TV review 2012: The Scotsman’s completely arbitary TV awards

Peter Capaldi as Malcolm in 'The Thick of It'. Picture: BBC
Peter Capaldi as Malcolm in 'The Thick of It'. Picture: BBC
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Biggest Titanic-style disaster: Titanic – Julian Fellowes’ £12 million flop – showed the iceberg hitting the ship every week, until viewers were so bored they rooted for the stereotyped characters to hurry up and drown already.

Runner up: The Voice – hyped as the kinder, gentler talent show with real talent. The BBC paid millions for the rights and judges, but initial high ratings plummeted and winner Leanne Mitchell (“Who?” Exactly) scraped to No 45 in the charts.

The nation’s unexpected sweetheart(s): Clare Balding, a wonderful antidote to unprepared telly bimbos (of both genders) as she hosted a summer of sport. Runner up: Miranda Hart, pictured right, and the cast of Call The Midwife, which massively outperformed the BBC’s rating expectations.

Most effective trailer: Channel 4’s Paralympics viral hit, using Public Enemy’s Harder Than You Think, gave notice that their coverage would be inspiring, confident and cool.

Most pointless reality show: Mark Wright’s Hollywood Nights, in which the grinning berk from The Only Way Is Essex was unaccountably given five episodes and a lavish budget to take his dull mates on holiday to LA, where they did absolutely nothing. Runner up: the excruciating TOWIE Live, bringing mumbling inanities to a new, badly-edited low.

Best programme not on British TV: Breaking Bad – America’s gripping, Emmy-laden drama about a teacher turning meth dealer after a cancer diagnosis (only its first two series were shown here, requiring addicts to score DVDs). It’s got better and better as it approaches the final eight episodes, to be aired in the US next spring and in the UK when hell freezes over. Runner up: Limmy’s Show – yes, it’s on BBC Scotland, but for some reason the inspired abstract humour of Brian Limond is not deemed suitable for the rest of Britain.

Most disappointing second series: Homeland, which maddeningly went from a brilliant, clever, challenging show, to an averagely exciting spy thriller with massive credibility gaps and a teenage hit-and-run story. WHYYYYYYY?

Best love story: Alan and Celia, reunited after 60 years, in Last Tango In Halifax. Runner up: Fresh Meat’s Josie and Kingsley, star-crossed students who are made for each other but don’t know it yet.

Best exit: Peter Capaldi acting his socks off as Malcolm Tucker, pictured left, in the last episode (probably ever) of The Thick Of It. His career over, the once supreme spin-doctor faces the press outside a police station, demanding a quote. “I want to say something,” he declares then, after a long pause, sighs: “Ah, doesn’t matter.”

Best comeback: JR Ewing. Sadly, Larry Hagman has now gone to that Oil Baron’s Ball in the sky, but his brief return in the revived Dallas showed he still had all of JR’s devilish charm. Runner up: Peep Show, still on form after a two-year break.

Best advert for dogs: Bakers pet food created the world’s first (and most likely only) advert with high frequency noises only dogs can hear. Sadly they have no money, so sales remained static.

Worst advert for anyone: Dawn Porter gushing about “dry wipes” for Andrex Washlets and making anyone watching in company desperately try to avoid everyone else’s gaze.