Free-to-air films

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

This witty and fu­ri­ously paced, of­ten laugh-out­loud satir­i­cal consumer af­fairs se­ries makes a wel­come re­turn, presented by Ju­lian Mor­row and Craig Reu­cas­sel from The Chaser team, with Kirsten Drys­dale, Kate Browne, Scott Ab­bot, Zoe Nor­ton Lodge and Ben Jenkins. And as the show likes to say: “From cra­dles to graves, ev­ery­one’s a cus­tomer — and we have the right not to re­main silent.” The Check­out takes a no-holds-barred, ir­rev­er­ent and en­ter­tain­ing ap­proach to ex­plain­ing and ex­pos­ing the ways all of us are be­ing ripped off, and it does it with a com­bi­na­tion of sketch com­edy and caus­tic anal­y­sis that some­times de­fies rea­son in pro­duc­tion terms. How they get so much hu­mor­ous scripted ob­ser­va­tion to air in such a short turn­around is a TV mir­a­cle. Again, in The Check­out team’s words, their show “is consumer af­fairs TV for the 21st cen­tury of­fer­ing a revo­lu­tion­ary new won­der diet of in­for­ma­tion and entertainment that’s clin­i­cally proven and 26 per cent fat free”. Who am I to dis­agree? The crew of the USS En­ter­prise is called home in JJ Abrams’s Star Trek: Into Dark­ness (Sun­day, 9pm, Ten) where they dis­cover that a force of ter­ror from within their own or­gan­i­sa­tion has de­stroyed the fleet and ev­ery­thing it stands for, leav­ing the world in a state of cri­sis. The great cast in­cludes Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, Si­mon Pegg and Zoe Sal­dana. It also fea­tures an ap­pear­ance by Leonard Ni­moy in the char­ac­ter of Spock (it’s his fi­nal film ap­pear­ance, as he died last year), and the late An­ton Yelchin in the role of Chekov. A fi­nan­cial and crit­i­cal suc­cess — though rusted-on trekkies were not all happy — its box of­fice tak­ings of $467 mil­lion world­wide made it the high­est-gross­ing en­try in the fran­chise. For Ed­die Mur­phy fans, Nor­bit (Tues­day, 8.30pm, Eleven) sees the ac­tor’s mild-man­nered tit­u­lar hero hav­ing a rough time of it since the day he was left aban­doned at a com­bi­na­tion Chi­nese restau­rant and or­phan­age. Re­cently forced to marry the shrewish glut­ton Rasputia (also Mur­phy), he is at his wits’ end, but true love beck­ons when his child­hood sweet­heart, Kate (Thandie New­ton), moves back to town for a job. A box of­fice hit for Mur­phy, who also wrote the screen­play.

Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte in Roots

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