Taskmaster: Season 17 (Full Season)
March 30, 2024 7:39 AM - Season 17 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Flanked by his efficient assistant Alex Horne, Greg Davies returns to remorselessly judge five quaking comics desperate to get their hands on his fabled golden head trophy.

Joanne McNally, John Robins, Nick Mohammed, Sophie Willan and Steve Pemberton are the contestants this season!

Episodes are available on Channel 4 in the UK on Thursdays (website) and on the Taskmaster YouTube channel in the USA on Fridays.
posted by merriment (32 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
We watched the first episode last night. It's always great to have Taskmaster back! That said, I thought the first episode was... fine. My own internal barometer of if it's a great episode of Taskmaster is if I burst out into uncontrollable laughter, and I don't think my wife or I uttered a single chuckle the entire episode. It was fine! I thought maybe it would get there when they teased how Sophie had botched the gorilla task, but even that was... just fine. Fine Taskmaster is still better than 75% of everything else I watch on TV, however, and there's definitely potential - sometimes it takes awhile for the cast to grow on me.
posted by kbanas at 9:57 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


That was my impression too. I don't know any of the cast besides Nick Mohammed so maybe they'll grow on me.
posted by mmoncur at 6:27 PM on March 30


Boy has John Robins ever Seen This Show. I suspect that will be his strength and also his downfall.

Gotta give it up for Steve Pemberton's tasking outfit. Simple, iconic, non-constrictive. (Joanne's jumpsuit, by contrast, looks great but she said in her pre-show interview that she bust a seam in the crotch twice.) Kind of can't believe it hasn't been done before.
posted by babelfish at 6:53 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


I did laugh out loud several times during the first episode! The can of worms banter was one of the things that took me out, though, so calibrate your mileage from there. I'm not usually a huge fan of the prize task segment, but I even got some chuckles out of those efforts.

This crew does seem a bit low key (except for Sophie, my God) but in the earliest going, they are fully invested in the tasks, at least, which commitment I thought was unfortunately lacking with last season's cast. I also really like puns, so Steve Pemberton, Pun Machine, seems like he's going to be a source of ongoing amusement.
posted by merriment at 7:12 AM on March 31


Yeah, I was at mild chuckle level most of the episode, but Steve's "sausage girl is going to the festival to hear some bangers" during the final task got a solid guffaw.
posted by bassooner at 7:29 AM on March 31


Cheers to a new season!

It’s so interesting and lovely how my initial trepidation and suspicion of the new cast transforms into deep love by about episode 3. I’m looking forward to that journey as always. I did laugh aloud repeatedly, but I’m not quite sold yet (also as always). The brick hubris, the crow, the mixed up giraffe orientation, and Alex’s delivery of the line about viewers in prison were high points for me.

If there was ever any doubt that I’d be a good TM contestant, someone asked me in the street the other day, “what’s the only US state that ends in the letter K?” And I was totally stumped.

Reader, I am FROM NEW YORK.
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 8:37 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Man I don't know about the rest of you, but I was so charmed by the hoop Gary task, what a delight.
posted by Carillon at 9:29 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed this episode. Steve's puns, Sophie's Sophie-ness, John's competitiveness, and Joanne's matter of fact hilarious pronouncements (re her Wikipedia entry: "Mine's longer. Wrote myself.") are all so much fun.

I like Nick Mohammed and I loved his risky brick throwing (why didn't he stop after the brick bounced over the egg--he would have won!) but he seemed fairly quiet this first episode. On the Taskmaster pod, Ed Gamble and John Robbins discussed how Nick is known as one of the kindest comedians around, which is really nice.

After listening to the podcast, it's clear that John Robbins's very good friend Alex Horne put him on a team with Sophie knowing that his competitiveness and her off the wall spaciness would be both hilarious to the audience and make John crazy. They're the Dara O'Briain/John Kearns of this series. I'm very excited to see what happens next.

