"You can sort your life out anytime, the pub closes in five hours."
August 6, 2014 3:45 PM   Subscribe

"Surprisingly, Black Books has no affliction with the BBC whatsoever; created by Dylan Moran (who also plays the lead) and Graham Linehan, the show was filmed at Teddington Studios and broadcast on Channel 4. It centers around Bernard Black (Dylan Moran), the careless, grumpy, wine-inhaling owner of Black Books, his friend Fran (Tamsin Greig) and his assistant shop keeper Manny (Bill Bailey). Specked with a few fun cameos by people not yet famous at the time, this show is a hilarious roller coaster ride that will make you laugh until you cry." Black Books: 4 Reasons the British Sitcom Remains a Classic

At Dark Matter Zine, Nalini Haynes finds the TV program addictive, and has some insights as to the importance of the character of Fran.

List of Black Books episodes | Full list of other characters

Black Books is on Hulu and the Channel 4 (UK) website.

Black Books on YouTube (playlists):

Season 1 (2000)

Season 2 (2002)

Season 3 (2004)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (90 comments total) 93 users marked this as a favorite

 
Note: the Dark Matter review mentions there is only one season in error.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:45 PM on August 6, 2014


Utterly brilliant. Had a great night watching loads of episodes and polishing off multiple bottles of red plonk.
posted by knapah at 3:46 PM on August 6, 2014


I was about to re-watch this show for the fifteenth time a couple weeks ago, and found to my dismay that it was no longer on Netflix. I'm glad to see I can access it elsewhere.
posted by pemberkins at 3:54 PM on August 6, 2014


Oh dear god I saw "Black Books: 4" and thought there was another season coming. Time for a wine lolly when I get home.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:54 PM on August 6, 2014 [16 favorites]


Oh also -- both Moran and Bailey are hilarious stand-ups as well, and you can find many of their bits (including whole shows) on YouTube.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:55 PM on August 6, 2014


Oh dear god I saw "Black Books: 4" and thought there was another season coming. Time for a wine lolly when I get home.

seriously when i can get out of the couch you are all in trouble
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:58 PM on August 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


Dylan Moran in both Black Books and standup: awesome. Women Have No Feelings (short, NSFW)
posted by Wordshore at 3:59 PM on August 6, 2014


Black Books: 4 !!!

oh, 4 reasons the British Sitcom Remains a Classic

What an incredible disappointment.

I misread the headline and got way to excited
posted by 2manyusernames at 4:06 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Damn it, I misread also and somehow came away with the impression that there was a 4th series on Hulu right now, and so I needed to go to the store immediately for wine.

I'll have to settle for wine and another rewatch, I guess.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:09 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Easily the best thing Linehan and Moran have ever done. Probably my all-time favourite British sitcom.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:12 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I absolutely adore Black Books and was also momentarily excited beyond belief and my misreading of the headline.

Bernard's rejection of his rejection letter for his novel (which I think is an extra on the season 3 DVD) is great--I loved when he and Manny would get creative. Whether it was recreating a priceless wine or a children's book, it was always magic.

Watched the first episode again not that long ago, and Martin Freeman is almost unrecognizable as the doctor who treats Manny for swallowing The Little Book of Calm. It's the hair, I think.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:13 PM on August 6, 2014


Four years ago on my first London visit as an adult, we stayed in a hotel near Russell Square. A few months later I discovered this show, somehow or other. The shop's exterior and site location shots were taken literally around the corner. The tenant of the building may actually have been a bookshop; I don't now recall. What I do know is that I bought a book from the bookshop located either right there or a couple doors away.

It took a few episodes before I realized that in effect i had bought a book from Bernard Black, if i squint and tilt my head juuuust right.
posted by mwhybark at 4:20 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


..has no affliction

I'm glad it is healthy, though perhaps the author meant affiliation?
posted by bhnyc at 4:21 PM on August 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Manny: This is like a...a farmyard...of wine.
Bernard: It's like looking...into the eye...of a duck!
Manny: And sucking...all the fluid from its beak.

Well worth watching all three series with the commentary track on, too. It's like enjoying it for the fifteenth time all over again! Watch for the cameos from, yes, Martin Freeman, and Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, and Peter Serafinowicz, and Kevin Eldon, and Olivia Colman, and Rob Brydon, and on and on it goes!
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:22 PM on August 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


If you're not familiar with Bill Bailey, just Google 'Human Slaves In An Insect Nation'.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 4:23 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


And, omg, I neglected to remember that there is a third series of Friday Night Dinner with the divine Tamsin Greig and Mark Heap!
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:24 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


For reference:

https://maps.gstatic.com/m/streetview/?panoid=k0ZpOC3PBWrNashI7k4ctg&cbp=0,112.27026792245013,,0,0

http://www.collingeandclark.co.uk/
posted by mwhybark at 4:26 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


MY OVEN CAN COOK BITS OF OVEN.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:27 PM on August 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


Recently I secured the entire series, put one disc in and sat down with my coffee.

