Series Review: Black Books (2000 – 2004)


I don’t only watch movies. I do love me some good ol’ television every now and then. The only thing that has kept me from reviewing television shows on the blog is because they take longer than movies. Movies are usually two hours contained in one sitting. Shows are multiple episodes in one season or more. And therefore they take longer. So I am happy to finally be able to present my first real review of a TV-show. And it is an easy enough start considering it is a comedy.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Black Books”!

This show is about Bernard Black (Dylan Moran). The guy is a cynical, often drunk owner of a bookshop. The irony of him owning the shop is because he doesn’t want to sell anything since it means he have to order in new books. Next door there is a gift shop run by his friend Fran (Tamsin Greig). One day when Bernard’s accountant leaves him he has to find a new guy to work for him. So one day he pretty much on the spot employs Manny (Bill Bailey). And from ther on the show goes on. Now the set-up for the show is simple, that is how a comedy should be. You don’t need a dark, complex and ingenius plot like in a lot of HBO shows. But anyway, the basics are good and the small self-contained stories within the episodes are incredibly entertaining. I am not going to go through every episode one by one and explain the plots of those because not only would it break my “no spoiler” rule, but this post would become too long. But let me just say that the majority of the episodes are fucking hilarious.

The characters (like any comedy) are the things that drive the series. All of them are broken people who are nothing short of insane or weird… and that is why I love them. I am a huge fan of Dylan Moran as Bernard, the guy is jsut despicable as a human being and just gives some of the best lines in the entire series, in any show ever even. Manny is also great. I almost get the feeling he is the most normal character in the show. He is the glue that holds the planks together. Problem is though that the glue is expired… but it still kinda works. And Fran, I don’t know what to make of her. Seriously. Not saying she is a bad character, I am just saying that I can’t give a separate description for her. But all of the characters in the show are interesting in one way or another.

The music is few and far between. There isn’t that much variety in it. But with that said, the little music that is in the show is pretty good. For the most part it is a jingle which is a shortened version of the main theme/opening theme of the show. And the song is as weird and broken as the characters in the show, so I think it works. I’ll leave a link here so you can listen:

What is there to say here? The locations and camera work in the show are very limited and often contained within one or two areas. So it is average I suppose. Not bad, just… average. The comedy in the the show is fucking genius. that is all I can say. Oh, also it only got three seasons with six episodes in each. So it is pretty short.

How has this show been received? Well since it is a show it will not have all the same sites as I usually link. But I can give you a little. On Metacritic it has an 8,7/10. And on it has an 8,6/10. And those were the only major sites I could check on really.

“Black Books” got a good set-up, great characters, fantastically genius comedy and is easy to just binge-watch. I am sure you will get quite a few laughs from this show. So now I will hand out my final score. “Black Books” gets my final score of 9,71/10 which grants it… the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”

“Black Books” is now reviewed.

First real TV-show review… I feel good about this.

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