Taskmaster: Series 4
March 3, 2021 3:23 PM - Season 4 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Greg Davies is the Taskmaster. "Little" Alex Horne is the Taskmaster's assistant. Contestants are Hugh Dennis, Joe Lycett, Lolly Adefope, Mel Giedroyc and Noel Fielding. THAT'S RIGHT IT'S A BAKE-OFF SHOWDOWN. Also, the seasons are longer now: behold, 8 glorious episodes! Episodes are available in the USA on the Taskmaster YouTube channel (whole season playlist), and in the UK on the Channel 4 website.

Cake destroying, drawing someone you can't see, basketball on a treadmill, Joe Lycett smiling, ringtone dances, camel through a gap, exotic sandwiches! And ducks!

Episode 1: A Fat Bald White Man
Episode 2: Look At Me
Episode 3: Hollowing Out A Baguette
Episode 4: Friendship Is Truth
Episode 5: Meat.
Episode 6: Spatchcock It
Episode 7: No Stars For Naughty Boys
Episode 8: Tony Three Pies
(I linked these from the playlist, so this might be a little different from before.)

Season posts will slow down a bit from here, as there are more episodes to watch.
posted by Huffy Puffy (22 comments total)
the poor camels
posted by jazon at 3:46 PM on March 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

I was watching episode 5 this morning and was surprised that my kids have the same stuffed peas in a pod that Mel brought for her cutest thing and I had to interrupt my daughter's virtual schooling to show that to her. We were both a bit disappointed in its low placing. Also, does the censoring of swears come back or do I need to be a bit more careful in showing tasks to my kids now?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:50 PM on March 3, 2021

As far as I know, the ones on YouTube are usually uncensored. I think they were censoring them on the CW, for that one season on broadcast TV. I’m not aware of links to censored versions.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:36 PM on March 3, 2021

none of the swears are censored. Best to be cautious!
posted by jazon at 6:30 PM on March 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

This and S10 are maybe the only seasons where I found every contestant funny! It's actually difficult to think of my favorite (well no it's hugh but only because he was clever but got TERRIBLE scores, which is somehow funnier than being clever and getting good scores noel). S7 still beats it for me, because 80% hilarious beats 100% funny, but I get why this season is so beloved. If I were directing someone to start with a single season, it would be this or 10.
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2021

Based on recommendations in the thread on the Blue, the Bassooner household started with S4 and loved it. We then went to S1 and bounced off it, and are now enjoying S6.
posted by bassooner at 12:46 PM on March 4, 2021

We had watched the USA version when it aired a few years ago and watched this one first on YouTube, so this is the season that got us watching and actually “getting” Taskmaster.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2021

Also, what's with Greg's attempted facial hair? Did he neglect to shave on the day of taping all the studio bits? If he was growing it out for something, shaving it off for the taping would set him back maybe 3 days so I find it hard to believe it was that.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:33 PM on March 4, 2021

Series 4 and 7 are tied for my favorite Taskmaster series, though I think this cast had slightly better chemistry than series 7. There were a lot of big personalities but they all got on really well and were incredibly supportive of one another but also not afraid to do a bit of ribbing. Mel definitely had some of the funniest moments of the entire series (the rage-filled destruction of the cake, running through Baby Gap with a stuffed camel, This is (actually, not) Censure). I have a lot of mixed feelings about Noel, but he was soooo good in this series (hiding as a banana! getting all the on-stage tasks horribly wrong! the exotic dancing sandwich!). There was a moment when Mel was clearly embarrassed by naming the wrong ringtone and Noel deflected to Alex's butt crack. I thought that was really sweet.
I can do rewatch of this series multiple times and still find it incredibly hilarious.
posted by wasabifooting at 3:28 PM on March 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

This was our entry point into the show, based on a friend's recommendation that was perhaps more driven by the overlap with the Great British Baking Show than a comprehensive knowledge of which series are the funnier ones, but it worked out either way.
posted by solotoro at 9:26 AM on March 5, 2021

I really liked this series as well. Of the seasons I've seen today (1-8 inc) this one looked like it might have been the most fun to be on. Series 7 was probably the one with the best meta-game which might matter more if the scoring setup was a little less arbitrary.

