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Black Books in Our Good Books

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If you are a fan of British comedy as the movie maniacs are, you'll love the short television series Black Books.

Dylan Moran, who often appears on Montreal's Just for Laughs' stage, plays "shambolic" bookstore owner Bernard Black, whose business is declining without staff to help him out of the mess of his life.

Tamsin Grieg plays Fran, the hapless shopkeeper next door. Brit comedy regular Bill Bailey plays Manny, a sort of Igor to Moran's Bernard. Hilarious episodes include one involving a Frankenstein parody and Papal wine and another involving Manny in photoshoot for "Big and Beardy" magazine, sending up Midnight Cowboy in the process.

Faulty Towers' customer service is 5-star compared to Black Books'. Bernard's drunken ranting and nihilism make Black Books essential viewing for retail workers...don't, just don't, follow suit.

Black Books is a 3-cd set with only a few episodes each, so it's a quick run, the first and second seasons being the strongest.

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