What's on TV


Sunday 2/2

Good Fences (Showtime, 8-10 p.m.): Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover star in this bumpy comic drama about a 1970s lawyer and his family upwardly mobilizing themselves toward fame, fortune, and the state supreme court. Glover's conservative judge is playing by the white man's rules in exchange for respect and safety. Meanwhile, his alienated wife and children try to navigate upper-class housewives, the ideal of feminine beauty, and the escalating black power movement. A broad satire it may be, but the moments of tragedy ring with historical truth. Glover, as always, quietly moves the whole film into deeper waters. TV-14

Foyle's War (PBS, Sundays, Feb. 2-23, 9-10:30 p.m.): Masterpiece Theatre lovers unite! Everything you love about the smashing showcase is alive and kicking in this series about a brilliant detective chief inspector who longs to aid the war effort but is desperately needed on the homefront to keep crime in check. With only a sprightly teenage girl driver and an embittered wounded soldier to assist him, he keeps the bad guys in line. Tonight he solves the murder of a German woman who might or might not have deserved it. TV-PG

Brush with Fate (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Based on Susan Vreeland's "Girl in Hyacinth Blue," this uneven, somewhat sentimental film portrays a genuine love of Vermeer's work. The story unwinds backward through the women who owned the title painting to Vermeer's daughter, who sat for it. But the moral of the story lies with the present owner (a spinster played with urgent sorrow by Glenn Close) who keeps it locked away from the world. TV-PG

Dragnet (ABC, 10-11 p.m.): First it was a TV series in the 1950s and '60s, then a feature film in 1987. In the updated version, Ed O'Neill stars as Sgt. Joe Friday. For "Dragnet" purists, the voiceovers and the famous theme are still here. But compared with today's more sophisticated crime shows, it looks out of date. TV-14

Tuesday 2/4

A.U.S.A. (NBC, 9:30-10 p.m.): The verdict's still out on this one. Scott Foley ("Felicity") is innately likable, but his bumbling Assistant US Attorney is stuffed into so many sight gags, they start to look like tableaux staged by the guys from "Animal House." "West Wing" fans alert: the lamented Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten) guest stars as, what else, an executive assistant. TV-PG

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