Taskmaster: Series 7
April 17, 2021 8:40 AM - Season 7 (Full Season) - Subscribe

"I know it's early days. Are we the stupidest so far?"

Season 7 playlist on YouTube, for the USA and possibly other places
Series 7 on Channel 4 in the UK

James Acaster: Maybe the highest-variance of the contestants. About once an episode, we get a "What's wrong with you?" from Greg. Also we get adventures with circles, and an outburst about a box, and so many quotes. I've bought James's book, as a result of discovering him on this show.
Jessica Knappett: Brings a kind of off-kilter persona along with usually doing well with the tasks. Supposedly, she has subsequently forgotten how to do that air horn sound she was making sometimes this season.
Kerry Godliman: Gets off to a great start. Comes through in the clutch. Actually returns in a later series to substitute for a competitor who's sick. Bosh!
Phil Wang: [INSERT "WANG" PUN HERE.] Also, I don't know if you knew this, but he likes to haggle.
Rhod Gilbert: Greg's friend. As James puts it mid-show, "I don't know how you've been friends with him for so long." Endlessly trolls Greg with the prize tasks.

Episode 1: The Mean Bean
Episode 2: My Eyes are Circles
Episode 3: Twelve Blush Majesty Two
Episode 4: OLLIE
Episode 5: Lotta Soup
Episode 6: A Coquettish Fascinator
Episode 7: The Perfect Stuff
Episode 8: Mother Honks Her Horn
Episode 9: The Pendulum Draws The Eye
Episode 10: I Can Hear It Gooping

I think this is my favorite season.
posted by Huffy Puffy (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is my favourite season, too. I love James Acaster, and really enjoyed Jessica Knappet, too. Rhod was also fantastic.
posted by synecdoche at 11:14 AM on April 17, 2021

I liked Phil Wang’s twelve-bar blues.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:58 PM on April 17, 2021

This season had a lot of great moments. I appreciated Phil's constant stories about haggling over an object, and the final price he paid.
posted by nubs at 4:42 PM on April 18, 2021

Also my favorite season, though I have to admit I never once found Kerry Godliman funny. Not show-breakingly unfunny (S3 yikes), but a rare miss for me. Everyone else was 110% though. I never stopped laughing at Phil Wang's bartering gag, or Rhod introducing Greg's semi-naked picture. My favorite gag is the one where James Acaster never acknowledges Alex Hall -- probably because I didn't notice it until Alex tries to ask him about it.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:36 PM on April 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Alex Horne.

Every other cast warmed on me over time, but this lot was an instant love for me. Acaster and Wang and Knappett all seem to be vying for the weirdo award, but over time Rhod Gilbert quietly overtakes them with a deeper, quieter weirdness. I found Kerry Godliman not hilarious but a useful cast member, for her boshy straightforwardness — a foil. The tasks are some of the best, the conflict and temper tantrums among the cast are pure comedy (unlike Season 8, which gets uncomfortably tense), it all works. My only disappointment was that no one in the elevator task drew a face on their belly — come on, people.
posted by argybarg at 8:40 PM on April 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Direct link to the saga of Phil Wang's Mystery Box (from episode 4).

There's a box. Phil bought it. James gets in trouble. Greg reproves James, as if a misbehaving schoolboy. Alex has the box open. Greg opens box the hard way. Jessica sympathizes with his frustration.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:36 AM on April 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

This season and season 4 are tied for me for best season, though I think this season had the most belly laughs for me. The cast is phenomenal. I actually found Kerry funny when she wasn't trying to be funny like when she would get upset with the other contestants (namely, Rhod) when they bent the rules, or when she would get frustrated with herself for not doing well, like when she lost at her own game of Tetris. I kinda love that she and Greg geeked out over a laminator. I found it amusing when she seemed genuinely surprised to have done well. James Acaster and Jessica Knappett are standouts for me. They are both so weird and goofy. They also had a really nice chemistry in the studio, which I appreciated. I liked how Jessica would be sassy with Greg, which Greg generally doesn't like, but seemed to find funny when Jessica did it. James's tantrums are probably the most hilarious moments in the show's history. His meltdown in the extension team task was epic. He's arguably the biggest fan of the show ever to appear on it and tried so hard to do well in every task. It was almost heartbreaking to see him fail so much. Even though Phil had such an audacious costume, he brought a quiet humor, which complemented the group quite well. I'm not a huge fan of Rhod Gilbert. There's an arrogance that I just don't find funny. And don't get me started on the picture trolling.

So many awesome quotes and taglines: "BOSH!" "Suck it!" "My eyes are circles" "Is it a boulder or just a big rock?" "Person or woman?" A lot of great tasks this season too that really showed off the panelists's creativity and ingenuity.

