Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Black Books - The Complete First Series|
Actors: Bill Bailey (IV), Tamsin Greig, Dylan Moran
Directors: Martin Dennis, Graham Linehan
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Television
Black Books is a second-hand bookshop in London run by an Irishman named Bernard Black. He is probably the planet's worst-suited person to run such an establishment: he makes no effort to sell, closes at strange hours on a... more »
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A Slightly Used Formula Made Fresh
Edward Lee | 02/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I hate sitcoms. Let me tell you why I hate sitcoms: the viewer is expected to suspect -- for the most part -- all disbelief at otherwise reasonably intelligent characters performing utterly insane activities all for the sake of a laugh. In the end, people of modest know-how are knocked a few pegs down the evolutionary ladder, landing somewhere near the chimpanzee, and I'm supposed to find that laughable.
Enter BLACK BOOKS. Here, a curmudgeon of an intelligent man wears the shell of a drunk with pride as he spits one-liners and trades barbs with the customers and his few friends ... and it works almost perfectly throughout. A knucklehead of an accountant loses his job but finds himself by cosmically happening across this one bookshop desperately in need of a finance specialist ... and it works almost perfectly. The way-too-attractive British lady of the town runs a 'Nifty Gifty' shop, splitting her times between selling trinkets she can't quite figure out and tossing back a bottle of wine with her two friends in the Black Books shop next store ... and it works almost perfectly.
BLACK BOOKS begins its series very strong (don't they all, the really good ones?) with a fall-down laughable performance across the board about how these three lovable souls meet and become friends, and the six-episode run tracks them through their assorted adventures ... whether its sharing a bottle of wine, ruining a bottle of wine, or anything else you can do with a bottle of wine in between ... whether its destroying the Pope's only chance at sipping a centuries old Merlot or spoofing the high-handed television adventure of cop shows ... and it works almost perfectly.
Yes, I said "almost" perfectly, and it's really a minor nitpick for a five-star review: the last episode satirized ... erm ... let's just say it satirized a very specific area of sex trafficking and, while the episode brought a smile to my lips, it really didn't produce that many laughs. Perhaps it was the fact that pornography, in one sense, is such a volatile topic that I don't see the sense in lampooning an evil, corrosive crime ... but, when you're talking about comedy, there really are as many flavors as there are bottles of wine, and I'd like to think that's what they were going for.
Great laughs, great zingers, and great characters make BLACK BOOKS more than should be judged by its cover."
Bernard Black is a misanthropic, drunken git; and you'll lov
Todd Hagley | Decatur, GA | 08/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Black Books is a charming, absurdist situation comedy series set in a bookshop. "Charming," you ask? "The main character is a nasty, morose, chain-smoking drunk with a neurotic for a best friend and a bearded simpleton for an employee." Ah, but what's what makes it such a gem of writing and acting.
Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey met during the Edinburgh Fringe and were the top two contenders for the Perrier Prize. Moran came out on top, but remembered Bailey a few years later when he was offered his own show. Moran's character of an ill-tempered grouch is matched perfectly by Bailey's good-hearted goof, and their chemistry as Bernard and Manny is what makes Black Books such enjoyable viewing. Tamsin Grieg is a good comic actress, but I found Fran Katzenjammer to be a little grating at times. Her character does develop more in subsequent seasons, so don't discount her performance.
Fans of Father Ted, Spaced, BlackAdder, and Little Britain should adore this show, and if I have to explain that any further then you should go back to watching "According To Jim".
It's rare to find comedies that are as intelligent as funny, and Black Books is a prime example of such shows. Of course it'd never take off in America, but I thought the same thing about The Office. Please, please, please do not remake this as an American sit-com.
For reasons unknown, Comedy Central used to run this early Sunday mornings back in 2001 before dropping it from the roster. I had only caught two episodes before and was distraught at its departure. Cue to last year and its Region 1 release and my frabjous rapture.
Bring on season Two (and Three...)
Robert E. Kelly | 03/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"American "comedy" involving an independent bookstore = that trite, vapid Fox series 'Stacked'. 'Black Books', however, is what excellent comedy should be: witty, biting, satirical, whimsical, and mentally satisfying. God, what a treat. Laugh-out-loud funny. This is not just another BBC/Channel 4 comedy that has taken hold in a slim US market a la Keeping Up Appearances; The Office; Last of The Summer Wine, etc. This is a classic that hopefully will rank up there with Fawlty Towers (perhaps the best comedy ever made).
If you have ever worked for a major chain-bookstore such as B&N, Borders, Indigo, Chapters etc. and are of a cynical and biting state of mind, Bernard Black's little world will a breath of fresh air!
I highly recommend it: 5 stars plus 5 more.
More ,More ,MORE!
Mr. William X. Sullivan | Florissant, MO United States | 04/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The trailers for the other episodes of Black Books compels me to search for some kind of phrase or word that will help the BBC capitulate like they did for Bottom, and then no one needs to get hurt. I mean this is one of the best series I've seen in ages I'd really like to see two and three please. I guess it wouldn't help to say, " or else " at this point so I'll try please again, Please!"