sssex looks like an awkward 80’s pop group. The duo call themselves Shoe and name their record It’s Too Big before creating a cover that seems like at least one of them is dead.
Greg names Joe and Sian the winners here, after asking them what their concert would be like and laughing thoroughly at the result. Neither of these bands should ever exist.
Task No. 3: In five minutes, you must return this pack of cards to Alex in the lab and then tell Alex the order the cards are currently in. Most correctly named cards wins.
Oh, Taskmaster, you’re a cruel mistress (or master). Tape a pen under the desk and watch everyone freak out looking for it. “Absolute waste of my time,” Iain grouses, and he’s even less happy when Alex asks what order the cards were in. He starts botching it fairly quickly, and tells Alex there was “a picture of a scumbag” involved as his way of getting back at him for the lack of a pen.
Sian has much better luck, making 13 mistakes to the more than 20 that Iain flubbed. Joe looks like he’s having an aneurysm despite doing well with just seven errors, and Paul breezes through the task only having missed one card.
Then there’s Lou, who’s committed a fatal mistake by messing up the order of the cards followed by another one by leaving the room. She’s disqualified while Paul picks up an easy win.
Task No. 4: Score a goal from the furthest distance. You may take only one shot. You must perform a terrific goal celebration whether or not you score your goal.
There are two issues here: setting a reasonable distance so you’re not disqualified for missing the goal, and then trying to come up with a proper celebration. It’s similar to the pan-throwing task in the sense that there’s a lot of risk assessment involved.
Sian goes for the “make a goal and then run around screaming like a banshee” method. Seriously, she could break windows with the pitch of her voice. Joe, Lou and Paul all miss their shots and are therefore left to celebrate…their disqualifications. Joe in particular seems to have no idea what he’s doing and even has trouble articulating it in the studio.
But then there’s Iain, always trying to finagle something. He’s gotten a bigger goal to put in front of the smaller goal to give himself some insurance. And yet he still manages to miss his shot. What follows is the most awkward conga line with some of the same nonplussed people who were barricading Paul’s phone box earlier.
Sian gets five points and the distinction of being the only person who had any kind of aim.
Task No. 5: Standing behind the first line, roll your loo roll beyond the second line.
Toilet paper rolling will never be an Olympic sport. Joe has to wallow in further defeat when his roll falls off the end of the stage, and Iain avoids that same fate by maybe a hair. Paul gets an awkward release and can’t even get near the second line.
The surviving players are instructed to take off their right shoes and then retrieve them solely by moving the unrolled toilet paper back. It’s not really a competition as Lou is able to do that in a matter of moments and picks up another five points. However, Sian is the winner of this episode overall.
So what have we learned today? Comedians have terrible aim whether it’s soccer balls or toilet paper, it’s not that hard to come up with a terrible band name, and the best way to get rid of your junk is to bring it as a prize on Taskmaster.
Full episodes of Taskmaster are available for free on YouTube. All 10 episodes of Taskmaster series 8 are now streaming on CW Seed.