The Weekend Australian - Review

Times cryptic


- Solutions on Monday

The Lady and the Dale Sunday, 8.30pm, Fox Showcase and Foxtel On Demand Streaming on Binge

In 1974, American entreprene­ur Geraldine Elizabeth “Liz” Carmichael founded the Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporatio­n. Its sole product was the Dale, a prototype threewheel­ed, two-seater car said to be powered by a two-cylinder 850cc air-cooled engine capable of getting almost 30km per litre of petrol. Given the previous year’s energy crisis and the car’s distinctiv­e profile, it quickly became a media sensation that only intensifie­d when the truth came out: Carmichael was really a lifelong con artist named Jerry Dean Michael, who had spent years running scams and avoiding police across the US, driving from place to place with wife Vivian and their five children. “There’s so much to say about my father,” says daughter Candi Michael, one of the interviewe­es in this new documentar­y on the man and the swindle. “How long you got?” Directors Nick Cammilleri and

Zackary Drucker have four hours, and not a minute of the first two episodes made available for review is wasted. The story is supplement­ed by bizarre but effective cut-out animation sequences, rendering this singular moment in US cultural history an entertaini­ng, enlighteni­ng and wholly American look at fraud, transgende­r politics and unapologet­ic showmanshi­p.

Solar Opposites Tuesday, streaming on Disney+

When their “perfect utopia” home planet Shlorp was hit and destroyed by an asteroid, 100 adult Shlorpians and their replicants (read: kids), along with a pupa, or infant alien, were issued spaceships and sent off to search for uninhabite­d planets. One such quartet mistakenly crash-landed on Earth, where they’ve lived in Middle America for a year with decidedly mixed results. Solar Opposites is the latest in a long line of half-hour adult animated comedies built around eccentric family units and their adventures in the modern world. Think

The Flintstone­s, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, The Boondocks, that sort of thing. Add in the exotic otherworld­liness of Futurama and the over-caffeinate­d delivery of most modern American sitcoms, and this is the result. It is the creation of Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty), who voices excitable lead alien Korvo, and Mike McMahan (Star Trek: Lower Decks). Teenage replicants Yumyulack and Jesse navigate the social challenges of nearby James Earl Jones High School, while Korvo, who hates Earth, schemes to repair the spaceship. The show is off-the-wall fun that connected instantly with viewers in the US and was praised for savouring the crazier aspects of life with a loud yet shrewd charm.

The First 48: Life Interrupte­d/Lucifer Monday, 9.30pm, Crime + Investigat­ion and Foxtel On Demand

“For homicide detectives,” intones the narrator, “their chance of solving a murder is cut in half if they don’t get a lead within the first 48 hours.”

Back in 2007, during its sixth series, this A&E production was the highest rated nonfiction justice series on US TV and was even nominated for an Internatio­nal Documentar­y Associatio­n award. Each hour-long episode — and there have been 436 to date — follows one or more homicide investigat­ions in different US cities, and here those are the murders of 30-year-old Alex Newton during an interrupte­d apartment burglary in Atlanta and the early hours “straight execution” of Cedric Cotton “Saw-K” Cleveland in a Tulsa convenienc­e store parking lot (no years are given, and both men were shot to death). “I don’t wish this hurt on anybody,” says one grieving relative, as the law enforcemen­t officers in each jurisdicti­on work quickly yet carefully to gather physical evidence and DNA in pursuit of the cold-blooded killers. Who, of course, turn out to be average guys with varying degrees of remorse who are reliably and inevitably collared and brought to justice (one within the title timeframe, one after a more extensive investigat­ion). This is brusque, nononsense, reassuring television.


1 6 9 10 12 14 15 17 19 22 24 25 26 27

Rocket, say: why not all there? (10)

Enemy caught by Tasmanian tiger (4)

Unchanging, those full of beans, say in early part of tennis match? (3,2,5)

Over eight thirteenth­s of the alphabet? (4)

Fighting with chorus in challenges such as these (8,6) Chinese Revolution topping the bill, alas, ultimately for communist (6)

Lawn weed: cut the whole lot back (8)

Cow neatherd almost forced onto back of cart (8)

One hit by player, icon reportedly (6)

What could shock more or less, for example? (4-6,4)

Nation that had me as president? (4)

A vale heading north, man on deviating path (2,1,7)

Female animals expressed milk (4)

Sweet and spicy food: wanting it with coating of saffron in bread (6,4)


1 Lovely soak (4)

2 Dance that has guru act

wildly (3,1,3) 3 4 5 7 8 11 13 16 18 20 21 23

One is late (not early): only some changes holding delivery up (12)

Rubbish game for King

Edward, according to

Wallace? (6)

Sharp swing restrictin­g batting, say (8)

Musical character in one’s blood (7)

Completely shut off, there’s nothing exceptiona­l about me? (10)

Score doubled, perfect in one faculty? (6-6)

If food found at bottom of hole, teeth cleaner (10)

One leaving land, perhaps, with river on a hill (8)

Boy caught by wolf, one’s stuffed (7)

Bearing rocks, enter with some force (5,2)

Source of sugar working for old cook (6)

End with jars upside down (4)

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