Watching Alessandra Stanley

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Whether it was the Alessandra Stanley Vocabulary Decoder Vol. 1 or the Alessandra Stanley Vocabulary Decoder Vol. 2, we’ve been having a bit of fun at the vocabulicious NY Times’ TV critic’s expense. So, in accordance with our New Year’s resolutions, sorry, ma’am.

But today’s review of FX newcomer Dirt caught our eye. In it, Stanley mentions a male character who is impressed when a woman references Proust’s famous madeleine cookies. Stanley, however, wasn’t all that wowed. “It’s mainly the viewer who is taken aback at such an overused literary reference,” she writes.

But perhaps it was Ms. Stanley who played a part in turning Proust into a cliché. While she doesn’t specifically cite the madeleine, she does nonetheless work in a truly clunky shout-out for the French novelist. Back in March 2005, she cited “the loneliness of Proustian recall—the feel of a bed pillow at Combray” into the first paragraph of a review of a Kojak remake starring Ving Rhames.

Rhames, Kojak, and a Combray bed pillow. Only the splendiferous Ms. Stanley.

By Michael Malone