A rave review in The New York Times for Sarah Palin's new reality show 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' on TLC channel is as unexpected as snow on a summer day.

Seems Alessandra Stanley, who can wield a rapier when she wants to, was genuinely charmed by the portrait of Palin as outdoorswoman which emerges.

Sure she has some small quibbles, but consider the following paragraph.

"A reality show is a risky step for any politician, but then Ms. Palin is no ordinary politician. It’s still not clear whether she plans to run for president in 2012, or is just riding high on her popularity and fame. The TLC program highlights her physical bravery, but the series’ existence points to a different kind of courage: Ms. Palin is not afraid to be herself."

That is praise indeed from Allesandra who also gushes about Palin's physical courage climbing mpuntains and glaciers, checking out polars bears in the wild and going about her daily chores.

There is clearly one funny moment when she forbids a boyfriend of one of her daughter's from going upstairs to her bedroom with her.

With one unintended grandkid already its clear mama bear has had enough.

Stanley says the series is notable for Palin not being afraid to be herself.

That may be the most important thing of all.

In a world of manufactured celebrity Palin may greatly benefit from being so down home