(Oh, fun fact--it's been noticed by viewers that in the Gary task, Nick's reflection was erased from the water. From Reddit. They probably won't be able to erase it everywhere, but I love that they made the effort.)
posted by ceejaytee at 8:00 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


I like Nick Mohammed and I loved his risky brick throwing

I seem to recall the set had a pile of fake foam bricks, in fact I'm pretty sure they were used in the same task by another contestant. While I didn't think the car accident play was that entertaining, the punchline about a 2 hour safety meeting was excellent.
posted by pwnguin at 10:00 AM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I was actually kind of surprised they were breaking eggs, wasn't there a big waily wail about food wastage a few seasons back? Or maybe they just got tired of the Taskmaster House smelling like a poorly run cheesemongers.

And yeah, I've already fallen in love with Sophie. She stands no chance, but she seems willing to just _go for it_ in a way that I like.
posted by Kyol at 10:18 AM on April 1


Arguably, the task was to not break eggs.
posted by pwnguin at 10:49 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


I'm not feeling this cast as much as I have the last several seasons, but it's Taskmaster so I am more than willing to give them a chance to see how they grow on me. I also did enjoy the Gary task, and love the detail of them removing Nick's reflection.
posted by synecdoche at 1:52 PM on April 1


I was pretty meh on the exquisite corpse painting task, but otherwise it was fine, nothing super standout amazing yet, but they can't all be bangers.
posted by juv3nal at 7:06 PM on April 1


the punchline about a 2 hour safety meeting was excellent.

... and yet the H&S people were perfectly happy to let Sophie nearly drown herself?! I hope we get to hear the full story behind that river task one day.

I thought it was a dull episode overall, redeemed only by Sophie. There's always one contestant I dislike from the off (and often they manage to redeem themselves) but this time there's three. That's a big hill to climb.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:51 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]


@Paul Slade - which three? Joanne was new to me, and I didn’t think I’d be a fan, but in the two episodes I’ve seen, she’s had my favourite line each time (in ep 1, the Wikipedia chat; in ep 2, even though it’s the episode’s title, “Jumungo”).
posted by TangoCharlie at 5:29 PM on April 8


Patatas!
posted by merriment at 6:41 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


which three?

I deliberately didn't name them because I didn't want to condemn anyone so early in the season. Some of them may be perfectly OK in other contexts but just don't seem right for Taskmaster.

I think the show's success may mean it's begun attracting people who sign up not because they're in tune with its spirit, but because the exposure it grants is seen as a good career move. That's the vibe I get from at least two contestants here.

If, like me, you're rooting for Sophie, you may also like to seek out her 2020 sitcom Alma's Not Normal.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:47 PM on April 8


I think the show's success may mean it's begun attracting people who sign up not because they're in tune with its spirit, but because the exposure it grants is seen as a good career move. That's the vibe I get from at least two contestants here.

Just because someone's keen to be on the show doesn't mean they have to be allowed on if Alex (or whoever else) feels they aren't a good fit, barring agent shenanigans I guess ("take so and so who maybe you wouldn't ideally use this series & we'll give you that big name star you really wanted next series" kind of thing). That said, the archetypal cast does kind of have both a person who doesn't give a shit and someone else who has no idea what's going on baked into it, so I feel like it can absorb someone who "isn't in tune with its spirit" just fine usually.
posted by juv3nal at 12:43 AM on April 9


the archetypal cast does kind of have both a person who doesn't give a shit

I've always taken it that the best comedian is the one at the end with the fewest points -- class clowns aren't in it for straight A's! The epitome of this being Nish Kumar in Season 5, who looks like he doesn't care and isn't trying, but is then shown performing the same take 30 times until they get it perfect. Greg even takes him aside for a moment for a "private constructive discussion" which was hilarious.
posted by pwnguin at 3:06 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]




Honestly, I was sort of disappointed they didn't keep calling Greg poppet through the whole prize task.

Otherwise I've been enjoying this group just as much as usual. Steve is maybe a bit too calculating, but I don't know that I _dislike_ that, either? And Nick is kind of disarmingly nice?
posted by Kyol at 4:18 PM on April 11


Very charmed to learn from the podcast that Steve kept a grape in his pocket through three days of task records, just in case they did another escape room style "find the grape" task.

