Sticking: Black Books

Posted on December 19, 2012


I just couldn’t bring myself to write about pop culture that day. I turned off social networking, put on a DVD, and shut out the world.

That DVD was the first season of Black Books.


We Watched It

Bernard Black (Dylan Moran, co-creator of the show) is the proprietor of Black Books, an independent urban book store. Bernard is belligerent, smokes heavily, and treats his customers as obstacles between him and his drinking.

One day, a stressed-out accountant barges in, demanding The Little Book of Calm. Bernard toys with him for a bit and then concludes the purchase. Manny (Bill Bailey), the accountant, hates his job, and Bernard hates doing his taxes.

While drunk, Bernard hires Manny.

Once he is sober, Bernard realizes that Manny’s sunny optimism drives him completely mad, but Fran (Tamsin Grieg), Bernard’s neighbor and old friend, forces Bernard to keep Manny around.




Black Books showed up so often on my Netflix recommendations that I had to try it.

The first episode made me laugh so much that I turned it off and waited for my wife to come home so we could discover the rest of the series together.

My wife and I have watched all three seasons. We would watch more if there were any. As it is, I still seek out Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey comedy. You should too.


It’s completely baffling how Black Books stays in business. Bernard would pay customers to stay away. He can’t be bothered to clean the place, and he refuses every attempt Manny makes to improve the business.


Have you discovered any brilliant comedies from overseas?

Posted in: television