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Black Books: Series 1 [DVD]


Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Black Books: Series 1 [DVD] + Black Books: Series 2 [DVD] + Black Books: Series 3 [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dylan Moran, Tamsin Greig, Peter Serafinowicz, Bill Bailey, Daisy Campbell
  • Directors: Nick Wood, Graham Linehan
  • Producers: Nira Park, Julian Meers
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Channel 4 DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Jun 2006
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F3SZT0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,572 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Complete first series of the situation comedy based on the testing times of Bernard Black (Dylan Moran, who also co-writes), misanthropic bookshop owner extraordinaire. Bernard loves books but hates customers, and his approach to capitalism is only matched by Fran (Tamsin Greig), the owner of the 'Nifty Gifty' giftshop nextdoor. When Bernard's accountant goes on the run he is replaced by oddball accountant Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey) who saves Bernard from the terrors of doing his own book-keeping, and proves a hit with the customers. Further episodes see this mismatched retail duo becoming obsessed with the Sweeney, getting into hot water during some routine house-sitting, and suffer defeat at the hands of the new shop security system.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Silas Wegg on 20 Feb 2002
Format: DVD
I've just watched the re-run of series one on Friday nights, and it was a delight the second time around. Now I will buy it to own for all time!
This is my favourite situation comedy for years - and what situations! Manny (Bill Bailey) swallowing the "Little Book of Calm" and becoming serene as his body absorbs it; getting caught in the clutches of a beard fetish photographer. Bernard (Dylan Moran) trying to order books from a wholesaler, cutting the telephone receiver cable with a pair of scizzors to end an unwanted conversation about his tax returns. Fran (Tasmin Grieg) getting rather excited by the voice of the Radio 4 shipping forecaster.
This comedy is delightfully surreal, much like Dylan Moran's stand-up. Bill Bailey takes a little longer to get into the rhythm of acting, which is new to him; but it doesn't destact from the humour or the enjoyment.
Personally, I can't wait for the second series to start. 1st March, I think. Channel 4 I'm sure!
I enjoyed it more than "Spaced" (which is excellent) and as much as "The League of Gentlemen."
If you like your comedy a bit off the wall, this is definately the one for you!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Mar 2002
Format: DVD
I first saw Black Books properly for thhe first time when the recent second series began and found it to be a highly inventive and original take on the sitcom format, the three leads; Dylan Moran, Tamsin Greig and Bill Bailey work exceptionally well together and the funny lines just keep on coming.
Anyone who has seen this first series on T.V. will know that no other actor can play a drunk like Dylan Moran's 'Bernard Black'
This dvd has some funny out-takes, but it's the cast audio commentary that is absolutely fantastic ! Moran, Greig and Bailey are so self-deprecating about their performances and are constantly ribbing each other. Moran keeps commenting on how badly written the script is and seems to act exactly like Bernard Black would if he was asked to do an audio commentary ! Tamsin Greig makes fun of Bill Bailey's hair and says that Dylan Moran looks like he was on drugs during the series.
This could very well be the best comedy dvd on the market, i just could'nt recommend it more highly. Buy Now !
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Sep 2006
Format: DVD
This is a great series (as are all 3 Black Books series).

Highlight for me of series 1, is Manny chasing the mugger down the road and then bottling it when the guy turns round to face him. This is the result of Manny overdosing on The Sweeney and Expresso Coffee and then not sleeping. Bill Bailey is very funny in this show and if you've only caught his stand-up show you should watch Black Books without delay.

Bernard is clearly an Irish relative of Basil Fawlty. He hates all customers and has no interest in helping them. Dylan Moran who wrote or co-wrote most of the material plays Bernard and deserves a large amount of credit for creating 3 amazing characters.

Tasmin Greig is fabulous as Fran, a gentle kind hearted woman who is also prone to excessive drinking and on occasions very odd behaviour.

The voice over commentary from the cast on the DVD is nearly as entertaining as the show itself and well worth listening to.

Whilst not quite as laugh out loud as a few of the greatest sit-coms, the occasionally surreal writing and character mix put it very close to the top of the tree.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. L. J. Houghton on 20 May 2003
Format: DVD
Black Books series 1 has my husband and I and our four children laughing almost continuously throughout the whole six episodes. Bernard as the drunk, dischevelled, chain-smoking, customer-hating book shop owner, Manny as his down trodden and kind hearted assistant and Fran (brilliantly played by Debbie from the Archers) as the slightly mad shop owner next door, all make a fantastic team with each episode being as bizarre and funny as the other. We cannot wait for the 2nd series to be available on DVD - hurry up Channel 4!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jen on 26 July 2007
Format: DVD
I am one of those people who doesn't tend to laugh out loud at this sort of stuff. However, an exception was made for practically all of the episodes on this (particularly Grapes of Wrath): the comedy is so eccentric!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By OooAaa Paul McGrath on 26 July 2007
Format: DVD
Haven't had such a good laugh for a long time; probably since I first watched Phoenix Nights. This is a great DVD and a must-have for anyone who appreciates clever script writing and great comedy acting. Worth owning it just to watch the wine concocting scene and Manny's SAS survival night. Class stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Beattie on 15 Jan 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There has not been such a great classic comedy series since the days of Blackadder or Fawlty Towers. Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig star in this hilarious comedy about bookshop owner Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) his assistant Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey) and their friend Fran (Tamsin Greig) who owns the shop next door. Bernard loves wine and books , but hates customers and following a drinking session reluctantly hires Manny. Manny accepts and moves into the shop, despite advice from Fran to run away. The relationship between Manny and Bernard is one of the key comedic themes of the series developing into one of mutual dependence, though neither would admit it, with Fran stuck in the middle as a mediator, with a some bizarre adventures of her own thrown into the mix.. My favourite episodes are "Cooking the Books "and the bizarre "The Grapes of Wrath" which sees Manny and Bernard attempting to recreate vintage £7000 a bottle wine in a hysterical scene reminiscent of the creation of Frankenstein . Two more series followed and my advice would be to watch all three back-to-back frequently.
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