12.12.2008

black books, episode one

You may have noticed some chatter in comments about "Black Books," a defunct British comedy starring and co-written by Dylan Moran. Allan and I stumbled on the first season of this many years ago on the US channel Comedy Central, shown late at night and not promoted at all. We fell in love with it, then - typical for us - it disappeared.

Just last year, the complete series (three seasons) finally came out on DVD. Allan bought it about the same time we discovered Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and so we learned that Dylan Moran is part of this constellation of brilliant British comic actors. Moran has a small role in Simon Pegg's "Shaun of the Dead," and a big supporting role in "Run, Fat Boy, Run". Both Pegg and Frost have cameos in Black Books, and there are other connections.

After going out last night, eating and drinking a bit too much, we watched a few episodes of "Black Books". I was going to transcribe one of my favourite bits here, but it needs Moran's delivery and the store's ambiance to deliver the humour. So here you go.

The line I loved so much was Bernard Black's response to "I thought you were gay". But if you haven't seen this, do yourself a favour and watch the whole thing.

Cooking The Books, part 1

Cooking The Books, part 2

Cooking The Books, part 3

A line from episode three, "The Grapes of Wrath," lives on in our home. Bernard, taste buds dead from smoking so much, bites into a coaster and declares it "some sort of delicious biscuit". When you have dogs, this line comes in handy. "The Grapes of Wrath" may be the funniest episode of the whole series.

6 comments:

Nigel Patel said...

This was a great show.
I caught the Comedy Central run and was pleased to find two more seasons after it.
I liked Simon Pegg trying to turn Bill Baily into a retail clone. (But then, I was a retail clone)

L-girl said...

I remember you are a Black Books fan! The ep with Manny working in the chain book store was hilarious.

redsock said...

Bernard: (trying to think of a way to make up for accidentally drinking Freddie's £7000 bottle of wine) What about... a gift!

Manny: That's a much better idea. But it'd have to be perfect!

Bernard: Yeah...

Manny: What about... a really nice box of pencils?

Bernard: No...

Manny: I mean... a REALLY nice box.

Bernard: No! I think if you're, you know, going to give the guy pencils for drinking his wine, you're talking about, you know, magic pencils. You draw a cow, the cow comes to life! Those kind of things.

Manny: Yeah...

Bernard: We'll make some more!

Manny: What?

Bernard: We'll use some of the cheap stuff, nobody will ever know the difference.

Manny: But this cost £7000! He's going to present this to the pope!

Bernard: He won't know the difference.

Manny: He's the pope! He's used to the finer things!

Bernard: It's all waffle! Nobody is prepared to admit that wine actually doesn't have a taste!

Manny: You can't taste anything. You smoke eight bajillion cigarettes a day. What's that?

Bernard: What?

Manny: What are you eating?

Bernard: It's some sort of delicious biscuit!

Manny: It's a coaster.

Bernard: Is it? ... Are there any more?

(much more)

deang said...

Makes me want to watch all the episodes again. Bill Bailey's pretty funny at standup, too.

And since you mentioned biscuits, I've been wondering something. I know that what the British call biscuits, Americans call cookies and Australians call biccies or bickies. I think I remember that Canadians also use the word cookie. Is that true?

L-girl said...

Makes me want to watch all the episodes again. Bill Bailey's pretty funny at standup, too.

You should. I've heard good things about Bill Bailey. He's hilarious in Black Books.

And since you mentioned biscuits, I've been wondering something. I know that what the British call biscuits, Americans call cookies and Australians call biccies or bickies. I think I remember that Canadians also use the word cookie. Is that true?

Good question. I've found it varies. Many Canadians use the British expressions, but some don't.

To make it more confusing, Canadian dog-lovers call (what I call) dog biscuits "cookies", but call (what I call) cookies "biscuits".

Any Canadian dog people reading this want to jump in?

Pedro said...

You Brit're strange! This was the best tv show since Coupling. Your guys make the best shows and then send them to litter, unjustly, may I say! In music and TV, you rock, but please release this show, at least put it on rapidshare.... I'm sorry, but I'm looking for it for a very long time since it was cancelled.