#doingitwrong
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:27 PM on August 6, 2014


I watched all of Black Books, and vaguely recall liking it, but remember almost none of it, because of wine.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:36 PM on August 6, 2014


One three separate occasions three different people told me "But Whelk, you have to watch Black Books! It's a chilling vision of your future."

Also hey Martin Freeman in the pilot episode, why don't you age?
posted by The Whelk at 4:37 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I watched all of Black Books, and vaguely recall liking it, but remember almost none of it, because of wine.

#doingitcorrect
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:39 PM on August 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Also two of the characters are named after Hangovers.
posted by The Whelk at 4:39 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Probably my absolute favorite show. It's one of the few shows I've purchased the box set for (it's cheap, and worth watching at least once a year).

Whores will have their trinkets.
posted by Redfield at 4:42 PM on August 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Fuh-ran?
posted by infinitewindow at 4:44 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've swallowed the Little Book of Calm.
posted by wintersweet at 4:47 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am so pleased to learn seasons 1, 2 and 3 are on YouTube. But what I'd really love to hear is there are a million more. I love this show.
posted by saulgoodman at 4:48 PM on August 6, 2014


I've sat on me-self.
posted by Poldo at 4:53 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I own this box set and have watched it many times and yet I had no idea that Graham Linehan was a writer. In retrospect this seems obvious.
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:54 PM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Unbelievably good; the recursive intermeshings of the jokes give the first episode almost a fugue-like structure.

Wonderful--except that I seem to have thrown out my back and might have a slight nosebleed.
posted by jamjam at 5:00 PM on August 6, 2014


Bernard! I ate all your bees!
posted by gern at 5:03 PM on August 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's one hand to have characters constantly swilling wine it's another to have every episode feel like a night and half day of constant, foodless drinking. Thing just ...keep! Happening!
posted by The Whelk at 5:03 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


When other women feature, Fran sometimes ignores them – she’s somewhat anti-social – but when Fran talks to other women, the Bechdel test is passed with flying colours. What sets Black Books apart is the lack of assumption that women are sex objects or obsessed with men. Fran is a woman who happens to have two men as her best friends. She also has a healthy libido but this does not dominate her conversation.

This is why I LOVE Black Books, among other reasons. Fran is a woman that is recognizable to me as a woman like myself. She's awkward and terrible and has friends who are men without any of that weird romantic overtone crap they usually do on these kinds of shows.

Although..
Manny - Have you had sex?
Bernard - I think so.
Manny - Hm?
Bernard - I'm not sure.
Manny - What happened?
Bernard - Well, a few New Years ago - I woke up
Manny - Yeah?
Bernard - And I was there
Manny - Right.
Bernard - And so was she. And so were our friends, the genitals. All six of us were there.
Manny - Six? What? Oh. And none of you can remember?
Bernard - No. No. Well, I did for a while. I think so. Then she made me block it out. That's it - she remembers and I'm not allowed to.
I bought my best friend the Little Book of Calm once when he was having a rough time at work. I don't think he swallowed it, though.

The end of the episode about the wine always makes me ill with laughing.
posted by winna at 5:03 PM on August 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


By the way, I believe Linehan co-wrote series one, but left after that.
posted by gern at 5:06 PM on August 6, 2014


Based on a twitter conversation we all became convinced that Fran would be the perfect replacement for Doctor Who. She's right in the middle, not as socially inept as Barnard but not as Cloud-cucu and earnest as Manny.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on August 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


I do think the treatment of Fran kind of sags somewhere in the 2nd series, where she stops having her own life (and store) and becomes more cliche'd-ly fixated on men (and also stupider overall.) But all the characters kind of degrade at that point (Bernard goes from being bitter, funny, and somewhat cruel to monotonously sadistic and not particularly funny, Manny goes from kind of a mad idiot savant to just Bernard's hapless victim), so I think it was overall writer degeneration, not specifically sexism.

It does pick up again before the end of the last series, though never quite hitting the same heights of genius as the first series.
posted by tavella at 5:12 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh Fran. How I love her. I'd split a bottle of Life Cry with her any night of the week.

