Show Reviews (30)
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A quirky little British sit-com which never quite proved to be an equal match for sister show "Spaced"...
Irish comedian Dylan Moran ("How Do You Want Me?" & "The Actors") and writer-director Graham Lineham ("Father Ted" & "Big Train") reunite under the auspices of Big Talk producer Nira Park for this surreal sit-com which won the 2001 and 2005 BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy and a Bronze Rose at the Festival Rose d'Or of Montreux in 2001.
Misanthropic bookshop owner and chronic alcoholic Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) reluctantly recruits failed accountant Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey) to help him run his little shop at the instance of neurotic neighbour and only friend Fran Katzenjammer (Tamsin Greig) in the simple set-up to this inventive comedy series.
IFTA and British Comedy Award-nominated Dylan Moran puts in a powerful central performance and generates pitch perfect chemistry with bumbling comic sidekick Bill Bailey and decidedly unromantic female interest Tasmin Grieg as well as a heap of familiar British comedy guest stars that pop-in in the futile attempt to purchase a book.
Season one starts strongly and proceeds apace with Graham Lineham and Nick Wood directing some hilarious episodes that see Bernard slowly assimilating Manny into his and Fran's acerbic little world, with guest appearances from Martin Freeman, Kevin Eldon, Nick Frost, Peter Serafinowicz, David Walliams and Lineham himself.
Season two sees new director Martin Dennis and co-writers Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley and Arthur Mathews picking up following Lineham's departure with some variable episode that feature more material for the now unemployed Fran and guest appearances from Johnny Vegas, Ricky Grover, Rob Brydon, Mark Donovan and Jessica Stevenson.
Season three sees director Martin Dennis and writers Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley plodding on in much the same vain but to less effect as the series becomes somewhat formulaic (as seen in the brilliant "Black Dolls" extra) with guest appearances from Simon Pegg, Lucy Davis, Olivia Colman, Annette Crosbie, Sam Kelly, Keith Allen and Julian Rhind-Tutt.
Moran dominates the series with his sarcastic one-line put-downs whilst Bailey and Grieg are left to deal with the standard comedic situations in a somewhat more pedestrian series than incredibly inventive sister show "Spaced" that nonetheless never ceases to raise a laugh with it's uniquely British surrealist character comedy.
Do you know nothing about modern culture, Bernard? Beckham, Posh, Pokemon...moreless
Bring me my lolly!!
Half ten??! Half ten!?!!? What happens at half ten?!?! Black books happens at half ten, and every other half and full of the day. If you don't want to walk away from a show with the urge to take up smoking, drinking wine and generally unsociable then you probably shouldn't watch this show. Dylan Moran at his best!!
One of my favourites shows ever.
(Pardon my English please) Black Books is british show with highly black, sardonic humor based on personality of great stand-up comedian Dylan Moran. Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd) participated on the first season.
Every time I'm depressed, i just turn on Black Books, swear a little (a lot) with Bernard Black, get drunk with my friends and shout quotes from this show behind a corner of the lastly visitid pub after midnight in my hometown (Pardubice). The best line of BB:
"After years of smoking and drinking you do sometimes look at yourself and think... you know just sometimes inbetween the first cigarette with coffee in the morning to that 400 hundredth glass of cornershop piss at 3 am you do sometimes look at yourself and think -
........(breat out the smoke)...........
- This is fantastic. in heaven!
I love this show. Bill Bailey (Hot Fuzz) is acting his best performance and Tamsin Greig (Episodes) is so much better than Jen in IT Crowd.
Read a book, kids.moreless
Watch this now!
One major reason this show did so well, and then perhaps the reason for its only 3 series run, was the absolutely brilliant casting of Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Grieg who in the case of the first two are best comics in Britain and Grieg is a great comic actress. But being so good means that they are also busy people and so this is probably why it stopped. No bad thing though as it means the show never tired and ended on a high, like all the best shows shoul, but don't always.
So the basic premise is simple, Bernard Black, played by Moran, owns a book shop called "Black Books" and hires Manny (Bailey) as his shop assistant. Fran (Grieg) is Bernard's best friend I guess, quite possibly his only friend. She used to own the shop next door but that seems to stop and the next 2 series she's just around, and doesn't seem to have a job. Basically this is the background for all the high jinks they get up in this shop.
