Taking the rough with the smooth

There's often a baleful moment in a drama when you hit the audition speech. These are little solos, so conspicuously dramatic, so charged with meaning and opportunities for Acting, that the rest of the cast might as well pop off for a cup of tea. The moment came quite early in Blood and Peaches (BBC2), after Steve had staggered through a day's work at the chicken-packing plant. "The 'ead came off, still warm in me hand," he says in a descriptive reverie. "The fat man's still laughing." (The combination of a laughing fat man and the historical present is incontrovertible evidence that we are in the presence of Drama, all capital letters and spotlights.)

It says a lot for Blood and Peaches that it managed to win you over despite this and other gauche moments. It began as ingenuously as a teenager, embarrassing you by its unabashed sentiment, and the direction was dizzy with feeling too, unlikely to contradict the characters' excited view of themselves. But then things started getting a little more sardonic and a little more nasty. The unpleasant smell in Gary's deep-fryer turns out to be a drowned cat (you get a glimpse of drenched fur in a slush of half congealed fat, a really enjoyable thrill of disgust); Ravi, who works as a waiter in an Indian restaurant, comes up against the local rascists. Is this really nave, you wonder, or is it about navety?

It isn't easy to decide because the register continues to shift from scene to scene. For a tryst between the two young lovers the camera is complicit with their sense of themselves as romantic heroes (the Bronts have just been given a wry namecheck). A motorbike is posed on the skyline, a bit of set dressing which fulfils a teenage dream. A little later, though, and for different characters, the silhouette is of a slag heap shaped exactly like a female breast, a Donald McGill deflation of the comic coupling taking place in the shrubs below. Sometimes the mood is ebullient (as when a local football team manages to score its first goal for months by staging an elaborate diversion - a Transit van full of lads in Hawaiian shirts, who climb on top of ironing boards and mime to the Beach Boys) sometimes it is concertedly melancholy.

The plausibility ebbs and flows too - there is a nasty scene, like some hellish Quaker meeting, in which the racist thugs testify to their petty acts of terror. But their boasts are about frightening women and children, as if they have no fantasies of their own about "valour" and "combat". They have been tricked, too conveniently, into pleading guilty. It's not that you want the drama to give equal imaginative rights to racists, but you don't want it to be quite such a coconut shy either. In the end, though, the unevenness comes to seem increasingly attractive; the drama gets a grip on you and there's an engaging sense that the writer, Martin Sadofski, has more ideas on his hands than he can quite deal with. The faults of the thing are inseparably attached to its virtues, those of youth and eagerness, and the virtues are more than enough to compensate.

"A is for Accident" (Cutting Edge, C4) was driving under the influence of From A to B, last year's enjoyable anthropology of motorist tribes. The shots were composed with the same blank stare and even the title was a nod in that direction. But Amanda Rubin's film was a decidedly sobering postscript. This was about the car as lethal recreation, an assembly of brilliant safety features controlled by people with the safety consciousness of chimps. Not the least of its revelations was that police cars lurk in the inside lane is because it's safest there. "I like it here. I like it in this lane," said a policeman who had enough experience to see the motorway for what it was - so many accidents waiting to happen that they had formed their own tailback.

Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Reach for the sky: there are around 250 new buildings of 20-plus storeys planned for London alone, some 80 per cent of them residential
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
filmReview: The ingenious film will intrigue, puzzle and trouble audiences by turns
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Arts and Entertainment
A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix hangs in St Marylebone church
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Escalating tension: Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’
filmReview: Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker in Blackhat
Arts and Entertainment

Oscar voter speaks out

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars race for Best Picture will be the battle between Boyhood and Birdman

Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
tvReview: Wolf Hall
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Meighan of Kasabian collects the Best Album Award
Arts and Entertainment
Best supporting stylist: the late L’Wren Scott dressed Nicole Kidman in 1997
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey


Arts and Entertainment
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor)
tv occurred in the crucial final scene
Arts and Entertainment
Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower