Lori’s List for April 7-13: ‘Deadbeat,’ ‘Mad Men’

Written By By LORI RACKL TV Critic Posted: 04/08/2014, 01:21pm

“DEADBEAT” (Streaming Wednesday on Hulu): Tyler Labine has developed a show-killer reputation (RIP “Animal Practice,” “Mad Love,” etc.), but in this show he kills it as a pot-smoking, lovable loser who can see ghosts. He ekes out a meager living in New York City finishing dead people’s unfinished business in the streaming video service’s promising new 10-episode comedy that’s both charming and crude. Rating: ★★★

“AMERICA’S BEST COOK” (8 p.m. Sunday, Food Network): A couple of home cooks from Chicago are among the 16 amateurs trying to make the cut and win $50,000 in a new culinary competition helmed by Ted Allen. The four teams are divided up based on geography, with Stephanie Goldfarb of Edgewater and Lakeview research scientist Ramzi Khairallah representing Team North, mentored by celeb chef Michael Symon (“The Chew”). Also on the menu this week is another Food Network competition series, “Kitchen Casino” (8 p.m. Mondays). Hosted by Chicagoan Bill Rancic, the show pits chefs in gaming-themed challenges — think slots, poker and roulette — for a shot at a $30,000 jackpot.

“MAD MEN” (9 p.m. Sunday, AMC): A distinct feeling of change — both exciting and foreboding — permeates the premiere of the ad agency drama’s seventh and final season. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) started to reveal his true self at the end of last season, coming clean about his less-than-idyllic childhood both professionally and personally. Now it’s time for this fascinatingly flawed protagonist to deal with the repercussions. It’s also time for bushy sideburns and some unfortunate sartorial choices. The premiere lacks the gravitas of last season’s heavily symbolic opener, but it sets the stage for what promises to be a tumultuous, enticing end run. Rating: ★★★½

“YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY” (9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime): Hollywood heavyweights such as Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle and Matt Damon do more than lip service by lending their star power to save the planet in this exhaustive, nine-part series on climate change. Co-produced by James Cameron, it’s a cinematic story whose focus isn’t polar bears and receding glaciers. It’s about people around the world whose lives have been affected by deforestation, droughts and global warming. Rating: ★★★

Email: lrackl@suntimes.com

Twitter: @lorirackl

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