Joanne really won me over this week, between the tension task and her commentary through the baby task. I mean, "won me over" sounds like she was facing some resistance, and that's not true—I just didn't have a sense of her before and now I think my sense is that I'm Team Joanne.
posted by babelfish at 5:40 PM on April 12


John and Steve are giving me real “we’ve watched Taskmaster, we’ve come prepared” vibes, which IIRC they both confirm on the podcast, and which makes things a little less fun.
Even still, I like them both, I look forward to their tasks, AND every episode I am also a little more on Team Joanne.
posted by TangoCharlie at 11:57 PM on April 13


(John’s clever workaround for the water-baby task came too quickly, it seemed. Like he was prepared to play Rules Lawyer.
Speaking of that task, did the final measurements include the formula that Steve added to his baby? Could someone have topped up their baby using the washing-up water?)
posted by TangoCharlie at 12:02 AM on April 14


I loved the hangman tension task
posted by Carillon at 1:07 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


John’s clever workaround for the water-baby task came too quickly, it seemed. Like he was prepared to play Rules Lawyer.

I think John is very clearly prepared to be Rules Lawyered. They've twice managed to send him into a state of panic by pretending he was going to be penalized for something! Bingeing 16 seasons gave him a great feel for the type of lateral thinking required but also a borderline phobia of the potato throw experience.

There's always someone looking for workarounds, and personally I think it's fun—especially since it often works for them, but also does often backfire (see Rhod Gilbert, arguably the most This Guy in TM history) (actually no it's probably Iain Stirling but he really did overdo it and I don't like watching his season).
posted by babelfish at 6:59 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


So far, I'm really enjoying this season. Good mix of personalities, good vibes in the studio, and I feel like the tasks are a little less byzantine and a little more open-ended than they've been in the last few seasons, which has led to more enjoyable outcomes.
posted by merriment at 1:10 PM on April 14


I started this season with doubts but it's growing on me fast. It's just a slower burn because we don't have a contestant who is flat-out insane (like Rhod Gilbert or Lucy Beaumont) and we don't have any that are seasoned comedy improvisers in the studio (like Sue Perkins or Frankie Boyle).

Sophie and Joanne were good from the start. I think I was still mad at Nick for what his character did in "Ted Lasso" but he won me over this episode (after performing poorly on the baby task: "I've got three kids!") and Steve wasn't doing anything for me until the Hangman task which was great.

John is still an enigma but I feel like we're heading for a Joe Wilkinson Potato Breakdown and that should be lots of fun.

Oh, and I loved the Mr. Blobby appearance!

Looking forward to more!
posted by mmoncur at 8:17 PM on April 14


I started this season with doubts but it's growing on me fast. It's just a slower burn because we don't have a contestant who is flat-out insane

I'm warming up on it too. I'm surprised to see Sophie's not crazy enough for you, though.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:18 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I love that Joanne won the Mr. Blobby task because she loves Mr. Blobby. And that was with dismissing her first guess as it couldn't possibly be. Tense hangman (no vowels!) was my favorite tension task; I wasn't tense watching Joanne destroy poor Alex, I was mostly cringing. But I guess it certainly made Alex tense. The real winners at the "create the most tension" task were Greg and Alex messing with John after the baby task. I thought he might cry.

My favorite moment though, was Greg sitting cross-legged on the stage while Sophie loomed over him on one leg, hissing. I would pay to see a show with Sophie and Bridget Christie stalking Greg and hissing. Or whispering that they could have him killed.
posted by ceejaytee at 8:29 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


> Series 17 Outtakes - Part 1!

After two episodes, they had 8 minutes of outtakes!
posted by Pronoiac at 1:41 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Series 17 Outtakes - Part 2!

I take back what I said about nobody on this season being insane, Joanne and Sophie are in stiff competition now.
posted by mmoncur at 10:35 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


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