Found online this week: Black Books

As a total literature geek, I am kind of ashamed to admit that I have only just properly discovered Black Books. For those of you who don’t know, Black Books was a brilliant TV series that ran on UK TV a few years ago — it only lasted three series but every single episode was total gold. Black Books is the name of a very untidy secondhand bookshop run by Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), who is basically a total swine — drunk, abusive, apathetic and generally pretty nasty. His friend Fran (Tamsin Greig) owns the shop next door (at first — she then gives it up for a string of other amusing jobs) and basically comes over every so often to check that Bernard hasn’t slipped into a terrible votex of misery, or killed anyone. Bernard also employs a shop assistant called Manny (Bill Bailey) who he routinely attacks, belittles, tricks and generally abuses.

My sister has been nagging me for ages to ‘get into’ this show - I’ve been vaguely aware of it since it was on TV, but never done anything about it. However, the aforementioned sister was staying with me over New Year and basically forced me to sit down and watch every single episode. I am now a total convert and can’t believe I lived without Black Books for this long. It’s a must-watch for any bookworm, literature geek or alcoholic poet.

Annoyingly, Channel 4 — apparently fascists when it comes to Youtube — have disabled embedding on the following videos, but please do click… you’ll love it, I promise!

Students in bookstores, mobile phones, sale assistants.

Seeing the accountant.

Book search.

A haggling customer.

Manny moves to a conglomorate bookstore.

& finally… Holiday reading:

Don’t forget to visit The Read This Store, and its sister store, Edinburgh Vintage!

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10 Responses to “Found online this week: Black Books”

  1. Rachel Says:

    I used to love Black Books and then I watched it again recently and didn’t like it as much. I was really disappointed especially as I’d gone on and on about it to my other half… :/

  2. Col Says:

    I loved it when it came out, though I haven’t seen it since, I keep on meaning to buy it on DVD, but other things have taken a priority.
    If you haven’t you should also check out Spaced. Fantastic.

  3. R. Says:

    I am OBSESSED with Black Books! Tis hilarity embodied. That episode you’ve posted the YouTube vid of is one of my favourites (my boyfriend often calls me his “summer girl”). I also really love the one where Bernard and Manny attempt to write a children’s book.


  4. swiss Says:

    it was always the book group for me

  5. Desmond Swords Says:

    Dylan Moran’s first gig was at the open mic in the International bar, a pub on Wexford street, Dublin. Eddie Izard, unknown at the time, was also performing on the night, and it was seeing Izard that made him want to be a standup.

    Here is a video of Moran in Australia, doing a routine about the English ‘vwoyce’

  6. swiss Says:

    and many thanks for reminding a rewatch of the book group was long overdue. t hadn’t even seen it! an absolute must have.

    if you’ve not got it/seen it by stanza bring the boy and come and have tea and cake etc at our stanza palace when that comes around and we’ll give it watch

  7. Rachel Fox Says:

    Swiss is right - Book Group is fantastic, especially series 1.

    I keep meaning to borrow Black Books off a friend who has the box set but as it is I’m already watching Nurse Jackie, Being Human and Glee…too much TV!

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