I just did a rewatch and realized something. Even though, they frequently left the Taskmaster cottage, there were no interactions with the general public. In season 6, there seemed to be several tasks where they interacted with the public (longest walkabout, Tim being manly, Tim buying stationary) but this season, none. Anyone know why? Threat of spoilers? Also, were there any individual tasks at home (taking pictures of a pineapple, texting Greg everyday, etc.) ? I don't seem to recall any. I know there was the hula hoop and Fez challenge, but that was a bit different than the examples provided.
posted by wasabifooting at 6:33 AM on April 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

Definitely my favourite series as well. I've mentioned recently in another thread that TM is one of my pieces of comfort media and I can rewatch episodes from this series endlessly.

They usually do a good job of selecting a group of castmates who will work well together, but the interpersonal dynamics for this bunch are off the charts. There are so many good moments -- James's hula hooping, every prize task where Rhod takes the piss out of Greg, Jess and Kerry doing team tasks together, Rhod regularly using Alex as (in the words of Jess Knappett on the podcast) a victim in his tasks, Phil's commitment to haggling -- but Kerry's laminator is one of my favourites, a joyous moment of serendipity that's up there with James losing it at Rhod over the extension.

I liked how Jessica would be sassy with Greg, which Greg generally doesn't like, but seemed to find funny when Jessica did it.

I was so pleased during the Confusing Box bit when Jess looked Greg in the face and said "It's frustrating isn't it, when you're asked to complete tasks under pressure and there's loads of people watching". His persona as Taskmaster can occasionally come off a bit overbearing and condescending, so seeing some of the contestants taking the wind out of his sails was pretty satisfying.

Re: public interactions/home tasks, I don't know for certain but I'd imagine this was likely a coincidence, based on the tasks they come up with and the ones that make the edit, as they film more than are shown. It's possible there was a public-interacting task that didn't go well or just didn't make it to broadcast. And it's been mentioned on the podcast that they don't do individual tasks, e.g. Josh counting stuff in S1 or Mark Watson texting Greg in every series because then it would start to be expected. Ed Gamble did mention that he was paranoid in his series that every task he did was going to be something that only he was assigned.

He's [James] arguably the biggest fan of the show ever to appear on it

He's up there, but I don't think a superlative can be applied when Ed Gamble and Richard Herring are in the mix.
posted by myotahapea at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

I think I remember from the podcast episode with Tim Key that the Season 1 cast so comprehensively hated the public tasks (especially "high-five a 55 year old") that Alex got the message and started taking them out of the series almost right away. Even the tasks that leave the house grounds don't really involve interacting with the public in any required way.
posted by argybarg at 10:13 AM on April 19, 2021

While there’s good prize task trolling in every episode this season, I do think my favorite troll was when Greg had his pants stolen.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:14 AM on April 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

I think I remember from the podcast episode with Tim Key that the Season 1 cast so comprehensively hated the public tasks (especially "high-five a 55 year old") that Alex got the message and started taking them out of the series almost right away.

As well, Key has been credited as Task Consultant pretty much from day one (I think for whatever reason he is not around for things like the New Year's Treat, the Champion of Champions, and the like), so I am sure he has a fair bit of influence on what the tasks will be.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:37 PM on April 19, 2021

the Season 1 cast so comprehensively hated the public tasks (especially "high-five a 55 year old") that Alex got the message and started taking them out of the series almost right away.

I think you're right -- IIRC they filmed one more with a similar premise but every contestant detested doing it so it didn't make the edit. Which I completely understand, because the high-five task is one I love watching but the mere contemplation of having to do it myself is so viscerally repellent I likely would have gone the Richard Osman cat-in-the-tree route and refused to complete it, possibly after wandering about for a bit with Tim Key's exact demeanour.

I'm struggling to remember if every earlier season had a task involving incidental members of the public, e.g. S2's shopping trolley or the S5 tasks in the beachy area, but can't be sure without checking. They did go off-campus, as it were, with the box tower and the grotto, so personally I'm thinking it was coincidence there wasn't anything that had them cross paths with civilians. (Though imagine being on a walk in the woods and happening upon Rhod's water feature.)

My favourite bit of trivia from this series is that the studio task stage is now called the Knappett, in honour of Jess falling off during the magnificent walk studio task.
posted by myotahapea at 9:05 AM on April 21, 2021 [4 favorites]

Metafilter: a deeper, quieter weirdness.
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:16 AM on April 22, 2021

For fellow James Acaster fans, obviously he has the Repertoire set of four stand up specials on Netflix, but he is also now streaming his new show Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 for pay on Vimeo and it is more 'real' than the Repertoire (certainly more direct than the Netflix stuff) but is also possibly the funniest stand up set I've ever seen in my life. The comedy criticism podcast Good One has an interview with him this week, and also plays a "joke" from Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 if you want a preview (normally, the podcast is based around analyzing a comedian's work through a single joke or bit; in this case, the "joke" is literally a 20 minute long story from Cold Lasagne regarding Acaster's appearance on GBBO).
posted by Superilla at 5:32 PM on April 22, 2021 [3 favorites]

As with all the seasons, this one was my favorite in cast and task—as was season 8 beyond it, which I completed watching approximately 15 minutes ago.

