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Then: Jericho

NUTS! Jericho, ITV4, 8.00pm

JerichoIt seems unlikely that anybody reading this actively needs another US import in their lives right now. After all, a new season of Prison Break has just kicked off on Sky, while we're halfway through Heroes on BBC2, and nearing the end of Brothers and Sisters on Channel 4. In fact, just looking at this week's lowculture highlights alone offers such treats as The Riches and Flight of the Conchords, and obviously we'll be celebrating the return of Ugly Betty on Friday, so we've all got pretty hectic TV schedules right now. But if you're keen on handing over another 22x60 minutes of your life to the TV machine, ITV4 thinks you might like Jericho, and who are we to argue?

Not to be confused with the 2005 Robert Lindsay detective drama of the same name, this show pitches a scenario wherein the US has been struck by 23 nuclear attacks on major cities, focusing on the small town of Jericho in Kansas, which has been isolated by the bomb in nearby Denver, Colorado and left without communication with the outside world. Coincidentally, a prodigal son is on a flying visit to his folks at the time of the crisis and ends up stranded in his hometown, and eventually having some kind of moral epiphany and emerging as a leader in these uncertain times. That sort of thing happens to us all the time.

It had something of a rocky experience in the States, with ratings tumbling after a long winter hiatus (nearly three months) and leading to cancellation, but in the sort of fabulous example of rebellion that's been made all too possible by the internet, the fans rallied and bombarded CBS with peanuts (apparently in reference to a line from the season finale) and the show got granted a reprieve of eight episodes for next year, ostensibly to tie up loose ends, which is rather nice. So you don't have to worry about getting sucked in and being left high and dry with an unresolved cliffhanger, unless of course ITV chooses not to purchase those extra episodes. Then again, if that is the case, you know what to do: nuts, and plenty of 'em.

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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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