Black Books centres around the foul tempered and wildly eccentric bookshop owner Bernard Black. Bernard’s devotion to the twin pleasures of drunkenness and wilful antagonism deepens and enriches both his life and that of Manny, his assistant. Bearded, sweet and good, Manny is everything that Bernard isn’t and is punished by Bernard relentlessly just for the crime of existing. They depend on each other for meaning as Fran, their oldest friend, depends on them for distraction.Black Books is a haven of books, wine and conversation, the only threat to the group’s peace and prosperity is their own limitless stupidity.
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Manny organises a travel-writing festival and invites a charming explorer to talk about his adventures. Fran soon falls for his twinkling eyes and lavish hair, leaving Manny ragingly jealous. Meanwhile, Bernard hires an assassin to solve a financial problem with his neighbour.
The episode was rated 7.66 from 249 votes.
Manny runs away from the bookshop into the arms of a beard loving photographer.
The episode was rated 7.73 from 330 votes.
As the temperature creeps slowly towards 88 degrees, Manny desperately seeks out new ways to stay cool, lest he trigger his "Dave syndrome." Meanwhile an unsympathetic Bernard falls hopelessly in love with Fran's new neighbour, who is unknowingly taking over Fran's apartment.
The episode was rated 7.82 from 326 votes.
Fran starts spending time with a new-age friend to try and wind down while Bernard and Manny are having another fight. Bernard believes Manny is a psychopath and sends him to a therapist, where he unlocks a confidence he never knew he had.
The episode was rated 7.83 from 287 votes.
Bernard and Manny need to teach a psychotic ex-con to read in three days after agreeing to host his reading and book-signing in the shop. Fran gets a new job and all seems to be going well until some miscommunication when Manny calls in a favour...
The episode was rated 7.86 from 294 votes.
Bernard and Manny can't hear themselves argue because the shop next door is undergoing some round-the-clock construction. The noise drives Bernard, Manny and Fran up the wall. So Fran suggests a holiday. Bernard and Manny find baggage in her luggage. There's nothing in the crisp packet and Manny's pants aren't that easy to fold. Will the customer crack the system? What happens on the riverboat? Just how many monkeys are missing in Canada?
The episode was rated 7.88 from 289 votes.
Fran returns from a vacation in Cornwall to discover Manny has resigned and Bernard is living amongst piles of his own filth and dead badgers. Manny has taken up work at the new bookstore next to Black Books, where he must contend with a new, and possibly even more demanding manager, played by Simon Pegg.
The episode was rated 7.91 from 292 votes.
When Manny is drawn into a competing bookstore by its customer-friendly atmosphere, he convinces Bernard the shop needs an overhaul. Fran makes use of the shop's improved facilities to track down her relatives, but is not entirely happy with what she finds.
The episode was rated 7.92 from 311 votes.
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 7.92 from 261 votes.
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 7.98 from 257 votes.
Last updated: jan 02, 2023
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