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 ‘This is Trevor.’
Prize Task: The best slippery thing.
After Alex Horne unveils his new Greg Davies-hydration system, we get to the round of prizes. Sian Gibson took this a bit too literally and brought in a pair of slippers. Iain Stirling comes bearing a plastic alien in an egg, which Greg kind of is amused by because he confiscated a lot of them when he was a teacher in the 90’s when they were popular.
Lou Sanders has a slide! Paul goes for a classic comedy bit and shows up with a banana peel, then adds a bunch of gelatin and his own pair of slippers. That’s right, Sian, he’s seen your bad idea and capitalized on it. Joe Thomas rounds this out with an unassuming bar of soap. You can’t argue with his logic but wow, is that boring.
Greg awards Lou five points for her multi-layered approach to the prize task, but man, has this been a rough series for prizes in Taskmaster history.
Task No. 1: Find the pink ladies. If you touch or move a bowl, you must turn it over. If you find the green egg, you are disqualified. Most pink ladies wins.
“Oh, is pink ladies an apple?” Iain exclaims, while Joe has a moral crisis before working it out.
The former gets the hang of this rather quickly, including all of the hidden messages. However, it’s the latter who spots the biggest clue: there’a color-coded grid on the concrete (and as the viewer finds out, several other places) that tells the contestants where everything is. Joe thus finds all five apples while Iain disqualifies himself.
Paul starts doing complicated math in an attempt to work out the percentages, while Lou only discovers the pattern after Alex has blown the whistle on her. As for Sian, she decides to throw caution to the wind and randomly turn over all the bowls without doing any kind of research whatsoever. As such she also disqualifies herself. Come on, Sian, you’ve been on this show long enough to know you need to pay attention to everything!
Task No. 2: Choose an outfit that the contestant whose name comes after yours alphabetically has to wear in a future task. Wearing your new outfit, identify the flavor of these crisps.
There is absolutely no way that this can possibly go wrong or turn into a petty game of humiliation. Everyone gets to pick out of Alex’s catalogue. Sian is a Welsh Santa, Iain becomes a pirate, Lou is stuck as a chef, Joe is assigned as a boxer and Paul is also a chef.
Joe, Lou and Paul are at a disadvantage because their hands aren’t free, but really this is torture for everyone because the “crisps” aren’t any conventional flavor. There’s burnt toast and toothpaste and vegan chocolate.
“I don’t like who I become in that [costume],” Iain quips, while Paul is clueless (he actually thinks one of them is ashes from a cigarette). The entire thing is a festival of incompetence, but Joe wins again. Wait, could Joe Thomas win an episode this week?!
Task No. 3: Do a powerful thing with your little finger. Most powerful thing wins.
At least the task didn’t say “middle finger.”
Both Paul and Iain start thinking about money and donating to charity (by using their phone and laptop respectively). “Only I can donate to charity and make it look dickish,” Iain says, continuing his string of one-liners in this episode. But they both use their little fingers to push the confirm button.
Lou decides to build a sort of Rube Goldberg machine, or as she calls it, “a powerful piece of theatre”, involving a few baby dolls and a brick. It makes no sense. Joe likewise takes a performance approach, using his pinky to light a match that in turn reveals the message “Recycle.” He’s kind of like a low-budget magician.
That leaves Sian, who utilizes her finger (and some clear video editing) to apparently reanimate a guinea pig. It’s the equivalent of that Top Gear episode where Jeremy Clarkson is driving a blue rental car and finishes in a red one. All that only gets her two points, making Joe the winner of a third consecutive challenge and basically sealing this episode up for him.
Task No. 4: Do not release the green egg. Each team will be asked a question in turn. The team that doesn’t release the green egg wins.
Again with the green egg. Iain is so excited that he yanks the first string so roughly that he breaks the “2” right off onto the floor. It also becomes quickly apparent that it’s not about actually getting the answer right; it only matters that you don’t get the ultimate wrong answer.
Lou pulls the green egg, giving the win to Joe and Sian. That means Joe came in just one point shy of a perfect score; not bad for a guy who usually seems to get the short end of the Taskmaster stick.
What have we learned today? We’ve learned that Joe Thomas has a fallback career as a magician, that Iain Stirling will be donating to charity for the rest of his life, and that burnt toast flavored anything is a bad idea.
Full episodes of Taskmaster are available for free on YouTube. All 10 episodes of Taskmaster series 8 are now streaming on CW Seed.