Black Books

culture

The probably-final-ever series of Black Books has just ended, and I am in mourning. Along with Spaced, it's one of the best and most imaginative UK sitcoms in many long, dreary and ‘Keeping up Appearances'-filled years.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, Bernard Black owns a bookshop, but barely tolerates the customers. He's more of a misomni-ist than a misanthropist; apart from red wine and cigarettes, he loathes and detests everyone and everything. Manny is a sweet, cheerful, good-natured beardy hippie, who Bernard uses as a general dogsbody. Fran is an alcoholic who has nothing better to do, and so spends her time in the shop.

Last night, Manny and Fran tried to persuade Bernard to go to a party, only succeeding when they deceived him into thinking that the booze had run out:

[Manny, excited to be going to the party]: Let's paaaar...

[Bernard, furiously pointing at Manny]: Don't you dare use 'party' as a verb in this shop!

Later, after the party, Bernard muses on the evening's entertainment:

The drinks were few. The people were many. It was all I expected and less.

I'm really going to miss it, but I'm going to fill the void by reading these hilarious book reviews — 'Mastering Regular Expressions in Perl' is priceless.

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