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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was going to call it "world of tights" but you know how stupid people are, they need everything spelled out!
As with the Spaced box set I bought this completely blindly. And as with the aforementioned box set I consider this 3 series box set of Black Books to be one of my most worthwhile video purchases.

Dylan Moran is exquisite as misanthropic bookshop owner Bernard Black, his sense of surrealism and wordplay used to maximum comic effect. The ever affable Bill...
Published on 31 Oct 2007 by D. Laurikietis

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Comedy
I've just viewed disc 1 so far, another 2 to go! I remember seeing Black Books on Channel 4 it's a witty, clever series with its fair share of brilliant characters, it was certainly well worth my purchase.
Published on 21 Jan 2010 by J. Edwards


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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was going to call it "world of tights" but you know how stupid people are, they need everything spelled out!, 31 Oct 2007
By 
D. Laurikietis "darkknight_uk" (North West England) - See all my reviews
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As with the Spaced box set I bought this completely blindly. And as with the aforementioned box set I consider this 3 series box set of Black Books to be one of my most worthwhile video purchases.

Dylan Moran is exquisite as misanthropic bookshop owner Bernard Black, his sense of surrealism and wordplay used to maximum comic effect. The ever affable Bill Bailey is also on form as well meaning but put-upon stooge Manny Bianco as is Tamsin Greig as neurotic and ditzy neighbour Fran Katzenjammer.

The writing by Moran and the always popular Father Ted co-creator Graham Linehan never flags and the characters and situations are always kept on the right side of ludicrous while still retaining enough human drama and realism to resonate with the viewer.

The chemistry between the three leads is one of the biggest draws of the series, regularly oscillating between comedy gold and askewed human drama. But it's in Bernard's carefully constructed verbal assaults on his friends, customers and anyone else unfortunate to come across him on his turf that are loaded with comedy platinum. A particluar favourite of mine is this improvised chant sung to some passing Milwall fans;

"Milwall, Milwall
You're all completely dreadful
And all your girlfriends are unfulfilled
And alienated"

Across all three series we are also treated to a range of memorable cameos from such comedy stalwarts as Simon Pegg, David Walliams, Peter Serafinowicz, Jessica Hynes, Martin Freeman, Nick Frost, Olivia Colman, Rob Brydon and Lucy Davis (and that's just off the top of my head).

Special features are sparse but worthwhile. Commentaries by Moran, Bailey and Greig are dispensable but fun (though curiously missing from season 3) and the short film Bernard's letter is good for a belly laugh.

In conclusion Black Books is (was) quite possibly one of the best Brit-coms of all time and if you like your comedy with a touch of surrealism this three disc set could be the thing that adds meaning to your life.
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gutted I never saw it when it was on TV, 26 April 2007
By 
P. Burgham "Pedros" (Chester, England) - See all my reviews
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I had never watched or really heard of Black Books when it was originally on as I was at university. But when Amazon sent this as a recommendation and looked at the cast who I knew and like from shows/films Dylan Moran (Shaun of the Dead), Tamsin Greig (Green Wing) and Bill Bailey (Nevermind the Buzzcocks & Hot Fuzz). I thought based on this it was worth a try and was extremely happy I did.

The first series was created by Father Ted and IT Crowd creator Graham Linehan and Dylan Moran. It all starts of in with a small book shop owner Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), the owner of a bits and bobs shop next door Fran (Tamsin Greig) and a stressed out accountant Manny (Bill Bailey). Manny ends up getting a job with Bernard in the shop and becomes his tortured and foolish assistant. In the first series there are lots of funny story lines involving priceless wine, impersonating a policeman and installing a new security system. In this series there are guest appearances from Martin Freeman (The Office) and Nick Frost (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz).

In the second series the relationship between Bernard and Manny becomes even more like a married couple. The second series see Black books get even funnier with some hilarious episodes based around teaching a gangster to read, a sleazy landlord, the bookshop becoming like a mini starbucks and going on holiday. In this series there are again plenty of great guest stars in episodes with Johnny Vegas (Ideal), Rob Brydon (Marrion & Geoff) and Jessica Stevenson (Royle Family & Spaced).