One thing: I know nothing about James Acaster, but he was brilliant. I feel like he channeled the spirit of Adrian Edumndson's "Vyvyan" (sp?) character in The Young Ones, and used the body of Beavis to channel it with.
posted by not_on_display at 11:13 PM on April 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

That Good One interview is incredibly illuminating after years of hearing him talk about this break up that has shaped his life for the last few years and the other big moments that just so happen to involve all these other comedy people who also do interviews, piecing together so many other bits of these people's stories who happen to make up so much of this community, many who have and are on podcasts.

I think Good One and Bullseye are the two best interview podcasts I listen to so much that I will save them for when I really need to have something good to listen to, because they will invariably ask really well thought out questions no one else has bothered to come close to broaching.

It's odd, because there are things like how people talk about Nish, who I only know of from his shouty bits from things like Taskmaster and how people talk about him as a friend and community member and I still have no idea what he's like as a performer even though he's just had what was suppose to be a quite good show on politics cancelled.

As an associated aside, a recent podcast of Richard Herring with John Oliver, they mention Nish's show, and he's also done several excellent episodes with James, Greg, and Ed. I highly recommend Greg's, and Sarah Millican's if you want some very fun and non Tasky, bantery ones, and, of course, the Bob is a precious gem.
posted by provoliminal at 2:12 AM on April 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Just want to ditto Cold Lasagna is super good. So much so that if you haven't seen it or Repertoire, I would recommend watching Repertoire first as it was a bit of a let down for me going the other way.
posted by juv3nal at 2:18 AM on April 30, 2021 [2 favorites]

Thank you so much for suggestion of Cold Lasagne. My husband and I both had rough nights at work and decided to watch it this morning. I can hear him still giggling while he's feeding our cats.
posted by MaritaCov at 5:05 AM on May 3, 2021

I still have no idea what he's like as a performer

I find this for so many of the Taskmaster panelists. If I like them on the show I'll often check them out somewhere online and am frequently surprised, usually in a good way. Nish Kumar is a terrific performer, I'm slowly making my way through the Acaster stuff on Netflix. Paul Choudry has some stuff on YouTube including at least one full length special and he's super different from how he was on the show.

I remain grumpy about how all the POC panelists just always seem to do worse. Phil Wang was delightful and didn't win a single episode!

But also: all of Acaster's outfits! Like they all had interesting show outfits somewhat (except Rhod) but he was always wearing these really interesting colors and stuff. I appreciate how what they're wearing (with the one notable exception of Phil's yellow jumpsuit) are just not something people talk about. It's really different from the US where what you're wearing can sometimes be the opener for small talk kind of stuff and I appreciate that not being the case here but wanted to give a shoutout to James' outfits!
posted by jessamyn at 3:22 PM on June 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yeah, jessamyn and I just watched all four parts of Acaster's "Repertoire" and are looking forward to watching "Cold Lasagne" this weekend. I feel like I'm watching one of the future greats in his relatively early, nascent stages. Like watching a George Carlin a little, in the sense that he is really aware of his presence and movement on a stage, and knows how to build long, cohesive, socially relevant narratives, while leaving plenty of room for meandering and tomfoolery.

I'm now devouring the TM podcast until Series 12 runs!!! I recommend it but only if you have seen season 10 for the first few episodes. Those will be spoilers. They go through each show that season with a different guest. After that, when Season 10 ended, I am assuming they went back in the archives for more stuff to analyze, and then did the same with Season 11 as they did with 10. I'm only four podcasts in and it's been a blast so far, and I HATE PODCASTS
posted by not_on_display at 8:34 PM on July 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

Random trivia I figured is appropriate here as anywhere else: the opening song for Cold Lasagne is Euroleague by Paul Williams who plays the Alex Horne role on Taskmaster NZ (series 1, series 2 but it's currently airing so incomplete)
posted by juv3nal at 4:29 PM on August 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh thank you. I thought that music was really alluring.
posted by jessamyn at 7:44 PM on August 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is the season I chose to show my 80-year-old mom the first episode of. She probably wouldn't watch it even if she could, but she was intrigued and charmed, and asked that I show her the first episode of season 9, so she had a larger sample of contestants. (I think she loved Jo Brand the most.)
posted by not_on_display at 11:05 PM on October 28, 2022

"I know it's early days. Are we the stupidest so far?"

So stupid that I actually had to stop watching this season. I didn't find any of the contestants likeable at all. Find it fascinating that several people here say it's their favourite season. I guess we all watch for different reasons but there seemed to be a lot of bad sports in this bunch. And I just didn't find them that funny.
posted by crossoverman at 6:58 PM on May 18

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