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.

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
music review
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

music
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

art
Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker