here's why you should watch Black Books
You might recognize Dylan Moran as David the T*at from "Shaun of the Dead" but did you know he starred in three seasons of a low key British comedy called "Black Books" as the delightfully crass book store owner Bernard Black? The show aired in 2000 and although it only ran for 18 episodes it managed to gain a cult following with comedy fans everywhere. Along with Bill Bailey as Manny and Tamsin Greig as Fran, Bernard struggles with the day to day troubles of owning a Business and despising every responsibility that it comes with. Bernard survives mostly on cigarettes and cynicism while Manny tries his hardest to keep the store running smoothly in spite if Bernard's habit of self sabotage. Fran isn't an official Black Books employee but she spends most of her time there venting about her relationships and inability to get a head in life.
Even though we only got 18 episodes of this British gem, the randomness and creativity of the writing makes this an addicting series and continues to hold its re-watchability 17 years later. The show covers all of life's biggest conundrums like: how to compete with big chain store competition, how to survive dinners with recently discovered relatives with bizarre foreign customs and replacing a cellar full of irreplaceable wines that were meant to be a gift to the pope.
One of my favorite episodes is #6 in season 2, "A Nice Change." In this episode Manny accidentally wanders into a new chain book store and subconsciously walks back out after unknowingly making a large purchase or books and food from their cafe. Realizing the draw of the additional accommodations at chain stores, Bernard and Manny decide to start a restaurant in the book store. With absolutely no experience in food service, their idea quickly spirals out of control and the two men lose their minds trying to satisfy their customers with a 5 star dining experience. Black Books is definitely a favorite in our house and if you like British comedies like The UK Office, Monty Python and of course Shaun of the Dead, you'll love this show.