Anyway, the other reason this show is so good is the writing. It's funny and sharp and the plots, although surreal at times, also seem like they could happen, and that's good comedy, cause we often laugh at what we recognise. (One thing I find is that I've actually been in shops that are simillar to the one in the show for it's chaotic look, so I realte with this.) It is also of course brilliantly executed by the actors.
At less than 9 hours long for the entire series 1-3 it's very easy to watch in a day. So you've got no excuses for not watching this as soon as you can.moreless
dylan moran makes me want to smoke and drink red wine out of the bottle at 10am. bill bailey makes me cry with laughter.
dylan moran makes me want to smoke and drink red wine out of the bottle at 10am. bill bailey makes me cry with laughter. each season is a delight and i wish they made more. british/irish humor at its best. my favorite episode is the one where they house sit for a friend. there are a few hilarious allusions in that episode. i want to own a bookstore that has mollusks on the pipes and i want to eat scrambled egg out of a shoe with a comb. if you like bb, you should check out bill's stand up. he is an incredible musician.moreless
A book shop run by Bernard, who is a drunk and non-stop smoking employer. Manny (emloyee) who puts up with Bernard and Fran who just tags along. :D
One of my favourite shows. Awesome use of sattire. I'm a huge fan of Dylan Moran now. :D Have showed my friends and they all love it now! Great idea to have a shop owner that hates customers. Very original.
The first season is definitely the best but the rest are all very good as well. I watched it when i was a kid, and when i recenty rewatched it i fell in love with it, understanding it all lot better now. My friends and i all quote it, eg the little book of calm such as "try something different. Roll up your sleeves or eat an orange."moreless
Pure brilliance. A classic British sitcom with and Irish lead :D Bernard Black's constant boozing and smoking and somewhat unhinged behavior with his dynamic with Manny switching between that of a married couple and Mother and Son is hilarious.
Spanning 3 series but with only 6 episodes each, Black Books was a brilliant if not short lived series. The dynamics between Bernard Black, Manny and Fran are hilarious and constantly changing. Bernard continues to say and do things that we refrain from due to morals and understanding of social acceptances. And his program really hits the behavior of others that bug us from day today like rude customers, skin heads, Americans, gamblers, book shops next door and more lol.
It's witty, ridiculous and just plain fantastic. You really will be laughing out-loud at the snappy humor, great visual gags and brilliant timing. Definitely one to watch if you're a fan of British comedy.moreless
A very funny show, but it's a bit more for older people to watch, with all those drunkers flying around...
I didn't get to watch the show that much, but it's about a hilarious bookstore owner, Bernard, who isn't serious on his job at all, who hates life and his customers the most, and who is always, I mean ALWAYS drunk, whether on his job, at home, on the street, wherever, you can always see him with at least 2 bottles of beer or wine in his hands. He's got a "pet" assistant, Manny, who isn't good at his job either, but he's the one who should run the bookstore in front of Bernard anytime. Compared to Bernard, Manny is a person who has a heart and is kind to his customers, and Bernard treats him horribly. And Fran is Bernard's friend, and through him, Manny's friend too, but the two don't exactly like each other. She's a serious drunk too, but much nicer than Bernard. The three of them always get in troubles that seem beyond escape for them, but somehow they always manage to. My favorite character is definitely Fran, 'cause she can always say things that'll make your stomach twist and turn from serious laughing. A very decent show, with 10/10 coming from me.moreless
Classic British sitcom.
This show is definitely one of the best if not the best British comedy's. The Irish main star (Dylan Moran) with his great accent and general boldness makes himself stand out perfectly. The co stars play an excellent part and allow Dylan to really shine. The episodes can viewed many times without the jokes getting old, which is great in a comedy. I believe that the show could make a return and not look like it retired ages ago. The main star is a drunk and always entertains with his antics. A classic British comedy with an odd-couple situation. definitely worth buying on DVD. Which includes many extras.moreless
Excellent show. Had a short run but it ended on a good note instead of fizzling out like some shows have in the past. A touch on the adult side due to the perpetual theme of drunkenness, some swearing and brutal slapstick violence.
I was lucky enough to see this during its original run on Channel 4 and fell in love with it instantly. Great humour, good stories and lovable anti-heroes.
Like all good comedy series', this one rests on a very simple premise: two people work in a bookshop and their friend comes round regularly. That's it. But from this basic format, comedy spews forth.
It should probably be said that Black Books may not be for everyone, it is mildly surreal in places and there is some choice swearing that could offend. There's also brutal slapstick violence so probably not good for kids or the easily distressed. Otherwise, enjoy!moreless