Tonight in HD: November 21

SoHo Highlight: Game of Thrones (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Ned refuses an order from the King; Tyrion escapes one perilous encounter, only to find himself in another. Said The Daily Telegraph: “The steadily building heat and pressure between the various factions in Game of Thrones brings things to the boil in episode five – an episode notable for a dramatic leap in both the quantity and the quality of the sex and violence, as well. At one stage someone shoves a dagger through a man’s eye and rather neatly out of the back of his skull. It’s very impressive. And we get the series’ first gay couple, as well.” The Guardian thought it the best episode so far, “with some great acting and a sense that the story has an unstoppable, probably thoroughly grim, forward momentum”. It described it as “extremely bloodthirsty” with a “pretty high” nudity count while Vanity Fair commented there were “at least three I-will-never-erase-that-image-from-my-head moments”. ✭✭✭✭

The Mentalist (TV2, 8.30)

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) Ross has a disaster at the tanning booth; Rachel and Joey try to kiss without awkwardness; Phoebe and Monica’s annoying friend (guest star Jennifer Coolidge) visits. ✫✫✫

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Callum’s new targets make him unpopular; Murray is the answer to Harry’s problems; Vasa tries to prevent a meltdown. ✫✫✫

Criminal Minds (TV One, 8.30, R) The BAU team track a trail of murders that seem to follow the touring schedule of a gothic rock star. ✫✫

The Mentalist (TV2, 8.30) When the owner of an online matchmaking service is shot to death, Patrick Jane sets out to prove his beautiful yet manipulative wife is the killer.V’s Morena Baccarin guest stars. Fans should note blog critics highly recommended this case. Mr Alpha Freak dubbed it “another great episode” while Reviewbrain thought it was “highly enjoyable with superior performances” and a “genius premise: having the victim and suspect work in a matchmaking service”. ✫✫

Shameless (TV2, 11.00) When a government official suspects that someone might be cashing Aunt Ginger’s social security cheques, the Gallaghers set out to find her before the government does. Apparently Aunt Ginger was the first episode of the American series not to have been written by the creator of the original, Paul Abbott. “Its titular storyline is the first significant plot of the series so far that (near as I can tell from some Google’ing) isn’t from the British show,” critic Alan Sepinwall said. “And though I stopped watching British Shameless after the pilot, I don’t think it’s necessarily a coincidence that this is the first episode of the Showtime version that largely clicked for me.”  ✫✫✫✫

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