how would succession characters do on taskmaster
a british competition show crossover event
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Hello and welcome to the friends-only livejournal section of griefbacon (paid-subscriber posts) in which I share my most gleefully what’s-wrong-with-you ideas, including: How would the characters from Succession do on Taskmaster?
Taskmaster is a British game show in which a group of minorly-to-moderately famous comedians compete to see who can do bizarre, useless, and absurd tasks the best. “Best” is an entirely subjective measure decided according to the whims of Greg Davies, the larger of the show’s two hosts, a man whose presence answers the question “what if you sized your middle school english teacher up by 500%?” The show was created and is co-hosted by Alex Horne, the Greg (Succession Greg) to Greg (Taskmaster Greg)’s Tom.
I’ve written about Taskmaster in this newsletter previously, on its own in this post (one of my favorites) and in this round-up (which I think gives a good, brief summary of what exactly Taskmaster is). Lots of better writers have written better things than I have about Taskmaster, too. Those writers include Jess Zimmerman, the person who introduced me to the show, and whose ranking of the first twelve series (that’s British for “seasons”) is the thing to read if you’re only going to read one piece on Taskmaster.
If you enjoy smart people doing stupid things and having a nice time humiliating themselves, Taskmaster might be the show for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy stupid people doing things they think are smart and having a bad time humiliating themselves, you might currently be mourning the end of Succession.
I love both Taskmaster and Succession, two weird little empires created by weird little British geniuses, and, despite the fact that the two shows might be mathematical opposites, they share a surprising amount in common when broken down to their component parts. Like Succession, Taskmaster is a television show structured somewhat disingenuously as a competition, predicated on a series of absurd tasks that add up to nothing, have no real-world value, set the competitors up to fail, and are intended mostly for the amusement of the large man who presides over them like a capricious Zeus (Boar on the Floor isn’t NOT a Taskmaster task). In each, everyone is hoping to win a kiss from Daddy (Greg Davies; Brian Cox). Unlike Succession, it is actually possible to win Taskmaster, and to have a good time doing it; like Succession, winning Taskmaster profits the victor nothing except a hollow trophy (literal in the case of Taskmaster, where the prize is a trophy shaped like Greg Davies’s head, less literal in the case of Succession). On both shows, the person most willing to humiliate and debase themselves has the best chance of victory; on Taskmaster, this is funny and endearing. In both cases, the least memorable man you’ve ever seen in your entire life tends to do surprisingly well.
Taskmaster, however, is a concentrated dose of joy as well as a referendum on small-scale, real-world skills, two reasons the characters on Succession would be uniquely terrible at it. But who would be the most terrible? Let’s check in on how all our garbage sons would do if they were contestants on Taskmaster.