Christina Hendricks as Joan and Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men. Photo: ©Lionsgate
The final series of Mad Men: how to end a golden age TV show
By India Ross - 16 April 12:06

However it ends, the climax of Mad Men will be perhaps television's most influential ending.

Peter White and Ed Reardon presented a spoof version of You and Yours. Photo: BBC Pictures
Character Invasion: Radio 4 comedy at its worst
By Antonia Quirke - 11 April 12:45

It started inauspiciously with the never remotely amusing Big Bird as the subject of Tweet of the Day.

Laura Palmer.
Is Twin Peaks responsible for the dead woman TV trope?
By Sarah Marshall - 10 April 14:38

From The Killing, The Bridge and CSI to True Detective - why do so many TV series open with the mutilated corpse of a woman? Sarah Marshall looks back to the trope's dark origins.

The BBC's Sherlock is just one show that has a complicated relationship between fans and creators. Photo: BBC
Mutually Assured Destruction: the shifting dynamics between creators and fans
By Elizabeth Minkel - 10 April 9:07

The hypothetical direct channel to the writers and actors in our favourite TV shows fosters a false sense of intimacy. But it's all an illusion – television isn't a democracy.

Guy Henry as Randolph (centre) with the cast of New Worlds. Photo: Channel 4
New Worlds on Channel 4: Meet the poodle-haired rock gods of the Restoration
By Rachel Cooke - 08 April 11:35

New Worlds, like The Devil’s Whore before it, fancies itself as a political drama. Why must it be silted up with all this Jean Plaidy-ish stuff?

The cast of E4's Made in Chelsea.
Why is the post-recession audience so keen on “Made in Chelsea”?
By India Ross - 07 April 17:24

E4's popular "scripted reality" show offers up a very specific kind of escapism.

What does George R R Martin owe us? Image: Getty.
Game of Thrones season four begins with no end in sight for book series
By Raphael Gray - 07 April 9:27

Are you tired of waiting for the rest of George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire?

French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Arles Photography Festival in 1994. Photo: Getty
The Essay: Finish the Bottle on Radio 3
By Antonia Quirke - 04 April 16:30

In week of short monologues about being up close with well-known artists, Martin Gayford recalls a stressful ecounter with Henri Cartier-Bresson.

This show is arguably the worst thing that the BBC airs.
Is the BBC’s “The Big Questions” the worst thing on television?
By Willard Foxton - 04 April 11:09

It’s one of the broadcaster’s flagship religious programmes, yet it makes religious people look unfairly crazy.

he cast of How I Met Your Mother at a CBS publicity event in 2005. Photo: Getty.
We know How He Met Their Mother, but was it worth it?
By India Ross - 02 April 16:54

After nine seasons and years of anticipation, the story of Ted Mosby comes to an end.

Breaking Bad's writers were never afraid of a bit of blue language. (Image: FOXTEL)
A statistical analysis of how much f***ing swearing there is on TV
By Monika Bednarek - 01 April 16:27

The big hits from US cable channels often come packed with swearing - but just how much, exactly?

Matthew McConnaughey as Rust Cohle in True Detective. (Image: HBO)
Swamp-noir True Detective is the best show of 2014 (so far)
By Ian Steadman - 31 March 18:10

It may not have the best writing, but True Detective's production and acting quality mark it out as the standout show of 2014.

A performance of Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes” on the beach at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2013. Photo: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images
Controller of Radio 3 Roger Wright departs BBC for Aldeburgh
By India Ross - 24 March 14:37

Roger Wright, who was also director of the BBC Proms, had worked at Radio 3 since 1998.

Land that time forgot: Martin Amis’ England. (Photo: BBC/Les Films d’Ici 2/Mark Kidel)
Martin Amis’s England: a baffling highly subjective take on the nation through the eyes of an expat
By Rachel Cooke - 24 March 12:20

A documentary made for French TV by a writer entirely out of touch with modern Britain – and it showed. This stereotyped land of stiff-upper-lip repression just made Amis sound stupid.

a scene from BBC3's Bluestone 42 (Photo: BBC/Coco Van Oppens)
BBC3 is the Wild West of TV yet it produces some gems
By Rachel Cooke - 20 March 10:00

Rachel Cooke pits the youth channel against its counterpart, the cerebral BBC4, by comparing Bluestone 42 and How to Get Ahead.

