Author Topic: Black Books  (Read 7177 times)

Artie Fufkin

  • Let Me In, Sparks
Re: Black Books
« Reply #150 on: May 22, 2020, 10:23:37 AM »
Come on, that's "I'm a PROSTITUTE robot from the future"!
Yes. You're right, of course. I can only apologise.

Artie Fufkin

  • Let Me In, Sparks
Re: Black Books
« Reply #151 on: May 22, 2020, 10:26:14 AM »
(see also; Coupling).
This is on the agenda to re-watch at some point soon. Remember loving it at the time. I've had the box set for ages. Never been opened.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #152 on: May 22, 2020, 12:25:48 PM »
This is on the agenda to re-watch at some point soon. Remember loving it at the time. I've had the box set for ages. Never been opened.

Not as good as it could've been, nowhere near as bad as its reputation suggests. Not remotely a Friends clone, despite the lazy reviews.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #153 on: May 22, 2020, 12:33:27 PM »
Not as good as it could've been, nowhere near as bad as its reputation suggests. Not remotely a Friends clone, despite the lazy reviews.

It was a Seinfeld clone, wasn't it? Ian Coyle was basically Welsh George Constanza.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Black Books
« Reply #154 on: May 22, 2020, 01:08:13 PM »
"I've got too many legs" is a classic story in that one episode and I remember the parallel real-time split screen episode but the rest of it, I seem to just remember hating all the characters except the Welsh lad.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #155 on: May 22, 2020, 02:08:09 PM »
I ATE YOUR BEES

Jim Bob

  • (aka Right Said Brett)
Re: Black Books
« Reply #156 on: May 22, 2020, 08:44:34 PM »
...I seem to just remember hating all the characters except the Welsh lad.

Jeff & Jane = Fantastic oddball characters

Steve & Susan = Inoffensive but bland characters

Patrick & Sally = Deeply unlikable characters

samadriel

  • WHA' HAPPEN?
Re: Black Books
« Reply #157 on: May 22, 2020, 08:52:14 PM »
Take it to the Coupling thread, wiseguy!

THEY ALL DRINK LEMONADE... THE END!

Re: Black Books
« Reply #158 on: May 23, 2020, 01:31:51 AM »
Here's an obscure challenge for you all. There's a bit of music used in the episode The Big Lockout (DailyMotion video here, skip to 14:27) that's also in the adventure game Samorost. I vaguely recognise it and think it might be from something else. Does anyone know?

Re: Black Books
« Reply #159 on: May 23, 2020, 01:40:56 AM »
Here's an obscure challenge for you all. There's a bit of music used in the episode The Big Lockout (DailyMotion video here, skip to 14:27) that's also in the adventure game Samorost. I vaguely recognise it and think it might be from something else. Does anyone know?

Sounded to me like background music from the old Twilight Zone, or a bit like Miles Davis.. Sketches Of Spain etc, but my phone tells me it's Diabolus by The Cinematic Orchestra.

Mister Six

  • Ridiculously teacakes
Re: Black Books
« Reply #160 on: May 23, 2020, 01:45:42 AM »
Just that it's fine for a performance to be broad if it suits the style of the show. Maybe not a point worth making but I've seen a lot of criticism about traditional sitcom performances lately, and there's still as much skill and craft required in exaggerated clowning as in a really natural performance.

Perhaps more, in a way. Tina Fey enthuses about Alec Baldwin in her book Bossy Pants for his ability to land a joke in an overtly comic way while simultaneously maintaining the dramatic reality of the scene. It's a hard balance, and something that even some very accomplished dramatic actors struggle with.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #161 on: May 23, 2020, 01:52:27 AM »
Sounded to me like background music from the old Twilight Zone, or a bit like Miles Davis.. Sketches Of Spain etc, but my phone tells me it's Diabolus by The Cinematic Orchestra.

Cheers! When I asked Siri it had no idea. Useless thing.

samadriel

  • WHA' HAPPEN?
Re: Black Books
« Reply #162 on: May 23, 2020, 02:00:19 AM »
I tried asking Shazam, that thing is a fucking idiot.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #163 on: May 23, 2020, 02:06:09 AM »
I just used Google voice search, as soon as it hears music it displays a button for music searches, found it straight away. I don't know why, I don't use Shazam but I've been with people Shazamming stuff and Google seems to find stuff much faster for some reason.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #164 on: May 23, 2020, 02:08:04 AM »
AFAIK Siri uses Shazam.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Black Books
« Reply #165 on: May 23, 2020, 01:44:57 PM »
I think it's supposed to sound like the Bernard Herrmann music from Taxi Driver isn't it?

Re: Black Books
« Reply #166 on: May 24, 2020, 01:06:43 AM »
Lots of good stuff said in this thread.

