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"Black Books"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Black Books" More at IMDbPro »

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142 out of 149 people found the following review useful:

Pessimistic, Sarcastic, Ironic & witty!

Author: kerry-coupe from Notts, England
19 August 2004

I totally disagree with the other review. Black Books couldn't be funnier. It's one of a kind that takes on board other people's sense of humour, instead of sticking to the same dull and predictable jokes of programmes like Friends and Will & Grace. To say that it tries too hard to be funny, is unfeasible! Some of its most clever jokes almost go unnoticed, and without the aid of canned laughter! Whilst I am a fan of both, when I saw Black Books, I loved it! It's easy to empathise with the pessimistic Bernard, particularly if you're a similar type of person and to sympathies with the gradually stupider Manny. Everyone knows a Bernard or a Manny in their lives, which makes Black Books hilarious! Watch it!

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101 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

"Whores will have their trinkets"

Author: nichkeiy from Auckland, New Zealand
7 March 2003

How could the owner of a book shop who says "Enjoy. It's dreadful but it's quite short" not be anything short of hilarious. This is so funny, every line is funny. No boring minutes, no fake action, just plain comedy in a style i find very appealing. Crazily funny lines like "Is space hot?" "Of course it is, where else do you think we get pineapples from?" are acted so perfectly making it spectacularly entertaining. A must see. My favorite show for sure.

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79 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Black Books proves that the UK is still the best breeding ground for humoristic series

Author: Philip Van der Veken from Tessenderlo, Belgium
11 November 2004

I always have been a big fan of Fawlty Towers, Father Ted and Blackadder. So when I knew about this series, I just had to see it. Now that I have seen it, there is only one thing I can say about it: Black books is absolutely great and hilarious. It proves that the UK is still the best breeding ground for humoristic series.

Bernard Black - an anti-social, boozing and smoking sarcastic pessimist - runs his own book store. He doesn't like people who buy books and hates his customers. He has one employee: Manny. Manny looks more like a bum, never stands up for himself when he is the target of Bernard's sarcasm and is always full of stress. Next door to Bernard's shop is the Nifty Gifty gift shop run by Fran, probably the only friend Bernard has.

The humor is perhaps not to everybody's taste. I guess not everybody will understand and appreciate the sarcasm and surrealism in this series, but I loved it. I would give this series a 10/10 if we could vote on it.

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63 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

Funniest show ever

Author: Satinewannabe from United States
17 April 2003

"Black Books" is hysterical and one can easily watch each episode over and over and over again and laugh just as hard. All the actors are very authentic which makes it so funny. If you haven't seen it, try to. Otherwise you're really missing out.

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48 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

"Which one of you bitches wants to dance?"

Author: Doug (OrigamiDoug) from Louisiana, USA
7 June 2002

I see I'm the first American to write a review of this show, so I'll try to do a good job at representing my country. Quite simply, Black Books is the funniest show I've seen in years, if not the funniest I've ever seen. When I heard Bernard spout the line above to a group of skinheads outside his bookshop, I laughed so hard that I missed the rest of the scene. Thanks to Comedy Central for airing the first series of this show (and the second coming up in August), for I would probably have never seen it if they had not. Most British sitcoms (Britcoms?) I've seen have been funny, but I usually forget about them rather quick (probably due to the cultural differences) but Black Books stuck with me so much that I was forced to buy a bootleg VHS of the first series. Luckily, the tapes included the outtakes and running commentary for each episode on a separate tape so I wouldn't have to buy a region-free DVD player to see them (which I probably would have done!). I fear that I'm rambling now, so I'll just conclude by saying that if you have not seen this great series, then see it!

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44 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

"Leave town with an orange and pretend you're laughing at it"

Author: marnie.davidson from Sydney, Australia
8 December 2002

It's a crime in my opinion that each season is only six episodes long. Then again I suppose I'm used to American sitcoms and their 'spew out 22 episodes and they'll lap it up' method. Limiting it to just six episodes makes the comedy concentrated and instead of having a few good moments in an episode, the whole episode is memorable.

In real life Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) the owner of his own book shop would be horrible. He'd be hated the world over, but in this natty little sitcom he's thigh-slapping hilarious. Most of the time Manny (Bill Bailey) doesn't need to say anything, his facial expressions are enough to have you rolling on the floor with tears of laughter. I once saw Bill Bailey doing stand up and thought he was great so I'm pleased to see him in something like this. Fran (Tamsin Grieg) is almost the straight man of the group. She's not as cranky as Bernard and she's not as out there as Manny, she's a nice blend. The episode in which she did yoga and declared she was 'so relaxed you could pour me into a bowl' was a definite highlight.

As a reviewer said before - the more you watch it the funnier it gets! My friend and I regularly have email conversations during the day just consisting of Black Books quotes and who can remember the funniest ones! A little obsessive I'll admit, but the show deserves such a following!

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53 out of 71 people found the following review useful:


Author: phoozledoo from tiverton
29 August 2003

If you don't laugh at Black Books, then you haven't got a sense of humour. This is one of the funniest things I've seen in years!! I always worshipped the ground that Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan walked on for Father Ted and Ted and Ralph, but now Dylan Moran is added to my list (Bill Baily and Tamsin Grieg to, even though they didn't write it).

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39 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Superb, where's the next series?

Author: Haruman-2 from UK
13 October 2003

The funniest thing on British TV since Father Ted. The dialogue is wonderfully clever, the bohemian irascibility of Dylan Moran is judged to perfection, and the addition of musical comedian and bearded surrealist Bill Bailey is a touch of genius. Give us more!

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37 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Clever, funny and imaginative - eat your heart out Friends!

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
18 January 2002

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!

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29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

"I ate all your bees!"

Author: Roisin Moriarty ( from Ireland
15 April 2002

That's just one of the many classically surreal lines from the brilliant "Black Books". In fact, there are so many more that practically every other line is another bizarre comment that'll have you giggling into your dry white wine (as long as it's not Chardonnay). From the first episode of the first series (Bernard mincing up to a bunch of thuggish looking Millwall supporters and asking "Which one of you bitches wants to dance?") to the last episode of the second series (a restaurant where they have no vegetables and all the meat dishes are served up complete with little tombstones), "Black Books" deals in the sort of off-kilter humour that frequently defies any kind of logic and always manages to be unfailingly hilarious.

If you can, get hold of the DVD of the first series. Apart from the wonderful out-takes, there's also a running commentary from all three of the excellent actors involved. Their insights into the series will make you appreciate this unique show all the more.

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