2,881 votes
Black Books

Black Books

Channel 4 2000

Black Books is a second-hand bookshop in London run by an Irishman named Bernard Black. He is probably the planet's worst-suited person to run such an establishment: he makes no effort to sell, closes at strange hours on a whim, is in a perpetual alcoholic stupor, abhors his customers (sometimes physically abusing them) and is often comatose at his desk. Help comes in the lumpy shape of Manny Bianco, a hairy, bumbling individual who (almost by osmosis) becomes Bernard's assistant. Manny is not exactly great at the job either but he is a million times better than Bernard. Next door is Fran, an anxious, frustrated woman who runs a sort of new-age shop selling the most unlikely bits of arty junk. Fran is friends with Bernard and, through him, with Manny; together the trio become embroiled in escapades that are sometimes extreme or violent or fantastically ludicrous, and always bizarre.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Black Books

Black Books - S1E3

#1 - Grapes of Wrath


Season 1 - Episode 3

Bernard and Manny accept a house-sitting job to get away from their new cleaner. They also drink some wine.

The episode was rated from 432 votes.

Black Books - S1E5

#2 - The Big Lock-Out


Season 1 - Episode 5

The shop gets a new security system that no-one can work.

The episode was rated from 362 votes.

Black Books - S2E1

#3 - The Entertainer


Season 2 - Episode 1

Fran buys a piano and starts taking lessons, discovering she has no talent whatsoever - meanwhile Bernard falls in love and tries desperately to impress her. Between them, they con Manny into throwing away a hard-earned break to help them out.

The episode was rated from 335 votes.

Black Books - S3E6

#4 - Party


Season 3 - Episode 6

Fed up with being stuck in the dusty old bookshop on a Friday night, and with the hopes of meeting a delectable young lady at a party, Manny and Fran persuaded Bernard to attend a party. After a night of heavy drinking, a very sloshed Bernard has a nasty surprise waiting for him.

The episode was rated from 256 votes.

Black Books - S1E4

#5 - The Blackout


Season 1 - Episode 4

A hyper, coffee fueled Manny is mistaken for a policeman.

The episode was rated from 397 votes.

Black Books - S1E1
#6 - Cooking the Books
Season 1 - Episode 1

Bernard’s dodgy accountant has to go on the run, leaving him ill prepared to fill out his own tax return. In fact Bernard would rather do anything than fill it out.

The episode was rated from 602 votes.
Black Books - S1E2
#7 - Manny's First Day
Season 1 - Episode 2

After Manny’s help with the tax return Bernard is persuaded to hire him in the shop. Unfortunately he actually sells some books, much to Bernard’s annoyance.

The episode was rated from 448 votes.
Black Books - S3E2
#8 - Elephants and Hens
Season 3 - Episode 2

It is International Children's Book Week, and Bernard and Manny decide to write their own kids' classic and retire on the proceeds. Fran is off on a hen weekend, but still finds a way to fall out with Bernard and Manny.

The episode was rated from 278 votes.
Black Books - S3E4
#9 - A Little Flutter
Season 3 - Episode 4

Manny places a bet on the Grand National for Bernard who immediately becomes addicted to the thrill of gambling having previously expressed no interest. But his losses mount, and he starts borrowing gambling funds from increasingly scary people.

The episode was rated from 257 votes.
Black Books - S3E3
#10 - Moo-ma and Moo-pa
Season 3 - Episode 3

Manny is panicking about the impending visit of his parents - Fran blackmails Bernard into letting them stay by threatening to tell Manny Bernard has been screening his calls to keep him from going anywhere. When Manny's parents arrive however, the duo are forced to corroborate some slightly embellished details from Manny's letters home.

The episode was rated from 261 votes.

Last updated: jan 18, 2022



Bernard Black is everything I strive to be.


This is one of my favorite sitcoms of all time. I currently venturing on my fourth or fifth complete watch through. It manages to be both completely absurd and relatable. It is a remarkably charming show that everyone should have the pleasure of sampling.




I finally got around to watching this for the first time. It was just one of those shows that I didn't get around to watching while it was still airing. I absolutely loved it and feel a little sad that it ended when it did. I definitely feel like they could have done another series or two. I truly adore the friendship between Bernard, Manny and Fran and every single episode was great, funny and _real._ Dylan Moran is a genius and plays one of my favourite sitcom characters, hands down.


I can't describe how amazing this show is. Easily one of my favourite shows ever made. Bernard Black is one of the best characters ever created.


Must have series. Very funny and you just gotta love Bernard Black


I wish I had seen this sooner :) So amazing!!


Rediculous, outrageous, hilarious.


Simply good, old fashioned British humor. What more do you need?


Not only is Black Books my favourite sitcom, but I have immense respect for it. After three seasons, only 18 episodes, they wrapped it up so it didn't have time to get stale or tired. Though it's brief, nearly every episode is great, and they quit while they were ahead.

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