Alessandra Stanley's Daughter Summarizes Alessandra Stanley

Sorry, Alessandra Stanley, this isthe best photo of you we could find. Photo: Getty Images

This weekend's Times fall-TV-preview section certainly answered our question about why their earlier big fall-preview package was so TV-light. But it also answered another question we hadn't ever thought to ask: What does Alessandra Stanley watch as a palate cleanser? The answer: old Law & Orders, starring Jerry Orbach.

In her weirdly confessional think piece on the fractured TV audience, the Times' television critic also confessed to TiVoing NCIS and JAG, to leaving a TV set on at all times "as a kind of eternal flame," and to hitting up her 14-year-old daughter for advice about the Youth of Today. "There is no one cool show. Everybody watches different things. I can’t help you," the young Stanley recently reprimanded her mom, hilariously summarizing this entire piece in fourteen snippy words.

We have sympathy for Stanley, though. The piece, shoved on the cover of the TV preview, and without much of an actual hook (at some point in its evolution, was it just supposed to be about how people really like Mad Men?), fairly cries out with the pain of a critic forced to write house copy.

You Are What You Watch [NYT]