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First it was Degrassi. Now the Americans have taken a shine to the Canadian-made miniseries Slings & Arrows.

Season one of the six-part Shakespearean festival parody starring Paul Gross premiered Sunday night on the Sundance specialty channel and so far it's getting great reviews.

"Consistently engaging and it's often painful and gorgeous," wrote Virginia Hefferman of The New York Times.

"Thank the Canadians, whose second-class status in North America seems to have led them to endure the (sorry, can't resist) slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a bracing sense of good humour," wrote Newsday's Diane Werts. The Los Angeles Times called it a "splendid show, always smart but never superior," adding viewers need not understand, or even like Shakespeare to enjoy it. CP