Observing Los Angeles

LAPD vs. NYPD, on TV

Los Angeles and New York both make great settings for police dramas on TV. But why, over the last decade or more, are most of the better ones located in New York? Joshua Alston asks and tries to answer in Newsweek.

Sure, there are exceptions. The Shield just finished a stellar seven-season run, and The Closer is still going strong. But given that Los Angeles practically invented the cop show and monopolized the genre in its early years (see: Dragnet, Police Story, 77 Sunset Strip), it's curious that the city has largely relinquished its dominance. Dark Blue, a new L.A.-based cop drama from Jerry Bruckheimer, is an excellent example of why.

Here's where Alston is coming from generally: "Los Angeles is, admittedly, a tough town to know—sprawling; disparate; consumed by gaudy, showbiz culture. A New Yorker would call it soulless, as if the whole city had gotten Botox."

Meanwhile: Time magazine reviews the new collection of stories by L.A. author Maile Meloy. Mary Pols says: "Don't let the easy accessibility of Maile Meloy's writing fool you; she's capable of witchcraft."

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