I'm also pretty sure I've been exactly her in the episode where she shows off her hair power. Even down to the awkward inebriated dancing.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 5:16 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah the second series is not as tight and the characters get broader in dumbest ways but yeah, the Grapes Of Wrath episode with the running counter of how much they've drunk, oh god.
posted by The Whelk at 5:16 PM on August 6, 2014


You're right, tavella. I sort of block out huge chunks of the worst bits.

The Fixer, though, is one of my favorite Fran episodes even though it is really terrible in a lot of the ways you reference. Just for Fran's triumphant 'Are we or are we not... a company?' speech it is fun.
posted by winna at 5:16 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wordshore: “Dylan Moran in both Black Books and standup: awesome. Women Have No Feelings (short, NSFW)”

Sigh. Well, at least this saves me the trouble of explaining how, on rewatching my beloved Black Books recently, I found myself wincing a lot more than I wish I had. (Gosh, women sure do love shoes, don't they?)
posted by koeselitz at 5:18 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]




*sings*

Millwall, Millwall, you're all really dreadful, and your girlfriends are unfulfilled and alienated...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:36 PM on August 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Two things; first, you need a bookstore or bookseller tag. It's not just a coincidence it's a bookstore. Second, this is why there is Amazon.
posted by Toekneesan at 5:37 PM on August 6, 2014


@thewhiteskull. Man that skinhead baiting scene was incredible. Part of the fun of the Black character is that he doesn't get what makes anyone happy or angry with any accuracy.

I root for Linehan big time. I wanted to love the IT crowd. I did like the nerdy glasses guy a lot and the bossman but somehow it never reached the funny of Father Ted. Black Books season one hit the spot.
posted by drowsy at 5:45 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


bookstore or bookseller tag

Bookshop. British.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:45 PM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Surprisingly, Black Books has no affliction with the BBC whatsoever

This is an odd statement for that review to open with, and not one that it ever really addresses much: why is it surprising? A hangover from the days when the only comedies that got exported to the US were the handful of usually-BBC shows that PBS acquired?

It never felt like a BBC sitcom at the time; it's squarely within the Channel 4 Sean Hughes / Spaced / Father Ted quirky locus.

the Grapes Of Wrath episode

"The older the wine is... the gooder it is."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:13 PM on August 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Leave town with an orange, and pretend you're laughing at it.
posted by Spatch at 7:44 PM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


When this first broadcast I was working at an academic remainders store. We all wanted to be Bernard Black. Hell, we all thought we were Bernard. We collectively swooned at the thought of hitting customers with a broom and yelling "GET OUT, GET OUT, YOU TIME WASTING BASTARDS", a thought that was particularly attractive given our close proximity to Australian Parliament House and the fact that several high-profile politicians would come in to buy books on cricket or military history.

Then one day we all got hauled over the coals for drinking on the job. It was a small shop, only ever staffed by one person and we were often open late. The manager had found crown seals in the back room and accused us of drinking beer.

But we were ALL incredibly earnest honours year students (in Australia the Honours Year is roughly analogous to a US Masters) and we were incredibly rule-abiding when it came to the bookstore. A bookstore job was a sweet deal: we got a 50% discount on all books and none of us wanted to go back to working at cafes. Besides, we hailed Bernard Black as a god and were all on a red-wine kick. We told management that we would never drink beer in the store, a statement that they didn't find amusing.

When the owner came back from a buying trip it turned out the beer bottle caps were his, from a long night of unpacking stock. But the store changed after that. I worked the Friday night shift and I would dread the 11pm phone call from the manager who lived around the block from the store. On her Friday night off, she would go into the store after closing SPECIFICALLY to check how well I had tidied the bookshelves. If the books weren't lined up exactly an inch back from the edge of the shelf I'd get the kind of bollocking that inspires Manny to run away from Black Books and become a beard model ("Your beard is soft... like a little bird").

This was well over a decade ago now. I still line up books in bookstores. It's compulsive :(
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 8:32 PM on August 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Oh, my god, the episode where Manny had to be saved from the guy exploiting him in beard porn...

And the hen party...

And Grapes of Wrath...!

Bernard.

Bernard.

Bernard.

Bernard, look.

Bernard.

Bernard.

Bernard.

Look, Berrnard.

Bernard.

Bernard.

Bernard.

WHAT!!?

I'm a prostitute robot from the future!
posted by droplet at 8:53 PM on August 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


I guess there's a long and honorable tradition of ridiculously talented, smart and all-around awesome performers portraying useless halfwits in comedy, but the contrast between the character and reality is particularly pronounced, to the point of being downright disorienting, in the case of Bill Bailey as Manny.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:23 PM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


There are a lot of really great moments in that show... and Fran has some great ones ''Oh Manny, for the last time, shut up, mother o' god I think I'm gonna kill ya!'' Followed by that snort-laugh is just hilarious.

