Series Review: Black Books (2000 – 2004)

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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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7MQh5Yo4RU

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 imdb.com 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!”
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“Black Books” is now reviewed.

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

Movie Review: Shaun of The Dead (2004)

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Zombie movies. They are very…well, interesting. Sometimes they can be awesome like the original 1978 “Dawn of The Dead”. Or they can be complete shit like the “Resident Evil” movies. But then there are those who seems weird, but turn out to be good. Like the 2004 “Dawn of The Dead” remake. Then there is this, a movie that mixes zombies with comedy…and it’s British (please don’t kill me, British people!). The combination seems like one of the strangest ever. But how is it then? Well, let us take a look at the these days very popular Edgar Wright zambie movie…”Shaun of The Dead”.

The story is set in a small-ish town in England where there lives this guy named Shaun (Simon Pegg). He works at a store. His favorite things in life is his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) and a bar called The Winchester (Named after a Winchester rifle that hangs in there). And his life is in general a big ol’ pain in the ass. His girlfriend is kind of bored at their relationship, he got some problems with his mom and stepdad and just got a boring life in general. But one day…his town (and apparently everywhere else in England) gets attacked by zombies. People getting up from their graves to eat the living. But it seems like Shaun doesn’t give two shits. It actually looks like he has no fucking idea that there are zombies there. He is just so depressed after his girlfriend dumps him that he doesn’t notice shit happening around him. It takes both him and his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) so much time to realize something is wrong with everything. And when they finally do realize what the hell is going on…Shaun comes up with a plan that spawned one of the greaest quotes ever. I’m not gonna spoil it…but you’l know what I mean when you see it. So the story is kind of…weird. But it is also one of the most amusing ones I have ever seen being unfolded in any movie ever. It is just so fun to see what the hell the stuff that Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have written together will be on screen. The comedy in this movie is perfectly written and really…British. But what should I expect from a movie written by two English people who does lots of comedy? Still, really good and quirky comedy!

So the characters are…very flawed. But that is what makes them so fun and entertaining to watch. They are all so vastly different in styles and personalities. For example, we have Shaun who is first bored with life, sometimes kind of impulsive but grows more and more. The character development in this movie is some of the finest in any movie I have ever seen. Every character evolves in a different way from the others, but that is a good thing. Imagine if everyone developed into pretty much the same character, that would have sucked some major ass. But here they all become so different and I fucking love that.

The music is good. It is mostly made from already existing songs. Not that having those songs was a bad choice, since those songs happen to be pretty good and fit very well into the situations where they are used. If I remember correctly, I think that there were a few tracks that were original/new, but they were not too memorable. One fun thing about the music is that it wasn’t just always edited in. A lot of times it happened to come from some kind of source like a car radio or a jukebox.

One thing this movie does is something you often see in Edgar Wright movies. They are filmed with tons of energy and often uses quick zooms (which looks awesome-balls!). Edgar Wright movies are usually filmed in a quick and awesome way that you rarely see in movies these days. And I love it.

Reception for Shaun of The Dead…there is no bad reception what-so-fucking-ever. It got a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It got a 76/100 on Metacritic. And it got a 3/4 stars by the one and only Mr. Roger Ebert. One thing that I have to mention is that the very famous horror/suspense author Stephen King thought the movie was great. Yeah…the author of “It” liked a Zom-Com. He thought it was worth a 10. Good guy Stephen.

So based on my many good opinions on this movie I will have to give thise movie the 9,5/10. This is probably one of the funniest movies ever without being a dumb-dumb comedy (American Pie, Dude Where’s My Car, Ace Ventura etc.). This movie is smart, fun, well acted and just in general fucking great. Go buy it. NOW, DAMN IT!

My review of this cult classic is now completed.

See you later, alligator.