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!!
(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.
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...
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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!
Black Books was a short – lived British sitcom about Bernard Black, a drinking, smoking, annoyed and reclusive owner of a bookshop in London. Manny is his extremely thick assistant and Fran is his manic and neurotic friend.
Irish Writer and Comedian Dylan Moran is the show's writer and stars as Bernard and because the unfriendly and bitter cynic is parallel to his comedy persona it often seems like he's coasting, Billy Bailey as Manny Bianco (Bianco is white in Italian) and Tamsin Greig as Fran Katzenjammer are always scene – stealing. As Moran is a fan of "Fawlty Towers", Black Books is very similar; the irate boss, the hapless worker but most definitely the irrelevant route of the episodes that has no recurring characters or stories so the episodes can be watched in any order with an ending that could just as easily be a beginning. I think this falls short of "Fawlty Towers" but is credible in its own right with subtle surrealism and low – key humour. For the most part the three lead actors do well in their odd little situations, the second season kind of loses the plot but after the first 2 seasons you notice that there's hardly any more room for them to move cue a revamping of what was left of the series. The plots vary from relatable situations like being locked out to absurd things like Bernard and Manny being forced to teach a psychotic ex – con how to read but they are all mostly engaging. As far as strange, black comedies go Black Books is a winner but in terms of a stable sitcom, the humour is an acquired taste.
I never watched this show on tv, i saw it at my friend's house and instantly thought it was hilarious so i went and bought the complete series. The idea of a drunk book shop owner is hilarious on it's own let alone the idea of a long haired man with a beard as his friend and co worker.
Unlike a lot of shows the Pilot was excellent and probably one of my favourite episodes. This is a show you'll never tire of and keep watching over and over again.
We watched the first two seasons on ABC (the A being for Australia), but didn't catch the third. Fortunately we found and bought the Collectors Edition DVD set which has Series 1, 2 & 3. There's not one dud episode and if you don't find yourself screaming with laughter at some point then you just don't get British humour. Since there are only 18 episodes I can't help wondering if Dylan Moran decided to 'quit while you're ahead'.
Bernard Black owns the Black Books book store and he employs Manny Bianco to work in his shop. Now there's some clever writing in itself – Black & White (Bianco being Italian for white). Their relationship is a major part of what the whole series is about and black & white pretty well says it all. Fran, who in the beginning runs a gift shop next door, is Bernard's only friend until Manny comes along. Despite Bernard's appalling treatment of him, Manny keeps on coming back to him. And no, they're not a gay couple – in fact far from it! The three of them are quite neurotic and it's their wacky behavior and treatment of each other that forms the basis for the whole series. If you appreciate British/Irish Comedy and you haven't see this before then do yourself a favour and get hold of the DVDs. Trust me and the other reviewers here – it's hilarious.
Well, a surprising amount of Scrubs fans on the JCC love black books so I started watching and was immediately hooked. All three characters are hilarious selfish alcoholics but Bernard certainly has the funniest moments.
I didn't know what to expect from the show but the whole crazy and believable moments balance each other out perfectly, and Black Book's plots are so ridiculously hilarious with the insane charaters and hilarious customer service.
Instantly this became one of my favourite British shows and it's impossible not to laugh at the drunken antics of Black Books, which could just have easily been called World of Tights, but you know how stupid peope are, they need everything spelled out for them.
This is a great show that is very funny, it is very rewatchable and has a great collection of actors - Dylan Moran plays the bookshop owner (who does not like customers or selling books), Bill Bailey plays Manny - Bernards assistant whom is normally the butt of Bernards abuse. Rounding out the cast is their friend Fran, who owns a shop across the street.
The actors all work well together, there is some good humour in the show. Every episode of this show has some great genuinely funny moments in it.
This show does not have "clean" humour in it - if that's what you are looking for, then this show is probably not for you.
All in all, this show is funny, it has good writing, great performances (especially from Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey) and is an instant comedy classic. It's a shame that the show did not last longer than 3 seasons, but at least all the episodes were funny and they had 3 realy good years.