The security door episode where Bernard wanders around all night looked like a send up of films like Lost in Translation

Oh, and the last names of the main characters... Black, Bianco(white), and Katzenjammer(first true color comic)


Dave's syndrome
posted by edgeways at 10:31 PM on August 6, 2014


Linehan and Moran grew up in the dying throes of Ireland's uber-Catholic years, and the term 'black book' would have often been used by some of the older generation to describe any book that they had all convinced themselves was the work of Beelzebub due to its subject matter. Anything by Stephen King for example. So there is also that aspect to the title.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:07 AM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Alice, my god I think I may have worked for the same store, or the same manager at a related store... Manuka, by any chance?
posted by smoke at 12:26 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


You people made me go re-watch a bunch of this on the youtubes. I had forgotten Fran's jerking-off episode; I was and still am impressed by how straightforwardly they handled that.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:10 AM on August 7, 2014


It never felt like a BBC sitcom at the time; it's squarely within the Channel 4 Sean Hughes / Spaced / Father Ted quirky locus.

Blimey, Sean Hughes - very much a defining figure of early 90s telly but now entirely absent. It's easy to forget really that C4 was (for some time) the driving force of British TV comedy and that the Beeb only started to get their mojo back really under Iannucci and The Day Today. For me, C4's last proper comedic hurrah was Nathan Barley but since then it has been slim pickings I feel.
posted by specialbrew at 1:36 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


but since then it has been slim pickings I feel

Eh? Peep Show, The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner, Fresh Meat, Peep Show, The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Toast of London, Black Mirror - all post-Barley, all great.
posted by rory at 1:49 AM on August 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


(Peep Show is pre- and post-Barley, come to think of it, but mostly post. And Darkplace is pre-, now that I check, but its sequel Man to Man With Dean Learner came later.)
posted by rory at 1:53 AM on August 7, 2014


Eh? Peep Show, The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner, Fresh Meat, Peep Show, The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Toast of London, Black Mirror - all post-Barley, all great.

Ha you're absolutely right - I'm being entirely selective. It's what happens when you're middle aged and convinced everything isn't quite as good as it should be.
posted by specialbrew at 2:02 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish there really was a show called Downtown Abbey
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 2:14 AM on August 7, 2014


No Downtown Abbey, but maybe Dundalk Abbey will help - done in the patois of the town of Dundalk in Ireland.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:30 AM on August 7, 2014


Peter Serafinowicz

Mrs. Example and I are constitutionally incapable of seeing him on screen without saying "DO YOU WANT ME TO COME, FRAN?".

It made Guardians of the Galaxy a little awkward.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:45 AM on August 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Mr. Bad Example, you and Mrs Example are NOT alone in that incapability!
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 3:57 AM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


The tenant of the building may actually have been a bookshop; I don't now recall. What I do know is that I bought a book from the bookshop located either right there or a couple doors away.

That was the case not too many years ago. A glowering type who seems resigned to tourists taking pictures outside his store.
posted by Occam's Aftershave at 4:40 AM on August 7, 2014


I just realised what a strong Fawlty Towers vibe there is to Black Books - especially the similarities between Bernard/Basil and Manny/Manuel. Hmmm.

I guess there's a long and honorable tradition of ridiculously talented, smart and all-around awesome performers portraying useless halfwits in comedy, but the contrast between the character and reality is particularly pronounced, to the point of being downright disorienting, in the case of Bill Bailey as Manny.

He was okay with it at that stage in his career, but it began to rankle with him after a few seasons of the panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks that he was constantly the butt of jokes about being an ugly simpleton. He quit abruptly. I don't think he would take the role of Manny today if it was offered to him.
posted by forgetful snow at 4:57 AM on August 7, 2014


WHICH ONE OF YOU BITCHES WANTS TO DANCE?
posted by keever at 4:57 AM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wish we had real Internet and could watch this programme online. A few episodes made it on to our local PBS station, but then promptly disappeared. Thought I would investigate purchasing the entire series, but Amazon is showing it at $55 for series 1, and over $230 for the collection. That's ridiculous.
posted by terrapin at 6:01 AM on August 7, 2014


Yeah that is weird... I'll let you have mine for $150.

If you can set your computer to download for a day while you're at work looks like they cost $11 per season via the Amazon download.
posted by edgeways at 7:40 AM on August 7, 2014


Oh, and what's fun is to watch Spaced, Hyper Drive and Black Books all in a weekend.
posted by edgeways at 7:42 AM on August 7, 2014


The first three episodes are absolutely not to be missed. The rest of the series don't make it to their level, but that's praising with faint damns.
posted by Zed at 8:37 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


We watch the box set every year. Because as others have explained, the wine means you have to watch again and again and again ...

