Lori’s list for March 31: ‘HIMYM,’ ‘Game of Thrones’

Written By By LORI RACKL TV Critic Posted: 03/30/2014, 06:38pm

“HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER” (7 p.m. Monday, WBBM-Channel 2): After nine seasons, Ted finally finishes telling his kids — who are practically grown-ups by now — how he hooked up with his baby mama. (Hint: it wasn’t Grindr.) The hourlong finale is followed by the new CBS sitcom “Friends with Better Lives.” The uninspired rom-com revolves around six pals at various points on the relationship spectrum — married, divorced, engaged, single — who secretly wonder if their buddies are better off than they are. They also make a lot of lame puns. That ★★ show moves to its regular 8:30 p.m. Monday time slot April 14.

“ONE NIGHT IN MARCH” (10:30 p.m. Thursday, WTTW-Channel 11): Part civil rights, part athletics, this half-hour documentary tells the story of one of the most important basketball games in collegiate sports history when the Loyola Ramblers squared off against the Mississippi State Bulldogs 50 years ago. The all-white MSU players captured the nation’s attention when they defied an unwritten rule by agreeing to compete in the NCAA tournament against a racially integrated team: Chicago’s Ramblers, the first squad with African-American starters to clinch the national championship. Rating: ★★★

“TURN” (8 p.m. Sunday, AMC): America’s first spy ring is the subject of this Revolutionary War drama, where a disparate group of childhood friends from New York becomes George Washington’s secret weapon against the Redcoats. Based on the nonfiction book Washington’s Spies by Alexander Rose, the series’ 90-minute premiere piles on a few too many characters and storylines. Beneath these sometimes confusing layers lurks a promising show about a relatively unexplored chapter in U.S. military history. It’s also an interesting look at the early days of undercover espionage, which makes the clunky spy devices on the Cold War-set “The Americans” look James Bond-worthy. Rating: ★★★

“GAME OF THRONES” (8 p.m. Sunday, HBO): The most epic, ambitious show on television gets off to a quiet start in season four. The Lannisters continue their chokehold on the Iron Throne but threats are mounting on all sides. Menacing newcomer Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), aka the Red Viper of Dorne, has arrived at King’s Landing with his plus-one to attend Joffrey’s nuptials. We know how smoothly weddings go on this show. The sharply written, slow-paced premiere ratchets up the tension on what’s reported to be the bloodiest 10-episode season yet. Rating: ★★★★

“SILICON VALLEY” (9 p.m. Sunday, HBO): A trio of Chicago-trained comics — Thomas Middleditch (“The Office”), T.J. Miller (“Mash Up”) and Kumail Nanjiani (“Portlandia”) — are part of the talented ensemble in this droll look at high-tech heroes and zeroes fighting to become the next Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. These socially awkward code monkeys live and work together in a start-up incubator as they try to turn their game-changing compression algorithm into gold. Not only is it funny, it has an air of authenticity thanks to co-creator Mike Judge (“Beavis & Butt-head,” “Office Space”), who mines his previous experience as a Silicon Valley engineer for laughs. Rating: ★★★½

Email: lrackl@suntimes.com

Twitter: @lorirackl

Browse More 'Uncategorized'