The third and final series has some of the best episodes but the overall quality isn't quite as high. The series starts with Manny having left the book shop to work for an evil chain book shop as he cannot put up with the way Bernard treats him. The episode where Manny & Bernard write a book is one of the funniest things I've ever seen and consistently makes me laugh whenever I see it. I think the series saves the best to last and it manages to answer a lot of questions especially about Bernard which is done brilliantly. The guest stars in this series pick up in series 3 with Simon Pegg (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), Lucy Davis (The Office Shaun of the Dead), Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave), Keith Allen (Robin Hood) and Julian Rhind-Tutt (Green Wing).

It's a great shame that I as I'm sure there are other who discovered this gem of a comedy after it's original run but if you like shows like Father Ted, Spaced, Extras and Blackadder I think you'll love black books.
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93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 21 July 2006
By 
My other half bought me the previous version of this box set as an anniversay present. She chose brilliantly. The writing here is incredible - I laughed so much that I literally ached for ages afterwards. Even now, we will quote to each other sections of this. The true testament to Black Books is to be found in the roll call of guest stars, many of whom have gone on to much greater things, including approximately half the stars of "Shaun Of The Dead"! Black Books humour works on so many levels that it can't fail to raise a laugh. Look out for Bernard, Manny and Fran dancing on disc three, and Manny's attempts to avoid the heat on disc one. And the attempt at producing Frankenstein's wine. And the results of Manny's coffee machine combined with The Sweeny. Hell, there are too many highlights. Just watch it and enjoy.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Could Be Worse - You Could Work Here..., 2 Sep 2005
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This review is from: Black Books Series 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
The next time you're having a bad day, sit down and watch Black Books. Within minutes you'll not only feel better from laughing, you will feel comforted by the fact that nobody you are ever going to meet is as cruelly sadistic and utterly bitter as Bernard Black, proprietor of the world's worst bookshop.
Of late, "quirky" has become a buzzword of comedy, almost a fashionable word to insert into a rave review, and one of which I am intensely wary, as it ordinarily implies it is of the same brand of "fun" as, for example, a businessman who thinks mouth-shaped cufflinks are "fun". However, there are few other words to adequately describe the occasional surrealness of these half-hour jaunts into the grime of Bernard, Manny and Fran's dusty world. Refreshingly avoiding the cheap laugh bought by so many comedies simply by adding in the occasional profanity, Bernard expresses his utter disdain for everyone and everything in ways which can only be described as pure creativity. If you haven't been introduced to actor and writer Dylan Moran's unique brand of anger, you're in for a treat. Meanwhile, Bill Bailey as Manny provides a delightfully childlike and endearingly terrified pincushion for Bernard's razor-sharp remarks and Tamsin Greig puts forth a superb performance as Fran, their oldest friend and faithful bringer of wine.
Full of conversations you'll be re-enacting with your friends and with a whole pile of extras such as the bizarre "Black Dolls" puppet show, this intelligent and yet simultaneously brainless comedy is exactly what you need to remind you that however bad life gets, at least you don't work at Black Books.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really, really funny... but lacking in Box-Settiness, 17 Nov 2006
By 
Matthew Thorbes "Pads" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Black Books as a series is one of the most original, random and hilarious creations of the last ten years. There are moments of genius right from the off, with the ingestion of the Little Book Of Calm, deliberately inciting your own maiming at the hands of Millwall fans to get out of doing a tax return, an accountant being chased from his building by thousands of police officers and the joy of being a 'Birth Partner' all covered.

Then you have another 18 episodes to go!

I won't bang on too much about the series itself, as the other reviewers here have covered that in enough detail.

The box set itself - having waited several months (and three release date changes) to purchase this legendary series in the hope of some Space-esque special features only available to the discerning, box-set owner - was a bit of a disappointment.

It is just the three discs from the earlier individual series releases put into an admittedly snazzy cover. It does, however, feature a 'foreword' by Dylan Moran on the packaging itself which is really funny (if not entirely relevant!).

