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Black Books: Series 1 [DVD]

Dylan Moran , Tamsin Greig , Nick Wood , Graham Linehan    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: 4.36 & 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]
Price For All Three: 14.67

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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 (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F3SZT0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,153 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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

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.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch 19 Sep 2006
By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drunkenness and debauchery... I love it 26 July 2007
By Jen
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very happy family from Oxfordshire 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious 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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously surreal! 2 July 2002
Format:DVD
I started watching Black Books simply because it had Bill Bailey in, but now I watch it because it truely is one of the funniest sitcoms ever written! Written by Graham Lineham of Father Ted fame, and Dylan Moran who also plays Bernard Black, this is a surreal romp of stupid proportions! The basic premise is Bernard(Moran) owns a book shop called Black Books. He hates customers, is permanently drunk and lives like a particulally unhygenic dung beetle. One day Manny (Bill Bailey) comes into the shop to buy "The little book of calm" and accidently swallows it when it falls into his soup. The book then disappears into his system and he becomes the calmest man on Earth. After being saved by Bernard from a severe beating at the hands of some skin heads (the only reason Bernard saved him was so he didn't have to do his accounts) Manny agrees to work for him and so the realtionship begins with visits and alcoholic interludes from Fran, played wonderfully by the seemigly confused Tasmin Grieg who owns Nifty Gifty next door.
The series contains some wonderfully bizarre moments like when a man come round to fit a security system to the front door but Manny gets distracted from remembering the code by a subbuteo player in the workmans hair and consequently locks Bernard out all night and Manny has to eat bees and drink absinthe to survive!
Yes it's stupid but it's also fantastically written and for a series with only a very vauge plot line in survives well. The DVD has some good extras as well, the commentry being brilliant as it's basically the 3 stars having a drunken ramble and pokeing fun at each other.
The sharp wit of Blackadder and the surrealness of Father Ted make this a comedy classic. I await the release of series 2 with anticipation!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars FATHER BLACK
Black Books is a gem of the sitcom world. Why oh why do more4 persist with endless reruns of Father Ted. When they could show this. Read more
Published 14 months ago by mikebee
5.0 out of 5 stars Sat on myself to some extent!
Undoubtably one of the funniest things to come out of Channel 4, or the whole of terrestrial TV for years!
Like Bill Bailey? Dylan Morant? Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2012 by Mr. M. V. Vallas
4.0 out of 5 stars Superbly funny
What can I say that hasn't been said already? This is a superb series that you just can't help but laugh at. I would highly recommend this.
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by London Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Very Very Very FUNNY
If you like comedy you love this Bill Bailey and Dylan Moran are hilarious. Black Books is a second-hand bookshop in London run by an Irishman named Bernard Black(Dylan Moran). Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2011 by DVD_VISION
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated great
Co-written by Graham Linehan, creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd, this is one of the most underrated comedies of the last decade. Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2011 by S. Meadows
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the funniest series ever!
I re-bought this DVD, having lost it from the full series set (someone I lent it to obviously loved it too). Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2010 by Glowbox
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a funny series!
this first series never fails to amuse me - the second and third series are amusing too, but the first holds a certain amusing quality that isn't surpassed by the others.
Published on 28 Mar 2009 by Mia
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent series - perfect casting. I could watch these episodes over and over again and still laugh out loud.
Published on 24 Feb 2009 by Paddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic comedy
There has not been such a great classic comedy series since the days of Blackadder or Fawlty Towers. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2009 by S. Beattie
5.0 out of 5 stars A side-splitter
This series is funny from the first episode to the last. Bill Bailey is especialy funny as 'Mannie'. Dylan Moran is also good as the grumpy book-shop owner. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2006 by Sam's reviews
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