One of the funniest seasons of Taskmaster is finally on YouTube

It’s a long, cold wait between seasons of Taskmaster, especially after an entry as stellar as series 16. Luckily, the hilarious British panel show has kept its growing international audience entertained between seasons by uploading episodes of one of its many licensed spinoff series to its YouTube channel. Taskmaster New Zealand’s first two seasons are now on the official Taskmaster YouTube account, including the incredible season 2, which originally aired in 2021 and is one of the best seasons of any version of Taskmaster. If you consider yourself a Taskmaster fan, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

As a licensed spinoff, the show’s structure, music cues, and set design will be instantly familiar to anyone who has watched the original series. And so will the task design, which dutifully follows the excellent mold set by Alex Horne, with tasks so good it’s the only Taskmaster spinoff where the UK version has borrowed a few. Taskmaster NZ will often embrace the simpler, shorter tasks that Horne told us he prefers: Tasks as short as “Fly,” or “Time-travel,” which encourage creativity and different solutions from different contestants. But there’s also plenty of room for the more chaotic tasks: A team task where the contestants have to make a diss track about the other team is a blast, and “Construct the least appropriate wedding cake” results in hilarious carnage.

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The first season of Taskmaster NZ is definitely worth watching (shout out to the hilarious Angella Dravid), but the second season of Taskmaster NZ deserves its place among the best Taskmaster series, period. The season 2 contestants are perfect, with the right mix of personality types and approaches to the contest.

The contestants hit all the notes you want from a Taskmaster cast: You have the person who does not give a shit about the show, but in a hilarious way (Urzila Carlson). You have the person who cares very deeply, but can’t seem to get anything right (David Correos). You have the person who tries extremely hard to win (Laura Daniel). You have the person who focuses all their energy on creating hilarious television, tasks be damned (Guy Montgomery). And you have an old friend of the Taskmaster who likes to push his buttons (Matt Heath). Great Taskmaster seasons spawn from the right combination of contestants, and this group has the perfect alchemy of various levels of “taking this ridiculous ordeal seriously.”

David Correos, wearing a light blue shirt, looks frustrated at a typewriter in Taskmaster NZ. Image: Channel 4

Paul Williams is a great Alex Horne substitute, bringing his own uber-dork energy to the role of the Taskmaster’s assistant. Unfortunately, Jeremy Wells is no Greg Davies, lacking the latter’s intimidating presence and often leaving the bullying of his assistant to the contestants (thankfully, Urzila is more than happy to bear this particular burden). He seems somewhat uncomfortable with the role at times, and I find some of his scoring decisions can be downright bizarre.

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Keen-eyed Taskmaster viewers will also notice a different approach to editing. The NZ version employs more cut-ins during tasks to the contestant reactions, which allow the group to play off of each other even more and let a great camaraderie shine. However, some short parts were clearly edited out of the YouTube uploads, which can make for some odd cuts, but nothing that will majorly detract from your experience.

So while you’re trudging through the long wait for series 17 of Taskmaster UK (slated to air this spring), all isn’t lost. You can spend that time watching one of the funniest Taskmaster seasons yet. Luckily it’s never been more widely available, so you’re out of excuses. Enjoy.