Polychrome Interest

A Random Blog of Everything I like

Black Books – another fun British Sit-Com

Welcome to another review of British Series 😉

My friend told me about this series, she asked me would I like to see a British sit-com about a book shop with hostile owner. I told her to give ALL British sit-com she has to me 😉

Black Books is a sit-com situated in a second hand bookstore with a very annoying owner. For Bernard Black, his bookstore is more like his personal library. He hates it when there are a lot of customers in his bookstore and the hassle to buy more books for stock. He seems to forget the meaning of being nice to customers. Fortunately, Bernard hires a man who is more capable of being a book seller. Manny is not only an employee but also serves as a house maid and often bullied by Bernard. Apart from Bernard and Manny, the shop was frequently visited by their friend, Fran who used to own a shop next to Black Books.

For a book lover like me, the idea of a sit-com about book shop is definitely interesting. I admit that it’s not as funny as The IT Crowd, but it’s still cracking. The joke and the slapstick are enjoyable. I also like the characters, all three of them are the kind of people rejected by the society…they have their own small world together.

Bernard Black, played by Dylan Moran who also acted as the writer, is a book worm. He reads all the time…I guess that’s why he opens a book shop. But he is not the kind of person that can’t be sweet to anyone, he talks as he pleases. He doesn’t really care if his books don’t sell. The first episode clearly shows his inability to socialize nicely to his customer. The customer asks him whether the Dickens book is covered with real leather because all his collections are in real leather. Bernard gets annoyed by him and when the man pays him, he asks him whether the money is real leather because if not it won’t fit to his leather wallet. His ignorance and his love for books is also shown in one episode where he pees in front of a customer while sitting and reading a book.

Not only he is annoying, Bernard is also very dirty. We can see it clearly that is we are around him…he sure smells bad. His kitchen is hellish, there are unknown creatures living there and under his bed. We can see stains on his jacket. He dresses properly but dirty. When Manny left him for a while, the shop turns into a trash dump with moldy books and food spread all around.

Manny Bianco, played by Bill Bailey, is a man who used to have issue with calmness. He is so nervous and can only be calmed down by reading the little book of calm. He changes into a bit normal when he accidentally swallows the book. Bernard asks him to work to work at Black Book. Manny turns into a man Bernard relies so much but Bernard is too arrogant to admit it. Manny works as the book shop employer and the house maid. He provides meals for Bernard and also does the laundry. We can so often see how Bernard somehow treats him like a slave…but Bernard really needs him. He won’t let Manny has many friends and even objects at the idea of him meeting girls. At some episodes, Bernard acts as if Manny belongs only to him.

Fran Katzenjammer, played by Tamsin Greig, often acts as the third party in Bernard-Manny relationship. She is the middle man, or woman in this case. Fran herself is not a saint in this sit-com, she loves drinking as much as Bernard. Fran can also be the object of Bernard’s jealousy when Manny tends to hang out with her more.

The sit-com is mostly about trying to change Bernard into someone more sociable…although it never succeeds.

The series also gives me a nice surprise when 2 of my all time favorite comedians shows up. Nick Frost shows up as an electrician and Simon Pegg as the manager of a book store located exactly next door to Black Books. I like Pegg’s character more than Frost. After I finished watching the series, I decided to rewatch Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz…hehehe all three cast in Black Books also played in one of those two movies.

Black Books won the BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy in 2001 and 2005, and won a Bronze Rose at the Festival Rose d’Or of Montreux in 2001.

Series Details:

Title: Black Books
Genre: Sit-com
Episodes: 18 (3 series)
Broadcast period: Series 1 (29 September 2000 – 3 November 2000); Series 2 (1 March 2002 – 5 April 2002); Series 3 (11 March 2004 – 15 April 2004)
Staring: Dylan Moran, Bill Baley, Tamsin Greig
Screenwriters: Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley
Producers: Nira Park, Julian Meers

Promo for Series 3

Do you have any more British sit-com to recommend to this person who never had enough of all things British 😉


About Novroz

I actively maintained 2 blogs. My personal blog is about things that I love: Turtles, Books, Movies, Music, Larc en Ciel, Muse, Cillian Murphy, The Mighty Boosh and many more. I also help my 3 super cute turtles, Kroten, Papoe and Kurome, to maintain their own blog: http://kamekroten.wordpress.com

9 comments on “Black Books – another fun British Sit-Com

  1. dirtywithclass
    July 3, 2012

    I can’t say this one interests me. Right now the only British shows i watch are Being Human and Skins(Although i am pissed at how the 4th season ended…but that’s another story)

    • Novroz
      July 3, 2012

      Why aren’t you interested Julian? you don’t like sit-com?
      I have heard about Being Human in Dezzy’s blog…but haven’t got a chance to see it yet, I would love to see it (The UK one of course, not the US remake). I am taking my time to see all British series I can get. Finding British series aren’t as easy as finding US series.

      Right now I am waiting for another series of Dr. Who from my friend.

  2. Caroline
    July 3, 2012

    I’ve written a mini review on this but never posted it so far. It’s a hilarious series. I watched a few years ago when I was off sick in one week.

    • Novroz
      July 3, 2012

      Why didn’t you post it?
      I agree completely…Some episodes really cracked me up. The relationship between Bernard and Manny is the funniest of all in my opinion.

      • Caroline
        July 5, 2012

        I always have a few posts I write in case I don’t have anything to post for too long and this was one of them but then I forgot about it beacsue meanwhile I have half a dozen pre-written posts. 🙂

        • Novroz
          July 5, 2012

          Hey…that’s a nice way to keep your blog going. I should try that too.
          I usually set what I want to post in scheduled…but rarely have pre-written. They were always full post.

  3. Alice Audrey
    July 4, 2012

    I’m giggling over the spelling of toast. It looks like a delightful program.

    • Novroz
      July 5, 2012

      Haha Manny is really fun. He keeps making mistakes.
      Delightful is a perfect word for this series 😉

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This entry was posted on July 3, 2012 by in Excessive Watcher and tagged , , , .


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