The best of 2012: TV

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Time Out's TV team nominates its favourite shows of 2012

The year in TV may be ending in depressing fashion as the fallout from the Savile affair continues, but this year provided more than just the Olympics to stir the heart on the small screen. Drama (most memorably, 'Homeland') and comedy ('The Cricklewood Greats', the return of Alan Partridge) both performed well, while we saw a wave of insightful and provocative documentaries hit just as the cuts really began to bite.

With 2012 drawing to a close, Time Out's TV team have chosen their personal highlights of the last twelve months (and two absolute stinkers).

But it's not all about us: we also want your views. What were your TV highlights of 2012? Do you agree with our choices? Let us know by using the comments form below.



The best of TV in 2012

  • 1

    Homeland (C4)

    Let’s forget its recent failings: the first season-and-a-half dared to confront some unpalatable ethical dilemmas and concocted a alchemical blend of gripping drama, psychological complexity and Mandy Patinkin’s luxuriant beard.

  • 2

    London 2012 Olympics: Super Saturday (BBC1)

    For heart-thumping, fist-pumping, aneurysm-inducing tension then blissful release, the Ennis-Rutherford-Farah triple-header pipped Murray, Aguero and the Ryder Cup as the highlight of an extraordinary sporting year.

  • 3

    The Cricklewood Greats (BBC4)

    ‘Don’t Mind If I Do!’. ‘Clog Capers of 1932’. ‘Breasts of the Vampire’. In an ideal world, these films would exist. In Peter Capaldi’s imagined history of a British studio, they do. A poised, funny and affectionate spoof of a cottage industry and entire genre of documentary-making.

  • 4

    In the Best Possible Taste (C4)

    With only an array of babydoll dresses, a filthy laugh and a dream, Grrayson Perry dissected the modern British class system in a three-part series (and tapestry) that neither patronised nor alienated those whose lives he depicted.

  • 5

    Why Poverty? (BBC2 & BBC4)

    In a grim year for the BBC, a season of provocative, powerful documentaries about global inequality, commissioned from around the world, showcased the corporation at its considerable best.

The worst of TV in 2012

  • The Jimmy Savile affair (BBC & ITV)

    Pioneering TV journalism lay at its heart, but this dismal affair can only reflect badly on the organisation – and, by extension, industry – that allowed apparently systematic abuse to take place for so many years.


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