8 December 2002 | marnie.davidson
"Leave town with an orange and pretend you're laughing at it"
It's a crime in my opinion that each season is only six episodes long. Then again I suppose I'm used to American sitcoms and their 'spew out 22 episodes and they'll lap it up' method. Limiting it to just six episodes makes the comedy concentrated and instead of having a few good moments in an episode, the whole episode is memorable.
In real life Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) the owner of his own book shop would be horrible. He'd be hated the world over, but in this natty little sitcom he's thigh-slapping hilarious. Most of the time Manny (Bill Bailey) doesn't need to say anything, his facial expressions are enough to have you rolling on the floor with tears of laughter. I once saw Bill Bailey doing stand up and thought he was great so I'm pleased to see him in something like this. Fran (Tamsin Grieg) is almost the straight man of the group. She's not as cranky as Bernard and she's not as out there as Manny, she's a nice blend. The episode in which she did yoga and declared she was 'so relaxed you could pour me into a bowl' was a definite highlight.
As a reviewer said before - the more you watch it the funnier it gets! My friend and I regularly have email conversations during the day just consisting of Black Books quotes and who can remember the funniest ones! A little obsessive I'll admit, but the show deserves such a following!