Eleven series in and a number of international takes on the show and impressively Taskmaster is still going strong, though occasionally there’s been a minor dip and towards the end of the tenth series it disappointed. That was largely due to some of the tasks being set up to mock the contestants rather than allowing them to be funny in their own right, but hopefully that’s something which won’t be an ongoing theme in this new series and that certainly seemed to be the case with this opening episode.
When it comes to this year’s batch of contestants I’m optimistic that they’ll be one of the best ever line ups too, if only because I’m extremely fond of the work each and every one of them has produced elsewhere. All were strong here too, offering up a number of quite different solutions to the various tasks and giving their all in the studio sections, with Jamali Maddix especially fun as he was more than happy to fight his corner and argue with Greg.
The prize task was a bit of a mess last series with the contestants not really bothering to make an effort but pleasingly it was a lot better in this episode as they had to bring something they could only just carry, and both Lee and Mike excelled by being odd, with Mack sort of offering up his kids and Mike being the deserved winner after recording a song and proving he could only just carry a tune. The studio set task at the end has often been disappointing as well, but the manner in which they tried to sabotage each other’s efforts suggests that hopefully it will be a lot better this time around.
When it came to the filmed tasks we were given three superb efforts, one involving catching a motorised rat led to some fun solutions and allowed them to be creative, which are the kind of tasks I’ve always enjoyed the most rather than them having to do something physically demanding, and that applied with the task where they had to do something impressive with one hand while waving with the other, with Lee Mack’s desperate and ultimately terrible attempt to make a meal being the standout moment for me.
The other filmed task where they had to move plates from one table to another using either a bike, hoverboard or scooter is the kind which can occasionally be a bit bland to watch, and is an example where it’s set up to mock their failings, but nearly all of the contestants all made me it extremely fun to watch and so even though this kind of task isn’t one I’m that fond of I’m optimistic that it’ll still be very funny even if there are a number of this variety.
My predictions have often been proven wrong over the course of the season, but this year I’m feeling more confident and would be amazed if Mike Wozniak doesn’t turn out to be the most entertaining participant as he takes on the tasks in an enthusiastic if strange way. It’ll hopefully be a close run thing though as Lee Mack, Sarah Kendall and Jamali Maddix have shown a strong unpredictable and inventive take on the show, and I feel Charlotte Ritchie will still amuse, even though it looks like she’ll be the one Greg mocks enormously due to her well meaning if never particularly amazing efforts. All of which should make for a fantastic series, this opening episode was one of the strongest out of all of them, and I’d be amazed if by the end this wasn’t seen as one of the best, right up their with series 5 and 7.
Related Links: Previous Taskmaster Reviews:
Taskmaster New Zealand Series 1 Episode 1
Taskmaster Series 10 Episode 1
Taskmaster International Reviews
Taskmaster Series 9 Episode 1
Taskmaster Season 8 Episode 1
Taskmaster Series 7 Episode 1