Last night's viewing - Moving On, BBC1; Great British Menu, BBC2

 

You probably missed Moving On, being go-getting types who don't lie on the sofa at 2.15 in the afternoon, eating Sugar Puffs and flicking desultorily between Classic Mastermind and Dickinson's Real Deal. What's more, you're probably not all that worried about having missed Moving On, daytime drama not exactly having a premium status. Moving On is slightly different though.

It was originally created by Jimmy McGovern, a writer with a real genius for ferreting out the small dramas that loom large in most people's lives. He also has a talent for finding writers who can do the same thing and although his name no longer appears on the series credits, his thumbprint is still, I think, detectable in its texture – the way it can mix comic bathos with grief, and trivial embarrassments with deeper shame.

Yesterday's episode, "The Shrine", was built around a commonplace melodrama that has featured before in the series – the stress of selling a house. John and Carol have been trying to sell theirs for sometime and a sharp edge is beginning to creep into their bickering difference of opinion about the right selling price. Their row was just one of three that were intercut at the beginning of Karen Brown's script, the others being a heated argument over a taxi fare and a spat between a wife and her husband.

And all three knot together when the husband storms out, walks straight in front of the agitated cab-driver and is killed. Everybody feels guilty here except John, who saw the accident, but his turn is coming, because the grieving widow starts to build a roadside shrine on the grass verge immediately in front of his house. A football scarf is tied around the tree, and laminated photographs, and flowers and candles begin to stack up.

John and Carol are sympathetic at first, but then it becomes clear that having one of these pious rubbish dumps at the bottom of your drive doesn't exactly make a great first impression to potential buyers. "It'll be all right," says John. "Once he's buried all this'll stop." Unfortunately, the dead man is cremated and has his ashes scattered at his favourite football ground, so the shrine remains. And Brown's script nicely captures the pinch the couple find themselves in.

How exactly do you tell a weeping woman that her memories have become an eyesore? The tyranny of grief, its power of diktat, trumps all other considerations. Things come to a head when John and Carol temporarily tidy away the shrine for a house viewing, only to have the widow arrive five minutes later and launch into a shrieking denunciation of the unknown vandal. "It wasn't hurting anyone, was it?" she weeps. "No. Of course not," Carol reassures her, now in agonies of guilt herself.

If there is something daytime about the drama, it is that this dilemma doesn't spin off into something worse, as could easily happen, but that it's all resolved in time for Escape to the Country. Not tritely, to be fair, since the penultimate scene is a nearly worldless montage of unresolved grief and social shame. But charitably enough to reassure you that life can absorb some cracks without entirely shattering.

Great British Menu is back – a dish of wild culinary invention served with a garnish of Reality Show Soundbites and Format Sauce. The twist this time is that the culminating banquet is one to celebrate 25 years of Comic Relief, which means that the chefs have been challenged to come up with "fun quirky dishes". Since "quirk" is pretty much the baseline in a standard competition, the recipes here are even more Blumenthaled than usual. Dishes included Funky Pigeon and Disco Beets, which looked like the remnants of an Indian takeaway, and Smoked Pigeon with a Sweetcorn Granola and Douglas Fir Oil, for that all-important lavatory-cleaner tang. I don't know whether the diners will find it funny, but the chefs are certainly having a laugh.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Summer nights: ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’
TVBut what do we Brits really know about them?
Arts and Entertainment
Dr Michael Mosley is a game presenter

TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
    Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

    The dark side of Mexico

    A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

    Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border