One of the few genuinely outstanding British comedy shows of the past decade, Black Books unites excellent comedic performances, very funny scripts, and plenty of rewatch value. The concept is simple enough. Bernard (expertly played by Dylan Moran) runs a bookshop. The only problems are he can't stand people, hates customers, and would far prefer to be barking out cutting remarks and drinking wine. Still, it's after drinking much of the aforementioned wine that he offers Manny (Bill Bailey, again in terrific form) a job. Manny accepts, and finds his daily life involves taking abuse from Bernard, while remaining strangely and resolutely upbeat. Fran (Tamsin Greig) meanwhile also likes her wine, and finds herself stuck between the two of them, with a few odd encounters of her own thrown in too.
So far nothing particularly out of the ordinary, right? Well, mix in some of the creative force behind Father Ted, combine those aforementioned performances, and simmer to the point where episode after episode garners a cocktail of sniggers and belly laughs, and you have something really rather special. Like many of the best shows, the curtain has come down on Black Books after only three series. But the long-lasting legacy are episodes that are set to be enjoyed for a long, long time to come. --Simon Brew
From Graham Linehan, co-writer of 'Father Ted', comes Black Books--a new cult comedy set in a second hand bookshop. Dylan Moran stars as the bohemian--and frequently drunk--owner who has one major problem with his line of work: he hates customers. Help is soon at hand, however, in the form of mild-mannered Manny (Bill Bailey), who proves to be something of a star at selling books, and Fran (Tamsin Greig), who owns the shop next door...
Series 1 episodes: 1. Cooking The Books 2. Manny First Day 3.The Grapes Of Wrath 4. The Blackout 5. The Big Lock-Out 6. He's Leaving Home
Series 2 episodes: 1. The Entertainer 2. Fever 3. The Fixer 4. Blood 5. Hello Sun 6. Nice Change
Series 3 espisodes: 1. Manny Come Home 2. Elephants And Hens 3. Moo-ma And Moo-pa 4. A Little Flutter 5. The Travel Writer 6. Party