Review of 2012: Television
Twenty Twelve, BBC2
This was the year of Olympic memories – Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, the Queen ad-libbing with James Bond, a cascade of British Gold – but John Morton's comedy supplied the biggest laughs week after week. It was, in the words of Ian Fletcher, “all good”.
Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, ITV1
If you measure a scoop by its fallout, then nothing could touch Mark Williams-Thomas's film about Jimmy Savile. Heads rolled at the BBC because Newsnight had passed on the story, and then rolled because they tried to catch up too clumsily. And there are still family favourites out there nervously trying to remember what they did to who.
Young, Bright and on the Right, BBC2
The one-off documentary is in healthier shape this year, the Wonderland strand doing a lot of work to get the genre back to full fitness. One of the best was Alisa Pomeroy's film about Oxbridge Tories, sharply observant, alert to viewers' potential prejudices and, in the end, surprisingly undermining them.
Parade's End, BBC2
It helped to have read Ford Madox Ford's novel to be able to follow Tom Stoppard's adaptation – in which Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall and Adelaide Clemens divided command of the screen between them. But, like the BBC's The Hollow Crown Shakespeare trilogy, it showed that the small screen can act big.
Getting On, bbc4
Quietly brilliant and deserving of a lot more noise, Jo Brand, Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine's hospital comedy has explored the intersection between what's funny and what's heartbreaking without any self-regard or fuss.
Discovery of the Year: Adam Hills and Alex Brooker
The double-act of Adam Hills and Alex Brooker on The Last Leg, Channel 4's irreverent, funny and candid Paralympics coverage after-party. We discovered them. Channel 4 rediscovered its raison d'etre.
Turkey of the Year: Downton Abbey
Most of us enjoy a bit of turkey and Downton Abbey is a Norfolk Bronze 20-pounder, with enough meaty absurdity to satisfy everyone. White meat: the steady flow of anachronistic lines. Dark meat: the wild compression of Fellowes's plotting. Pick away according to taste.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral backlash from US parenting groups
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Doctor Who series 8: Watch Peter Capaldi in new ‘Listen!’ teaser trailer
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc