Sunday, July 06, 2008

Cops and Nudges

In The Sunday Times I write about US cop shows - The Wire, The Shield and Dexter - and I review Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein. The cop shows are wonderful; the book is a maddeningly boring exposition of an interesting idea. The picture is of no relevance to either.


  1. Blimey, you get a lot more out of television than I do. Frankly, I can't be arsed with anything more demanding than The Bill and only because I find English plod funny.

    Nudge - is it fruit machine jargon (one armed bandits as they were)? I was thinking Tilt but then I'm more pinball. I'll cross this off the wishlist then..

  2. caption,

    ''It might not have favourable emissions compared to the Range Rover but I've saved a fortune on road tax.''

  3. ''There, I told you Jack - five magic beans but only one of them sprouted! The law was always on our side.''

  4. Thanks for the review of the cop shows. Haven't seen any of them but you make them sound well up for it, so pleasant prospects await at the video rental store.

    As for Nudge, any book that headlines "improving ... happiness" has got to have a strong element of shysterism, imho. Every time I hear "I just want to be happy" I groan. No you don't, you want to feel at peace with yourself and the world. Happiness may or may not come along another time.

  5. Dexter appears to be a short-lived phenomenon.

    Here in the US, it has been savagely attacked from all quarters because of its bizarre concept.

    Better watch it, before it disappears from the telly.

  6. Bryan, when will you publish your writeup of your visit to Twentynine Palms?

  7. Renting "The Wire" -- all of its seasons -- is on my list. It's a roman-a-clef (video-a-clef?) in many ways for those folks in the know -- in the news biz -- between Philly and Baltimore. The writer, David Simon, for reasons that seem inexplicable to me, despised his then-editor at the Baltimore Sun and our current editor at the Phila. Inquirer. He has accused him of letting a plagiarist run amok in B-more (to the detriment of hard-working, unsung reporters -- read, himself --), among other things.

    I find it hard to believe Simon can be talking about the same editor we know at the Inky: Bill Marimow won two Pulitzer prizes for exposing corruption. He's very well liked in the newsroom and perceived as a very ethical, hard-working guy. In fact, he was ousted at the Sun in 2003 because he refused to lay off any more staff. After a brief stint at NPR, he came to us.

    There's nothing worse than a disgruntled journalist who then starts writing fiction, or screenplays. For more on the interplay of fact and fiction in "The Wire," check out the blog Philebrity.

  8. 'The Wire' is excellent: best series is Two, based on the docks. The school series was a bit weak, I thought. However, the whole thing is brilliant. Not AS good, however, as 'Deadwood' (also from HBO) - 'open the canned fucking peaches!' - stunning.

  9. John wrote: "Dexter appears to be a short-lived phenomenon."

    Hmm. I think it was quite a hit for Showtime and they're starting a third season this fall. The (censored) network rebroadcasts may not have been as successful (I don't know).

    I highly recommend the three Dexter novels by Jeff Lindsay on which the TV series is based. They're quite well written and funny.