Bernard, a bitter, alcoholic, Irish secondhand bookshop owner who hates just about everything about life, is manly chain smoking behind the cashier while harassing costumers he hats and reading the books he loves.
His assistant, Manny, a happy long haired hippie with a complete opposite view on life is unbelievably persuadable and does almost anything for Bernard. Fran is a single thirty something woman who, it seems, has no other real friends then Manny and Bernard. She also seems to be the only person that Bernard has any sort of respect for.
The show manly takes play in and around Bernard's bookshop, Black Books. We follow the characters in their daily battle to survive their never ending fight against everything Bernard ,and sometimes Fran, hates and that is just about everything. The only thing they all enjoy is ALLOT of wine and talking about all the stupid things that other people do.
Bernard Black runs his own bookshop even though he doesn't much like people who buy books and hates having customers. Next door to Bernard's shop is the Nifty Gifty gift shop run by Fran, probably Bernard's only friend in the world. When Bernard's accountant goes on the run Bernard employs stress victim, Manny to help in his shop. This leads to a series of surreal adventures around the shop.
This series (soon to return for a second series!) was poorly promoted by channel 4 (usually so good at getting great little comedies recognised - Spaced, Father Ted etc), and didn't get seen by anywhere near the audience it deserved. The storylines are always pretty wild - Manny absorbing the Little Book of Calm into his system in the first show - and never set in reality, ever. However they are never stupid because they are so wildly funny! The surreal adventures of Bernard and Manny are excellent - full of movie references, full of great dialogue and surreal action. As a sitcom it just sparkles with ideas, energy and imagination - for the first showing Ch 4 had it following Friends and it totally showed Friends up to be mass-produced, thoughtless entertainment. Sure, BB doesn't have the gloss of Friends and can feel a bit rough round the edges but you can't beat the fact that it feels fresh and new compared to all that gloss.
The chemistry between Bernard and Manny is great - even if their dialogue is mad at times. Bill Bailey is very funny doing stand-up and here he is really suited to Manny. Moran as Bernard is also great as the abusive drunk Irishman and is just so manically funny - not manic like Phoebe in Friends but manic like Jack in Father Ted. Tamsin Greig is also good as Fran, despite being a smaller character.
Overall this is a flagship for all that is good about channel 4 comedies - British, clever, imaginative, daring and very funny. Well done channel 4!
I recently discovered this show on dailymotion.com. It is absurdly funny and I doubt I've ever laughed as frequently during any sitcom I've seen before or will ever see again. I adore Dylan Moran's Bernard Black. All I can say is, score one for the UK.
This stuff is side-splittingly funny.
And again, Dylan Moran's misanthropic, drunken titular character is the bomb. *Swoon*
Black Books is a quaint, little bookshop run by a delightful, Irishman named Bernard with the help of his useful and irrepressible assistant Manny and his best friend Fran.
In the words of Bernard Black DON'T!
This half hour comedy focuses around the daily grind of working a bookshop in London. It is run by a miserable shell of a man who is constantly hungover, bitter, hateful and best of all, Hilarious! Bernard Black, the owner of the shop, hates his customers and to help him deal with the daily ordeal of running the shop and being himself he hires (rather drunkenly) Manny, a pudding of a man who eerily resembles Jesus and so begins their beautiful relationship. Also thrown into the mix is Fran, a 30-something woman who seems to be the only one on the planet that Bernard can stand (and she back!). Join them as they navigate the dead badger, drink the dusty, cheap wine and find their summer time girl or that man who... does things to them.
If you enjoy British comedy, along the lines of Black Adder then you're going to love Black Books!
Dylan Moran plays a bookshop owner,Bernard Black,who happens to hate everyone and only does his job as he loves to read. Loves getting drunk and smoking more thought.Then there is his old friend Fran,Tamsin Greig and Manny,Bill Bailey, his shop assistant.
