Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books. Wine. Friends. Brilliance., 22 Aug 2011
This review is from: Black Books - The Complete Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
In my humble opinion, there never was (and hasn't since been) a comedy series that can rival Black Books.

The series follows the lives of three, dysfunctional, yet close as can be, friends; Bernard, Manny and Fran and their lives in the wonderfully quaint, if bleak, bookshop- Black Books.

Bernard Black (Dylanb Moran)is the arguable eccentric leader of the group. A bitter, cynical, chain-smoking alchoholic, owner said book shop. Despite his miserable persona, he has an endearing innocense about him. The child-like and somewhat naive book-shop owner, lives a lonely life, apart from his friendship with Fran (undeniably a necessity for his survival) and he likes it that way. He loathes his customers aswell as his chirpy, accidental employee Manny Bianco.

Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey)- the cheery, equally eccentric employee and housemate and...housewife. Essentially. He looks after his Irish, hard-mouthed employer and protects the customers from his abuse, by taking the brunt of it himself. His admiration for Bernard is clear throughout the series, making a friendship as delightful as dependant.

Fran Katzenjammer (Tamsin Greig). Bernards oldest and seemingly only friend and it would seem that the reason for this isn't just Bernard's behaviour, but her own. Although not as eccentric as the dependant duo, she's bitter, short-tempered and impossible to date. She's the support system and disciplinarian of the group. The bringer or peace and bringer of wine.

The groups dysfuctional dynamic, as twisted as it is, is never short of love, as abusive as it is.
For fangirls there are pairings for everyone- het lovers will love the weathered relationship of Fran and Bernard and the mentions of non-platonomy. Slash lovers will ADORE the near canon relationship of Bernard and Manny (Black and Bianco...Black and White), especially with the commentaries admitting where Creator Dylan Moran admits undeniably homoerotic implications.

The three constants are met with an endless line-up of familiar guest-stars, such as Rob Brydon, David Walliams, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Pete Serafinowicz among others.

This is one television series you'll regret not finding sooner. Black Books will leave you wanting to drop your coffee and fetch the wine, transform your house into a bookshop and abandon your friends in favour of Black, Bianco and Katzenjammer.
With childish humour mingled with intelligent literary humour, there's enough to keep you laughing no matter how much you watch it.
If ever there was a comedy that you want to see...that you want to live...it was and is Black Books.
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