Black Books 3 Seasons 2000

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
(59) IMDb 8.2/10

1. Cooking the Books TV-14 CC

When his corrupt accountant goes on the run, Bernard finds himself having to fill in his own tax return - not the easiest thing when you're mathematically illiterate. Perhaps some sort of crippling injury is the way out? Meanwhile, Fran discovers a Thing.

Starring:
Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey
Runtime:
23 minutes
Original air date:
September 29, 2000

Available to watch on supported devices.

Cooking the Books

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Season 1

Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Graham Linehan, Nick Wood
Starring Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey
Supporting actors Tamsin Greig, Tony Bluto, Stephen Boswell, Daisy Campbell, Dominic Carter, Jeillo Edwards, Martin Freeman, John Macneill, Eamonn O'Neill, James O'Neill, Michael Parkhouse, Muriel Pavlow, Jack Pierce, Rupert Vansittart, Rosie Day
Season year 2000
Network BBC America
Producers Karen Beever, William Burdett-Coutts, Julian Meers, Nira Park
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Definitly one of the greatest television shows I've ever seen; it's absolutely to die for.
Rachel Bagwell
"Charming," you ask? "The main character is a nasty, morose, chain-smoking drunk with a neurotic for a best friend and a bearded simpleton for an employee."
Todd Hagley
Dylan Moran as Bernard Ludwig Black, is a wonderful actor, and his facial expressions make me laugh before he has even said anything.
Philip N. Wright

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Todd Hagley on August 28, 2006
Format: DVD
Black Books is a charming, absurdist situation comedy series set in a bookshop. "Charming," you ask? "The main character is a nasty, morose, chain-smoking drunk with a neurotic for a best friend and a bearded simpleton for an employee." Ah, but what's what makes it such a gem of writing and acting.

Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey met during the Edinburgh Fringe and were the top two contenders for the Perrier Prize. Moran came out on top, but remembered Bailey a few years later when he was offered his own show. Moran's character of an ill-tempered grouch is matched perfectly by Bailey's good-hearted goof, and their chemistry as Bernard and Manny is what makes Black Books such enjoyable viewing. Tamsin Grieg is a good comic actress, but I found Fran Katzenjammer to be a little grating at times. Her character does develop more in subsequent seasons, so don't discount her performance.

Fans of Father Ted, Spaced, BlackAdder, and Little Britain should adore this show, and if I have to explain that any further then you should go back to watching "According To Jim".

It's rare to find comedies that are as intelligent as funny, and Black Books is a prime example of such shows. Of course it'd never take off in America, but I thought the same thing about The Office. Please, please, please do not remake this as an American sit-com.

For reasons unknown, Comedy Central used to run this early Sunday mornings back in 2001 before dropping it from the roster. I had only caught two episodes before and was distraught at its departure. Cue to last year and its Region 1 release and my frabjous rapture.

Bring on season Two (and Three...)
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. E. Kelly on March 12, 2006
Format: DVD
American "comedy" involving an independent bookstore = that trite, vapid Fox series 'Stacked'. 'Black Books', however, is what excellent comedy should be: witty, biting, satirical, whimsical, and mentally satisfying. God, what a treat. Laugh-out-loud funny. This is not just another BBC/Channel 4 comedy that has taken hold in a slim US market a la Keeping Up Appearances; The Office; Last of The Summer Wine, etc. This is a classic that hopefully will rank up there with Fawlty Towers (perhaps the best comedy ever made).

If you have ever worked for a major chain-bookstore such as B&N, Borders, Indigo, Chapters etc. and are of a cynical and biting state of mind, Bernard Black's little world will a breath of fresh air!

I highly recommend it: 5 stars plus 5 more.

Excellent!
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32 of 43 people found the following review helpful By E. Lee Zimmerman on February 8, 2006
Format: DVD
I hate sitcoms. Let me tell you why I hate sitcoms: the viewer is expected to suspect -- for the most part -- all disbelief at otherwise reasonably intelligent characters performing utterly insane activities all for the sake of a laugh. In the end, people of modest know-how are knocked a few pegs down the evolutionary ladder, landing somewhere near the chimpanzee, and I'm supposed to find that laughable.

Enter BLACK BOOKS. Here, a curmudgeon of an intelligent man wears the shell of a drunk with pride as he spits one-liners and trades barbs with the customers and his few friends ... and it works almost perfectly throughout. A knucklehead of an accountant loses his job but finds himself by cosmically happening across this one bookshop desperately in need of a finance specialist ... and it works almost perfectly. The way-too-attractive British lady of the town runs a 'Nifty Gifty' shop, splitting her times between selling trinkets she can't quite figure out and tossing back a bottle of wine with her two friends in the Black Books shop next store ... and it works almost perfectly.

BLACK BOOKS begins its series very strong (don't they all, the really good ones?) with a fall-down laughable performance across the board about how these three lovable souls meet and become friends, and the six-episode run tracks them through their assorted adventures ... whether its sharing a bottle of wine, ruining a bottle of wine, or anything else you can do with a bottle of wine in between ... whether its destroying the Pope's only chance at sipping a centuries old Merlot or spoofing the high-handed television adventure of cop shows ... and it works almost perfectly.

Yes, I said "almost" perfectly, and it's really a minor nitpick for a five-star review: the last episode satirized ...
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Grim on November 8, 2005
Format: DVD
Bernard Black is the Basil Fawlty of the book-selling world, but with an Irish accent, and a non-stop affair with the grape and tobacco. With Manny Bianco filling in for Manuel and Polly, and Fran as a neurotic Sybil, the only thing missing is a similar group of stock customers/boarders. But who needs them when there's a continuing line of normal, but exceedingly out-of-place, book buyers who continue to visit the shop with the impossible dream of buying the book they were foolish enough to think they wanted to.

The best thing about the shows is that even when the plots take a seemingly predictible path, there's always a troll under the bridges along the way; from Missonaries learning about the Bible from a work-avoiding Bernard; to a Fran auditioning her new dress, and 'turn with a laugh', on Bernard; to a Manny who's just stayed up all night with his birthday presents, an espresso machine and a detective novel series.

It'll be a shame if the whole (as of now) three series don't appear in the US because most of us would just have to make do with grainy digitized vcr recordings which do no justice to Bernard in a skirt, returning from a three week vacation (after spending all but 4 hours on connecting flights), Fran doing yoga while still polluting her chakras with chocolate and peas, and Manny suffering from Dave's Syndrome, with the thermometer approaching the upper 80's.
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