I once challenged myself to a drinking game. I think it’s fair to say, I lost. The game went like this: every time they took a drink on Black Books, I also took a drink.
I got through almost a whole bottle of wine inside one episode. I’m surprised I didn’t wind up in hospital.
From the theme music, which sounds like something from Tom Waits, to the glorious setting in a shabby little bookshop, run by an annoyed heavy-drinker and his equally messed up friends, I love everything about Black Books.
When Tamsin Greig’s character, Fran, gives up all her bad habits in one go and becomes an advocate for healthy living, she asks Dylan Moran’s Bernard if he wouldn’t rather be healthy.
Fran: So what’s it like, then, fags and booze?
Bernard: Well. To be honest. After years of smoking and drinking, you do sometimes look at yourself and think.
Bernard: You know, just sometimes in between the first cigarette with coffee in the morning to that 400th glass of corner shop piss at 3am, you do sometimes look at yourself and think…
Bernard: “This is fantastic. I’m in heaven.”