One difference between Black Books and the IT Crowd is that, despite being set in a book shop, the number of literary references in Black Books are relatively few. There's the guy who comes in looking for Wodehouse, there's the time when Bernard reads Freud and psychoanalyses Manny. There's not much more than that (not sure The Little Book of Calm counts), apart from situational references to physical books (the mouldy Eliots). The main literary element is the way Bernard talks, which is clearly influenced from him being an avid reader. His references are also more literary (on Manny: "Half Fu-Manchu, half Iago, all bastard"). But that's an artefact of who is he as a character, and Fran and Manny don't talk like that.

As mentioned already, the references in the IT crowd don't feel character based (e.g. Guided by Voices) and just seem like empty games of spot-the-reference.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #167 on: May 24, 2020, 03:09:29 AM »
The Guided by Voices reference irritated me because Jen followed it up by claiming that she'd heard every song of theirs, which everyone knows is a physical impossibility. This is the worst thing Linehan's ever done.

An tSaoi

  • The Prodigal Cunt
Re: Black Books
« Reply #168 on: May 24, 2020, 01:24:13 PM »
I think the second and third series are a little bit more wobbly that the first, but I wouldn't call it a major decline in quality.

S2 has my least favourite episode though, "The Fixer", where Fran goes to work for Rob Brydon, who is alternatively nasty and nice (like that Eric Idle butcher sketch, but rubbish), and Manny gets involved with a cockney gangster. The gangster turns out to be a little person who uses a stepladder to get into a chair. Bernard calls him a midget, Manny objects, and Bernard says "it's alright, he won't hear, his ears are too small". Urgh. The episode also suffers by referring to never-before-seen characters – Gus and Danny and Nugent – and it's hard to keep track of the names.

As Hand Solo mentioned, the "going on a date with a closeted gay man" plot also appears in The IT Crowd, only with the added punchline that "maybe it's because you look like a man". That joke doesn't work at all with Katherine Parkinson, but it would probably have worked better with Fran. I'm not saying Tamsin Greig looks like a man, but – how do I put it – she has shorter hair, a slimmer build and more of a "one of the lads" attitude than Jen, so it would be a less bizarre rationale. I've always wondered if Glinner came up with that punchline after the Black Books episode was finished, and – George Costanze style – decided to redo the story just so he could end on that line.

There's a funny moment that doesn't get a laugh: Bernard gets locked out, and goes to the cinema, not realising the film has been cancelled. We see him sitting alone in silence. Later, when he complains about what a terrible day he has had, he mentions going to an awful abstract art film, just two hours of nothing. No reaction from the studio audience, who either can't remember that bit, or the prerecorded scenes haven't been screened yet.

BeardFaceMan

  • Safely ensconced on top of the bathroom cabinet
    • mixes'n'mashes
Re: Black Books
« Reply #169 on: May 24, 2020, 01:53:02 PM »
The Guided by Voices reference irritated me because Jen followed it up by claiming that she'd heard every song of theirs, which everyone knows is a physical impossibility.

That's the joke, isn't it?

Re: Black Books
« Reply #170 on: May 24, 2020, 02:08:20 PM »
There's also the Goliath Books episode in series 3 where Simon Pegg plays a very Denholm type boss character who's obsessed with TEAMS. Linehan wasn't involved by then but was probably taking notes, there's another episode in that series where the exterminator jumps out of the window.

magval

  • Magnum Valentino
Re: Black Books
« Reply #171 on: May 24, 2020, 02:28:41 PM »
Ricky Grover's great in The Fixer though. "And your mums", that's what he says.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #172 on: May 25, 2020, 03:20:38 PM »
From the Glinner hole:

I remembered this interview from December 2017, where Graham talks about why he left Black Books after the first series. He seemingly pins it on Dylan Moran's insecurity, but given what I know now I'd like to know Dylan's side of the story.

https://clyp.it/2ps2ycpz

Re: Black Books
« Reply #173 on: May 25, 2020, 03:27:28 PM »
From the Glinner hole:

"Your life is dripping away on stuff that's unpleasant"
Unwittingly prescient of him, there.


Re: Black Books
« Reply #174 on: May 25, 2020, 04:22:22 PM »
I think it's a bit unfair to look at Linehan having a creative disagreement with someone years ago and imagine that it must have been his fault because he's now a deranged twat about trans stuff. It sounds like it was a completely different sort of disagreement, just creative stuff, no reason to assume it involved politics or whatever.

Re: Black Books
« Reply #175 on: May 25, 2020, 04:27:53 PM »
Edit - Wrong thread
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 06:33:28 PM by popcorn »

Re: Black Books
« Reply #176 on: May 25, 2020, 06:15:06 PM »
I think it's a bit unfair to look at Linehan having a creative disagreement with someone years ago and imagine that it must have been his fault because he's now a deranged twat about trans stuff. It sounds like it was a completely different sort of disagreement, just creative stuff, no reason to assume it involved politics or whatever.

Yeah, that's fair. I only shared it as it shed some light on the dynamic between him and Moran on Black Books that I wasn't aware of before.

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