Bernard Black runs a book shop, though his customer service skills leave something to be desired. He hires Manny as an employee. Fran runs the shop next door. Between the three of them many adventures ensue.
When Bernard holds a children's themed book day in the shop, Fran bets Manny and Bernard they couldn't write a children's book over a weekend, while Bernard bets Fran back that she will have an awful...
When Manny defects to Goliath Books after an "incident" with Bernard, his ex-employer's life spirals out of control. Meanwhile Fran returns from holiday only to be greeted by the squalor of Bernard's...
Mark and Jez are a couple of twenty-something roommates who have nothing in common - except for the fact that their lives are anything but normal. Mayhem ensues as the pair strive to cope with day-to-day life.
A comedy panel game in which being Quite Interesting is more important than being right. Sandi Toksvig is joined each week by four comedians to share anecdotes and trivia, and maybe answer some questions as well.
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.Written by
"Leave town with an orange and pretend you're laughing at it"
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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