Arts and Entertainment Too close for comfort: Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his mother, Norma, in 'Bates Motel'

...but 21-year-old Freddie Highmore has the Psycho stare, he tells Gerard Gilbert, as he takes on one of the screen's best-known roles

DVD: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2 (12)

This curiously named series of books gets its second film make-over, much to the delight of tween girls everywhere.

The Word On... Gossip Girl season 2, ITV2

"'Gossip Girl' is the heiress to the Claire Standish fortune. Creator Josh Schwarz makes no secret of his debt to John Hughes; the queen bees buzzing through the show are homages to 'The Breakfast Club' and Molly Ringwald's high-school princess. That type is an American classic, but this show turns the princess into a camp queen." - Troy Patterson,www.slate.com

Generation Kill, FX<br>A Short Stay In Switzerland, BBC1<br>Gossip Girl, ITV2<br>Beverly Hills 90210, E4

The writers of 'The Wire' have put a bomb under the war genre with this gripping, intelligent series

The guilty pleasure of Gossip Girl

Boyfriends, blogs and blazing rows &ndash; Gossip Girl is vacuous rubbish aimed at 13-year-olds. And its return is set to be a triumph, says Esther Walker

A new term at Beverly Hills High

They're back. A second generation of rich, spoilt teenagers has taken up residence at zip code 90210, says Gerard Gilbert

Blake Lively: The gossip on Hollywood's newest star

She's a teen heroine in TV's 'Gossip Girl', and the 'Traveling Pants' sisterhood are back in the cinema. But Blake Lively is about to get serious &ndash; in a Rebecca Miller film, no less. The actress talks to Mark Ellwood

Uptown boy: Will screaming teenage girls and wild tabloid rumours destroy Chace Crawford?

Where's the best place to hang out with the ambitious, clever star of 'Gossip Girl', US television's hottest show? Definitely not a New York café packed with teenage girls. Guy Adams meets an all-American heart-throb

The Britpack - Our new generation of movie stars takes Tinseltown

A pack of talented, attractive young British actors are beating their American rivals to the plum roles. alice jones reports on a new invasion of Hollywood

Teenage kicks: How Gossip Girl changed TV

A teenage drama set in New York's exclusive Upper East Side has become the hottest thing in showbusiness &ndash; and is changing the way the world watches television. As Britain falls under its glamorous spell, Stephen Foley explains how a soap about overprivileged rich kids turned into the talk of the town

Last Night's TV: Gossip Girl ITV2<br />Ashes to Ashes BBC1

At first sight, Gossip Girl comes across as a junior version of Sex and the City, with its cast of unnaturally preened Manhattan types blathering on about clothes and shoes and who's been seen with whom. It wasn't until about 10 minutes in that it hit me that it's trying to do something entirely different. It actually wants to be The Catcher in the Rye for the MySpace generation. Like J D Salinger's great novel of adolescent disillusion, it is set among the children of the fashionable rich of the Upper East Side. These children have every expense lavished on them – they all go to swish prep schools – and they all have a veneer of sophistication, polished up through liberal applications of cocktails and soft drugs. But in essential ways, their lives are empty; they are loveless, confused, desperate. Meanwhile, the adults around them (mothers who share their teenage daughters' dress size and think that "put some product in her hair" counts as advice and comfort; dads who make their sons get back together with recently chucked girlfriends because they could blow a big business deal with the girl's parents) are all a bunch of goddamned phonies.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee