What is it about?
Wine lollies. The Little Book of Calm. Manny’s fabulous hair. Irate instructions for appropriate customer behavior written on a chalk board. An overall absolute disdain for anyone who actually thought they might like to try and buy a book in a bookshop. These are the things that Black Books is all about.
Why is it great?
One word can sum up what is so great about this show: Manny. Bill Bailey is a fantastic musician and a great comedian. The show needs him in order to successfully full off its premise.
The second word to sum up what is so great about this show: Bernard. Bernard Black is the owner of this absolutely filthy little book shop- I think the shop might be called Black Books not because of his name or the color of his mood, but because of the literal filth coating every item in the store. He absolutely deplores the idea that he will have to SELL these books to actually HUMANS, because that mean that he will have to talk to the humans. He is terrible to anyone and everyone until the moment they actually leave him- then we see a slightly gooey interior underneath all the black soot.
My favorite character:
See aforementioned thoughts on Bill Bailey’s legendary performance talents.
My favorite episode:
It used to be “Grapes of Wrath,” because I loved the way that they poked fun at wine snobbery. I worked in the wine industry at the time, so this felt very satisfying to me. Now, I think my favorite episode is probably “A Nice Change.” This is episode is the Black Book’s version of going on holiday. Or, at least trying to go on holiday. Very little actual “holidaying” ensues, but it is an adventure none-the-less.
Typical Bernard and Manny.