A year in culture: Television

Critics' Choice: The Best of 2011

Nothing annoys me more than people who say there is nothing on television. What rot. This year was replete with good drama and even better documentaries, though I admit we are still wanting when it comes to good new comedy (I worship Rev but it makes me smile rather than honk and sometimes it makes me cry). The drama I liked best was The Promise (Channel 4), Peter Kosminsky's moving and important series about Mandate Palestine and modern Israel. I also fell for The Hour (BBC2), for all that it was so flawed; I guess I find Woodbine-smoking journalists in mackintoshes irresistible. And, like everyone I know, I'm a desperate addict of The Killing (BBC4). Long live subtitles. My favourite documentaries were both on BBC4: Perfume, a series on the scent business, past and present, and Ceramics: a Fragile History, the story of our islands in pots. This was wonderful: thoughtful, unshowy and, barring a late appearance by the ubiquitous Grayson Perry, there wasn't a celebrity in sight.

Rachel Cooke trained as a reporter on The Sunday Times. She is now a writer at The Observer. In the 2006 British Press Awards, she was named Interviewer of the Year.

This article first appeared in the 12 December 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Unholy war