TV Tuesday: Black Books

Sorry I'm a few hours late!

This show really seemed to come out of nowhere and disappeared just as quickly, in America anyway. I can't remember what exact year it was, sometime between 1999-2001, which would put me in between 7th and 9th grade. I believe it was around the time they started that awful show with Dave Attell. I had no interest in Insomniac or whatever else they showed in that late night line-up but I instantly fell in love with Black Books. I remember having to be really quiet and secretive because it was a school night. I didn't care how tired I was, if I could get away with catching an episode of Black Books it just had to be done. I can't even remember what grade I was in, let alone whatever I was supposed to be learning. I do remember telling the other students and no one having any clue what I was talking about. For the most part things have remained that way. Over the years when talking about the Young OnesMr. Bean or any of the other British comedy series I like, whenever Black Books would get brought up I've rarely encountered others who were lucky enough to catch it's brief American syndication.

I recently noticed that Borders had Black Books season 2 on DVD! Thankfully Netflix is here to aide my broke ass, so there you have it. I've been re-experiencing it for the past few days and even well into my 20's I laugh just as hysterically as I did in my tweens, only this time I don't have to muffle it avoid waking up my Mom.

Written and starring Dylan Moran as a chain smoking wino named Bernard Black who owns a book store. He's rude and belligerent to customers, while his friends Manny and Fran are always keeping him from falling apart completely. Naturally lots of British slapstick ensues mostly as a result of Black's drunken shenanigans. There's something kind of John Cusack-y ala High Fidelity about the character. Bill Bailey plays Manny, a perfect foil for Black's mayhem. Check out this show if you haven't already. It's further proof that the English are the only ones who know how to make a sitcom work.

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