Black Books is a show that continues a nearly flawless record of Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews. Along with Dylan Moran himself the show brought new life into the sitcom world. Almost everytime I would think they would go with an expected joke they would shock me with a whole new take on a joke/situation. The show also helped Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig into a more mainstream role in society. I never really noticed the show until the end of its second season but I was glad I did at least notice it. This show was so refreshing to watch. Often a highlight of the week and really made me want to watch Channel 4. The best episode in my view was the second episode of the thrid season,Elephants and Hens. This epsiode has some priceless jokes and is highly funny throughout. The idea of having 3 sad, lonely, aging, alcohol fueled individuals is brilliant. Beranrd Black is a superb character and the scripts are dynamite. A show tha is totally worth watching.
Black Books is a brilliant show but it would not be my first choice of comedy shows and therefore, it doesn't get my highest score for TV programmes.
Anyway, enough of the bad points, onto the good. This show has something special that other comdey shows dont have and so this is waht makes it better than alot of shows. I think that Dylan Moran plays his role incredibly well, and that the character Bernard is pure genius. I just wish that they woudl make a fourth season of this show because it is so good and deserves to have more seasons made of it.
black books is my favroute show eclipsing max & paddy even little britan infact being british myself i find this increbly funny as i can relate to bernard black and his dry witty sense of humor. manny bianco adds a fresh take on this genre he does all the work and he is nice to the customers he makes bernards tea breakfast cleans his sheets and the like yet bernard completly oblivious to this hits him punches him makes fun of his \'unique\' hair style which adds alot of slapstick fun to the show but the bleak comedy of bernard black shines though these two freaks are joined my fran catzenjammer (or something) who hangs out in the shop drinking bernards wine and sticking up for manny she also stops them for tearings shresd out of one-another. truly an fantasic example of what english comedy is.
Black books is a hilarious British sitcom based on the lives of Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey), and Fran Katzenjammer (Tamsin Greig).
Most of the series is set in Bernard's independent bookshop, "Black Books", of which Manny is also an employee by episode two. During season one, Fran also owns a gift shop next door, called "Nifty Gifty", but she closes it down before the start of season two.
Bernard is an Irish misanthrope, who loves alcohol and cigarettes, but hates the outside world, which is why he rarely ventures out into it. Manny generally doesn't leave the bookshop either, because he lives there with Bernard, which implies that Fran is the only one of the trio with any sort of life outside Black Books.
As the pun of the title of the show suggests, Black Books uses a lot of black humour. This is mostly by Bernard, who is constantly insulting his customers and alienating Manny. The running gag of the chalkboard with various misanthropic comments is an example of this, too.
This was a pretty good television series. As is normal with good television shows, this one did not last long enough. This is a show that I would suggest watching if you get the chance. Check the bargain bins at Wal-Mart, the online movies sites (Amazon.com and such) and all of the cable channels that run old shows. Nick at Nite and TV Land are great for theses kind of shows. They will even do a week long spot for shows that only had 6 or so episodes. Then you have your super stations. They run a bunch of old shows too. All in all a pretty good show that did not get a good enough chance. Sometimes it is a simple as the show it is up against. Look at Law & Order. It is one of the longest running shows on TV. They moved it to go up against Lost. After about 2 weeks of getting pounded in the ratings it was moved back to it's original time slot. Shows like this should be given more of an opportunity.
I absolutely love this show!
being a latecomer to it, I am deeply saddened that it is no longer in production. Fran is that interestingly quirky 'girl next door', Manny is, much like Bill Bailey himself, 'part-troll' and of course Bernard Black is that obnoxious moron that somehow manages to be completely lovable and endearing. while some episodes are certainly better than others, all have their fair share of laughs. if you're thinking about seeing this show and enjoy comedy: 3 words; GO FOR IT!
It'll have you in stitches almost constantly. There are episodes you can watch over and over again. and even the most obvious gags work brilliantly due to the actor's impressive acting skills. It may seem like a silly comedy and as such some might question just how much acting is really involved. But if you watch carefully, anyone would have to admit that it would take a lot of skill to pull these insane characters off so convincingly.
From Bernard's whims and fancies, to Manny's sparse-but-long hair, to Fran's many crises, this show will hook you instantly.
Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) runs his own bookshop how most average Joe’s would run one. He shouts, drinks and smokes. His only company is Fran (Tamsin Grieg) and Manny (Bill Bailey) . The episodes feature around true comedy moments and can get you hooked
Anyone who is a fan of Big Train, Spaced, Green Wing or Shaun of the dead will love Black Books. Each Character brings their own way of humour to the mixture of comedy. Bernard is the one who has a blunt and dry humour, tells it like it is. When someone id talking about something boring he will tell them. Manny is the cartoon the one who get hit, smacked and insulted. Lastly Fran is the one that adds the funny one liners keeps the other tow from killing each other.
Black books also has a wide range of cameos from other comedy greats such as Simon Pegg, Johnny Vegas and Rob Brydon. Black Books is seriously enjoyable for anyone who loves good British humour.
"Don't make me laugh.... Fran will fail. You'll toil your life away. And I'll die alone, upside-down on the floor of a pub toilet."
The words of Bernard Black aka Dylan Moran. An Irish, boozed up, more bitter version of Basil Fawlty set in a London book shop. Co-stars Bill Bailey in the lumpy shape of Manny, hairy and rambling, and Bernard's assistant.
Fran, lives next door running (for the 1st series at least)a shop some strange bits of arty junk. It disapears and is transformed into a rival bookshop in series three but that's giving too much away.
The show was quite bizarre and surreal. Moran and fellow standup Bailey worked very well together though I don't think Bailey was ever credited for any of the writing. Fran never really developed but was played well by Tamsin Grieg. The plots and dialogue were as mad as co-writer Linehan's Father Ted but as the BBC website points out also owed a sizeable debt to the great Irish surrealist author Flann O'Brien. Fantastic comedy. You should check out Flann O'Brien and you should check out Dylan Moran's stand up.
I'll leave the last words with Dylan, "I also think it helps that Black Books has a fusty and careworn feel - it could be the 1950's, it could be the 1930s."
I love this show, its great to watch with a nice glass of red wine and a cigar if you smoke. If you like the brits comedy then this is for you. such a simple idea and setting but the actors pull it off so well... Not much else to say apart from I enjoyed every last bit of it.
Bernard is a man who owns a bookshop, even though his interpersonal skills are not the best. Luckily he has Manny, a really hairy, yet caring guy to help him out. These two and their neighbor Fran get in all sorts of adventures together.
This is a great show. This is pretty much British comedy at its finest. I am a Canadian and don't get too many chances to see a good British comedy but this show is great. The characters are so wacky that when they collide, pure hilarity ensues. I mean this one of the best shows I have seen in a while, andits virtually unknown to people I talk to. I first saw this show on a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) special entitled "The Best of Britain". I saw this show and I just absolutely loved it. It's just brilliant comedy that is underappreciated.
I came in late regarding this show as the channel that airs it in Australia ABC (nothing to do with America\'s ABC channel) had just started showing the final season. Sad to see it go but it was wonderful while it lasted.
I came in late regarding this show as the channel that airs it in Australia ABC (nothing to do with America\'s ABC channel) had just started showing the final season. Sad to see it go but it was wonderful while it lasted. Doesn\'t it annoy you when you are really getting into a show, the characters are great, the situations are hilarious and the end seems far off and then BANG! The creators/actors/producers decide that they should end the show on a high, go out while they are still popular, blah, blah, blah and all they are really doing is leaving the viewers wanting more. This can leave people with the feeling of dissatisfaction and this is exactly how i felt after watching the \'last\' episode \"Party\". I thought it was sad how Bernard was talking about his long lost love Emma whom he believes is dead. It was funny also how Fran just happened to know her (from \'Circusize\' no less) and carried around a picture of Emma and her dental records just in case. The phone call that Bernard has with Emma soon after is funny and this all makes me miss black books the more. Dylan Moran played drunken Bernard scarily well, often making me think that while acting, he actually was drunken to oblivion and Bill Bailey played verbally abused Manny very well. I\'ll miss this and I\'m waiting for the repeats/DVD\'s with giddy anticipation
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