|Created by||Dylan Moran|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||3 (2 specials)|
|No. of episodes||18|
|Running time||25 minutes approx.|
|Original channel||Channel 4|
|Original run||29 September 2000 – 15 April 2004|
Black Books is a British sitcom broadcast on Channel 4 starring Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig. It was written by Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews, Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley and produced by Nira Park. The show won the BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy in 2000 and 2005, and won a Bronze Rose at the Festival Rose d'Or of Montreux in 2001.
The series is set in the eponymous "Black Books", a small, independent bookshop in the Bloomsbury area of central London. The show is based around the lives and often surreal antics of its sour, eccentric, misanthropic, alcoholic Irish owner Bernard Black (played by Moran), his long-haired, well-meaning but bumbling assistant Manny (Bailey), and their erratic friend Fran (Greig).
The series revolves around Bernard's loathing of the outside world and all the people who inhabit it, except his oldest friend, Fran Katzenjammer. Bernard displays little enthusiasm or interest in retail (or, indeed, anything outside drinking, smoking and reading) and refuses to interact with anyone outside his bookshop, or indeed inside, as Bernard has a personal hatred of customers. Many episodes are driven by Manny and Fran's attempts to force him into a more socially acceptable lifestyle. However, despite their attempts, and Manny's strong social skills, their efforts usually result in chaos, sucking them back into Bernard's nihilistic view of the world.
The series is notable for its surreal, and off-beat, sense of humour, particularly when regarding the state of the shop: It is frequently depicted to be in an unhealthy state of dirtiness, indicated in one episode by seawater molluscs living on the water pipes and, in another episode during a particularly bad state, a dead badger on the floor and a hermit crab in a teapot.
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