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Father-Son Scenes Add Depth To ‘Duty’

Faye Zuckerman New York Times Syndicate

It’s the last weekend of summer, and one of the last ones where you’ll have to endure repeats for, well, a while.

Back for another airing is an “In the Line of Duty” drama, which may seem quite familiar. That’s because it aired in January.

You may remember Sunday’s “Blaze of Glory,” NBC at 9. It features Lori Loughlin and Bruce Campbell as happy-go-lucky husband-and-wife bank robbers who fancy themselves yuppie versions of Bonnie and Clyde.

Brad Whitford plays an FBI agent with a knack for using old-fashioned investigative methods to track down the criminals. The police work involved in catching the thieves is what makes “Duty” movies rise above rank-and-file crime dramas.

You’ll applaud this rare glimpse at the day-to-day drudgery of police work.

Whitford’s character often consults with his retired-cop (Brad Sullivan) dad, who solved a similar case years ago. Scenes with father and son are charmers and infuse soul into the two hours.

This “Duty” does become bogged down with too many bank robberies. After the third one, the scenes start to play like a broken record.

Highlights

“Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” ABC tonight at 8:30: The series finale gets very personal. Vanessa tests Mark’s love by putting an ad in the personals. Then she dares Mark to guess which ad is hers.

You’ll have to tune in to find out how this all is resolved, because it doesn’t really make much sense to me.

“In the Line of Duty: Kidnapped” (1995), NBC tonight at 9: This “In the Line of Duty” is missing many of the beloved staples that brought audiences to these movies. It’s a by-the-numbers two hours, better told in one.

Timothy Busfield (“thirtysomething”) stars as egotistical FBI agent Pete Honeycutt. Generally disliked for wisecracking, Honeycutt presents a problem, since you’ll find yourself cheering for the villain, played deviously lovable by Dabney Coleman.

Coleman portrays a disgruntled Internal Revenue Service auditor named Arthur who gets even with the tax-dodging wealthy by extorting money from them via a kidnapping scheme.

Arthur especially likes to get even with lawyers. (His snide remarks about attorneys may offer some vicarious pleasure.)

“The Simpsons,” FOX Sunday at 8: In this humorous repeat, Marge takes on counseling duties when the Rev. Lovejoy is deemed out of touch. Homer finds he has a connection to the Japanese.

“The Gift of Love” (1994), CBS Sunday at 9: This movie has heart. Andy Griffith plays a sour widower with heart troubles.

His life is saved - and attitude adjusted - thanks to his grandson and a young runaway (Olivia Burnette). The widower receives a new heart after the grandson is killed in an accident.

This is a feel-good movie.

“Philip Johnson: Diary of an Eccentric Architect,” KSPS Sunday at 9: The 91-year-old architecture legend is profiled in this documentary. He offers a tour of several of his masterpieces and explains the creative process that went into each building.

Parents’ Pick

“Recess,” ABC Sunday at 7:30: Gather up fans of Saturday-morning cartoons. The network previews this animated story about a group of fourth-graders.

It will air regularly Saturday mornings and is brought to you by the same folks who produce the beloved “Rugrats” on NIK.

“Power of One,” ABC tonight at 9: If you were starting to wonder if regular folks can make a difference, then this show, narrated by Malik Yoba, will reinvigorate hope and inspire teenagers. You’ll visit communities where people have had success in the war against drugs and violence.

Among the most notable places is Cleveland, where young kids are learning to curtail violence by changing their social behavior. In Kansas City, a citizens patrol cleans up a neighborhood.

Cable Calls

“Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco,” DISN tonight at 7: Wisecracking Chance, Sassy and Shadow are back with some more snappy dialogue. This time the threesome is in San Francisco trying to find a way home.

“John Carpenter’s Escape from L.A.” (1996), HBO tonight at 9: Kurt Russell reprises his Snake Plissken role from “Escape From New York” (1981) in this actioner. Set in 2013, Los Angeles has become a maximum security prison where a doomsday device is being hidden.

Snake and crew (Peter Fonda, Pam Grier and Steve Buscemi) must track it down. Nonstop suspense.

“Love in the Ancient World,” A&E Sunday at 5 and 9: Experts in the field of love discuss the history of passion and the power of the love in a two-hour-long documentary narrated by Kathleen Turner.

Movie Marquee

“St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985), HBO Sunday at 8: Here’s an oldy but goody. Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson and Demi Moore team up for this coming-of-age tale about a group of friends coping with life after college.

They face several universal growing-up issues we all can relate to. But the best reason to view this one is to see how the actors have matured.

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