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Mad for it

DRAMA! Mad Men, BBC Four, 10.00pm

Mad MenLast week we mentioned that ITV1 is doing its darnedest to earn itself a name as the go-to spot for the most desirable US imports. We're not about to retract that (we may change our minds about things quite often, but perhaps not as often as that), but it's also worth mentioning that BBC Four has carved out quite the reputation for itself as a home for top quality, if slightly more niche, international imports. In 2006 we sang the praises of superlative Gallic police drama Spiral, and last year we got all excited about Flight of the Conchords, so this year we're all set to get thoroughly hot under the collar about Mad Men.

It's from one of the writers of The Sopranos, which will no doubt excite devotees of that show. On a more personal level, we never really took to that show, but we're liking the sound of this one nonetheless - it's set in the high-powered world of a Madison Avenue advertising agency in the 1960s, a land where the man with the slogan was king, and where the role of women was to sit at typewriters and look sexy, occasionally breaking from this routine to fetch someone a coffee. Though, obviously, looking at such a scenario through a lens of the impossibly liberal 21st century, the show will be taking an in-depth look at such obvious misogyny and its roots and effects, just in case you thought you might be able to get away without feeling any bourgeois guilt while watching.

It should be a bit more of a challenging watch than the usual Sunday diet of the likes of Dancing on Ice and Lark Rise to Candleford, but don't let that put you off - BBC Four has never let us down with an import yet. (Alternatively, if you are without digital TV, or prefer to keep your Sunday night viewing strictly crinoline-based, it's also being shown on BBC2 on Tuesday at 11.20pm.)

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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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