Also Dylan Moran's stand-up is just like Bernard. I guess he really *is* Bernard.

I have been lucky enough to meet Bill Bailey - he is a man who is really in to books and literature, so it is always smile inducing to see him playing someone working in a bookshop (or more than one bookshop actually ...)
posted by Megami at 8:38 AM on August 7, 2014


What a strange article. Black Books is more accessible because it's "random" compared to dramas? And then it picks "Sherlock" as a long-form drama, when it's three episodes per series with an independent story in each? Yeah, there's a little continuity to Sherlock but it's not an impediment to jumping in. (And Downton is pretty random. Remember the presumptive heir who, all in one episode, turned up with his head all bandaged, briefly changed the game completely and then solved the problem by making himself scarce because he didn't want to be a bother or something?)
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:43 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]




...it's squarely within the Channel 4 Sean Hughes / Spaced / Father Ted quirky locus.

Black Books and Spaced shared a producer (Nira Park, also of Cornetto Trilogy fame), and you'll see cameos from both series in each other. And of course Moran and Greig were in Shaun of the Dead as well.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:18 AM on August 7, 2014


AAGH! I can PLAY!
posted by flabdablet at 9:41 AM on August 7, 2014


Oh, and what's fun is to watch Spaced, Hyper Drive and Black Books all in a weekend.

Kevin Eldon Kevin Eldon Kevin Eldon
Kevin Eldon is in everrrrrrryyyyyy thiiiiiiing

(For serious: he only has a big role in Hyperdrive, but Kevin shows up in all three of those)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:57 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think I read that Bill Bailey did a series about birding, which I have not been able to find, but really want to at some point.

He is also an amazing musician. Doctor Qui?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:07 AM on August 7, 2014


His two-part "Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero" series about getting naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace the recognition he deserves (out from under the shadow of Darwin) was phenomenal.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:40 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kevin shows up in all three of those)

I love his character in Black Books.

'Dirty.'
posted by winna at 11:25 AM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wish there really was a show called Downtown Abbey


She prefers "Downtown Abigail."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:27 PM on August 7, 2014


I work round the corner, and didn't realise until I was re-watching it a few months ago, and Manny ran past my office in one of the scenes. It's still a bookshop, but the interior is very different to the show. Fran's shop is now all flats (one was for sale or rent I think a few weeks ago).
posted by Helga-woo at 12:52 PM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Tamsin Greig was in an episode of Dr Who (along with that Pegg person)...
posted by edgeways at 1:18 PM on August 7, 2014


And she was in Green Wing, which I loved, as was Mark Heap (Brian from Spaced) and, once again... Kevin Eldon.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:24 PM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


The lovely and talented Tamsin was also one of the Velvets in the TV adaptation of "Neverwhere." I'd really love to see her in more stuff. She's just so sharply and interestingly beautiful. If I could make myself look exactly like anyone in the world, it would be her.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 4:14 PM on August 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Peter Serafinowicz

Mrs. Example and I are constitutionally incapable of seeing him on screen without saying "DO YOU WANT ME TO COME, FRAN?".


For me, it's either that, or "bon-bon-bon-bons".
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:03 PM on August 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


If you love Tamsin Greig and Mark Heap, you should watch Friday Night Dinner!
posted by winna at 5:17 PM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've very much wanted to like this show. I have watched a few episodes, but I can't get past the laugh track. Periodically I see a scene gif online, read it, laugh, decide to bring the episode up on Netflix and the cringe as the laugh track assaults me with it canned dictation of when I'm to be amused. This show would be much sharper without it.
posted by bionic.junkie at 8:41 PM on August 7, 2014


Big Train. Seriously. Now that is a sketch show in my personal 90s triumvirate that includes KITH and Mr. Show for best TV sketch of my generation (as much as I love Python, they premiered when I was 3 months old, you know?).

A sample.

Big Train was the launching pad for Pegg, Tate, Heap, Eldon, and Mathews and Linehan as writers. And I bought the box set on Amazon UK. I learned to tweak my DVD player specifically so I could watch this, The League of Gentlemen, and Black Books.


I'm not responsible if you're up half the night disturbing your neighbors with laughter, OK?
posted by droplet at 9:28 PM on August 7, 2014


(this is good)
posted by flabdablet at 11:55 PM on August 7, 2014


This one is one of my favorites.
posted by winna at 1:56 PM on August 10, 2014


I also love Bruiser.
posted by winna at 5:06 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


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