In short, if you've never seen Black Books but like your humour dry, cynical and well executed, then this is for you. If you already own the earlier discs and are looking for better special features, then this is for someone else.

Enter the thing. And you too can win, a thing...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timing is all, 12 May 2005
By 
This review is from: Black Books Series 1-3 Box Set [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
This is brilliant.
Dylan Moran is so funny. Bill Bailey is a comic genius and Tamsin Greg (Debbie from "The Archers"!!!!!) is brilliant as a comic actress. See her later work in "Green Wing" and more recently in Dr Who.
Set in a book shop where books are hardly ever sold, but still seems to attract lots of customers! The shop is run as a hobby by Bernard (Moran) to provide him with something to do other than drinking, and abusing his staff, Manny (Bailey). Fran (Greg) acts a a foil between these two characters.
Darkly funny, and brilliantly understated. Can't wait for the next series!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comedy gem!, 4 April 2007
By 
Kermit (Doncaster) - See all my reviews
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When i started watching this i didnt think it was going to impress me as i had a few preconceptions of it being bad but a few people had told me how good it was and how much i would enjoy it.

After the first episode i thought "Well ok this isnt too bad after all" so i watched another.

After the second episode i though "actually this is pretty funny in places" so i watched another.

After the third episode i thought "this is funny in a lot of places" so i watched another.

After the fourth episode i thought "This is hillarious! absolutely fantastic!" and so i was hooked

now with only one episode left to watch i am thinking "I dont want this to be over, this can't be the end!"

With how cheap this box set is you would be foolish to pass it up! well worth the money!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Book, 18 Mar 2010
By 
B. Tamlyn "tamo49" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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"I ate all your bees!"

I caught this episode once on TV (and now fortunately on Dave, Result!) and I had no idea what it was. Many of the cast I had never heard of before, except Bill Bailey and I found it quite funny, but I wasn't rolling around the floor. Never the less, I had to know more and it took me the best part of a year to find out what the programme was another 6 months to actually buy it. I put in my DVD stand and left it well alone until my fiancée suggested we watch it as we had never seen it before.

I'm such a fool, I let this slip by for YEARS! My love affair with Black Books began in August 2009 and I have exposed its brilliance to many of my friends and people I work with, however I won't lend them my copy for fear of the disc being scratched.

Its pure comedy brilliance. I was already a fan of Bill Bailey, have been a keen follower of Dylan Moran for a long time (I totally forgot he was in Black Books when I bought the DVD all that time ago) and love most things written by Graeme Linen. What makes this a special comedy for me is I found it very sarcastic and insulting. The best type of comedy in my opinion. Dylan Moran always appears drunk, grouchy, messy and against all things polite, where as Bill Bailey takes the abuse and Tamsin Greig sits in the middle, even though drink is flying around Dylan and Tamsin constantly. If you doubt how hilarious this show is, it had a 3 series run, more could be made but Dylan decided against it (end on a high) and is very much loved by lots. Watch the episode with the expensive wine or first episode if season 1.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read on DVD, 29 Jun 2009
By 
James Edmundson (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This series is great, a home grown British comedy.
Bill Bailey is perfect as Manny and for me is the real star of the show.
Dylan Moran as the bookshop owner Bernard Black is a good example of how not to run a business. Tamsin Greig as Fran makes up the trio of oddballs and thankfully there is no romantic involement with either of the two boys.
It is a pity that only 3 series were made, I think there was enough potential for at least 2 more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Excellent!, 31 July 2008
By 
Nathan (UK) - See all my reviews
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I do remember catching the odd episode when it was broadcast but I really didn't pay too much attention to it then.

I recently received this item as a present and, to be honest, was slightly disappointed and thought it'd end up on ebay :-)

However, I watched the whole lot in just a couple of days. The writing is just fantastic and I haven't laughed that much in ages. Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey are fantastic and the complete extremes of characters works so well.

I really can recommend getting this box set, you won't regret it.
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