Zimbabwean children who have lost their parents to Aids at a trauma counselling course in the school holidays, 2004. (Photo: Getty)
Talking cure: Vikram Patel on The Life Scientific
By Antonia Quirke - 20 March 10:00

Jim Al-Khalili spoke to the leading psychiatrist about treating depression in Zimbabwe, yet had to shoehorn in some clunky biographical details.

Hugh Bonneville returns as Ian Fletcher, head of deliverance at the Olympic Deliverance Commission in the award-winning series Twenty Twelve, and now head of values at the BBC.
New comedy W1A is an almost too-sharp satire of “Brand BBC”
By Rachel Cooke - 20 March 9:11

The BBC’s new comedy W1A is for anyone who has ever spent a morning wondering how long people can get away with saying the same thing over and over again while drinking Hildon mineral water.

Adil Ray and the cast of Citizen Khan. Photo: BBC
Is the BBC still “hideously white”?
By Farrukh Dhondy - 18 March 16:18

Farrukh Dhondy critically surveys television’s coverage of black and Asian lives and issues – and argues that multiculture is simply an acceptable, liberal term for an inclusive, wide, but judgemental monoculture.

Good cop: Matthew McConaughy and Woody Harrelson as Detectives Marty Hart and Rust Cohle
Sky Atlantic’s True Detective: not as much cop as it thinks it is
By Rachel Cooke - 13 March 10:00

Despite the laborious chronology, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughy, as the two detectives, will keep you watching.

Radio 6 Music presenter Craig Charles. (Photo: BBC/Dean Chalkley)
The 6 Music Festival: malfunctions and malapropisms
By Antonia Quirke - 13 March 10:00

Hosts Shaun Keaveny and Craig Charles were left a bit lost for words.

We are family: the cast of Outnumbered at the National Television Awards in 2012. Photo: Getty Images
For half an hour a week, I turn on the TV and watch the future I won’t have
By Nicholas Lezard - 06 March 10:03

Watching BBC1's Outnumbered is less painful now but it's still bitter-sweet.

Beaubourg boo-boo: view of the the Pompidou Centre in Paris, by Richard Rogers, arguably the point at which he sold out
Hippies to yuppies: the Brits Who Built the Modern World
By Tom Dyckhoff - 06 March 10:01

Foster, Rogers and co began their careers with radical and idealistic values. So why did they end up building flats for oligarchs?

Brother Hermes, a Colombian priest, prepares for an exorcism in Bogota. Photo: Getty Images
Radio 4’s the Exorcist: a restrained yet chilling adaptation
By Antonia Quirke - 06 March 10:00

Included the writer’s many nods to literature and film, absent from the film version.

Flawless in a barrister's wig: Maxine Peake as Martha Costello in Silk
BBC1’s Silk: we’ve come a long way since Juliet Bravo
By Rachel Cooke - 06 March 10:00

The legal drama in which m’learned ladies aren’t just tolerated but adored.

Little Britain, starring David Walliams and Matt Lucas, got its start on BBC3.
Should it really be BBC3 that gets the chop?
By Caroline Crampton - 05 March 15:12

If approved by the BBC Trust, the decision would see BBC3 lose its on-air slot and become online-only. Does it deserve the axe?

Alan Davies as Jonathan Creek, resplendent in his duffel coat.
The return of Jonathan Creek: why do we love it so much?
By Caroline Crampton - 28 February 16:06

Nearly seventeen years after the first episode aired, Alan Davies’ duffel-coated sleuth is shuffling back onto our screens.

Melvyn Bragg. Photo: Getty
Radio: In Our Time; The Essay
By Antonia Quirke - 28 February 12:53

Two programmes in one day discussed the era of the Crusades.

Television: Inside No 9; Bunkers, Brutalism and Bloodymindedness
By Rachel Cooke - 28 February 12:09

Two of the League of Gentleman offer up a sublime new series, while Jonathan Meades’s films about concrete architecture are his richest yet.

A Margaret Thatcher Spitting Image puppet. Photo: Getty
The voice of the Iron Lady: how hard is it to imitate Margaret Thatcher?
By Caroline Crampton - 27 February 15:00

Meeting the man behind Spitting Image's rubbery Maggie.