There doesn't seem to be a way to watch series 9 here (that I've found thus far) but I'm really looking forward to season 10. I couldn't put my finger on it right away but a comment in another fanfare post (season1? 2?) observing that the incentive structure (participants are paid like a job, not as a prize) lends it's self towards really low stakes soothes can take risks to be more entertaining. And my "super cringe avoidant" personality spends very little energy feeling bad.

posted by mce at 10:54 AM on March 5, 2021

This season gave me daydreams of growing up with an Aunt Mel Giedroyc. She’s just so positive and supportive in what seems to be a genuine way. In fact, the general positivity of this season is fairly infectious. It’s the sweetener in Greg’s bitter coffee.

Noel’s instincts for the game are near-perfect. When he tries to circumvent a task, it’s to make it a bit funnier and more free-spirited (see: most exotic sandwich) rather than to skip what’s hard about it. And, of course, he’s game for anything.

There was one episode when Hugh actually wearied, I thought, of being the goat of the season — when Greg called his dance “horseshit.” But his niche of slightly inscrutable and dark humor was entirely his own, and it didn’t seem to dispirit him in the long run.

Overall, great season, great show.
posted by argybarg at 12:24 PM on March 6, 2021

And Alex got off one of his best lines when he cheerfully announced that someone’s attempted Longest Slide was “as long as a scale model of the Titanic!”
posted by argybarg at 12:26 PM on March 6, 2021 [4 favorites]

This season also introduced me to Joe Lycett. He’s a delight in this, and worth checking out in other panel show-type things.

He took over as Travel Man host when Richard Ayoade stopped, but it’s harder to stream Travel Man and of course it’s also harder to travel, man.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:36 PM on March 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

Joe and Lolly fighting over their respective fill the bathtub/cling film the bathtub tasks while Noel just placidly stands there with the hose somehow feels like a metaphor for absolutely everything.
posted by eponym at 5:53 PM on March 6, 2021 [7 favorites]

Series 9 is available for free on the free app CW Seed, for what it's worth.
posted by Gadarene at 9:43 AM on March 7, 2021

Jessamyn clued me into this show. She watches it as a diversion. I started watching it that way, but am now consuming full 44-minute episodes at a time—which is amazing for an attention-addled DumbTV watcher like myself.

I'm not reading this or the other threads now, for fear of even the minutest of tells as to who wins the increasingly shabbier episodic prizes. But I am loving this show so goddamn much—the lateral thinking, the fails, the mad tall british genius and his hench (who really pulls the strings) and I am smack in the middle of season 4. I have to finish the series, I have approximately two months, and I have to watch fully in pajamas, my time starts... now
posted by not_on_display at 11:12 PM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

I want to be friends with Mel and Lolly.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 5:39 PM on March 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yeah, now that I've finished Season 5 and the Champs miniseries, I feel like this is the best cast of them all so far. They were well-balanced and diverse in many ways, especially in their forays into laterally thinking the puzzles out. Jessamyn's watching a little every day, and I'm fondly recalling things like the Flour/Pagoda challenge, Hugh and Noel cheating, etc.

I feel like the Prize Task has gotten less and less risky each season though, and I'm looking forward to starting Series 6... my time starts... now.
posted by not_on_display at 11:40 PM on March 23, 2021

Oh! Yeah, I wanted to ask: anyone know with all the ™ stamps she was saving to melt down? She and Lolly gave this show such a great, positive zing—as did Joe.

And Noel brought that wildcardness (who knew he was so athletic) and Hugh Dennis brought the "man of few words and for a good reason" dark humor. So yeah, to tack that onto some of the stuff I said before.
posted by not_on_display at 11:44 PM on March 23, 2021

I want to be friends with Mel and Lolly.

Yes! Lolly had incredibly positive energy even for things she wasn't necessarily good at, and Mel was surprisingly good at things and also was just unflappable even when things were going exceptionally sideways. Watchign her give all that positive reinforcement to the people toting her around in a sleeping bag was just so cheering. But Noel Fielding as stealth jock was the surprise of the show. I've always known him from Boosh and UT Crowd and panel shows as the extreme weirdo, so it was really fun to see him both being super weird but also super good at stuff (hopping??). Super fun.
posted by jessamyn at 8:19 PM on April 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

"you're just a lad" in the last episode cracked me up
posted by knownassociate at 12:55 PM on January 20, 2022

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