The year starts with dramatic bangs


January 04, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

The first new "NYPD Blue" of the year (and in almost a month) airs tonight, along with two network programs -- one sitcom, one drama -- taking aim at the issue of guns in the hands of youngsters.

* "Roc" (8-8:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- The author's message within this episode of "Roc" is clear enough: a frustrated young man, fed up with being bullied at school, buys a handgun, faces down his adversaries, and ends up escalating the seriousness of the hostilities. What's even more clear, though, is the message that follows the climax: Charles S. Dutton, who stars as "Roc," steps up to the camera, out of character, and delivers a passionate editorial about the level and impact of street violence. Fox.

* "The Good Life" (8:30-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- On tonight's episode, which sets up "The Good Life" in its regular time slot, John (John Caponera) attends the performance-art play written by his wife (Eve Gordon) -- and takes aim at their relationship. Funniest part of the show: Drew Carey. NBC.

* "Bakersfield P.D." (8:30-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- This is the last episode of "Bakersfield P.D." before it goes on hiatus, which means it's probably the last episode, period. Too bad. Fox is letting a clever, quirky show slip through its corporate fingers -- but it did that last season, too, by canceling "Flying Blind" and "The Ben Stiller Show." What's next on the hit list for Fox's quality non-hits? Let's hope it's not those Friday night twin treats, "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." and "The X-Files." Fox.

* "The John Larroquette Show" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Hemingway (John Larroquette) gets stuck with training the boss' nephew -- which is really getting stuck, since he's played by wild guest star Bobcat Goldthwait. NBC.

* "Roseanne" (9-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- There are strange guest stars on "Roseanne" tonight, too: Florence Henderson, Anthony Geary and Genie Francis. ABC.

* "Armed and Innocent" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Andrew Starnes stars as a young boy who lives through a real-life, much less comic version of "Home Alone." While his parents are at work, Chris (Andrew) is shocked when burglars pry their way into his home. Chris takes his new birthday present, a shotgun, and scares them off -- by, it turns out, killing two of them. The psychological aftereffects occupy most of the rest of the movie, with Kate Jackson and Gerald McRaney playing his parents, until a dramatic conflict surfaces to cap off the drama a bit too cleanly. CBS.

* "Cafe Americain" (9:30-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Starting tonight, this Valerie Bertinelli sitcom gets a new time slot -- not a much better one than it had before, but at least it's not a one-way ticket to Hiatusville. NBC.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Welcome back, Sipowicz and Kelly. A few weeks of reruns have made it clear just how nice it is to have fresh episodes of your adventures around. ABC.

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