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Live from New York, it's Thursday night

BOSS! 30 Rock, FIVE, 10.45pm

The best US series from the 2006-2007 television season debuts this evening on Five. 30 Rock was 'the other' Saturday Night Live-based, backstage show. But unlike Studio 60 On Sunset Strip which was about funny people being very unfunny, 30 Rock took the more radical approach and is actually hilarious. Quite unusual in a season that saw all the ratings go to a show about attractive people who can fly, turn invisible, not die and who are all miserable about it.

As someone who has defined the better part of his life by his hatred of Alec Baldwin, it is difficult to admit that he is amazing here. Promoted by NBC's parent company General Electric to oversee television programming following his stellar work with ovens, Baldwin plays the annoyingly perfect executive with blunt ease. This is the development that starts the series, much to the continual annoyance of producer Liz Lemon (played by SNL alum Tina Fey, the mastermind behind this and the rather good film Mean Girls). Liz is a woman in her thirties who is fiercely independent yet has serious worries about choking alone in her apartment and will buy a hundred and fifty hot dogs just to prove a point.

Around them is a fun cast of characters which includes mentally ill comedian Tracy Jordan (played by SNL alum Tracy Morgan), the wonderfully neurotic Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski from Ally McBeal) and an NBC page who makes everyone uncomfortable with his glowing love of television. Look for ongoing cameos from Rachel Dratch who plays the cat wrangler in the pilot. Keep watching as it only gets better. You'll love it so much you'll take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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