Series 2 of Black Books came out in 2002. I like the short 6 episode seasons that they do in the UK. You can watch a whole season in an afternoon. It's another set I got from the library. The show stars Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig as Bernard, Manny and Fran. Bernard is a broody annoying guy who likes his drinks and smokes. He's a bookstore owner who doesn't like customers. Mind you he doesn't like anyone much. Mannie is the store's employee and Fran is Bernard's best friend. They all have a pile of neuroses that you couldn't lift with a front end loader. Often their brains let them down in the critical thinking and they can do some monumentally stupid things. Smackably stupid. There are some good number of humorous situations, often involving hitting and fungus.
In The Entertainer Fran decides to learn piano so she moves one into Bernard's shop. Ya, sometimes it makes no sense but that's the style. It's hard and she gives it up after a lesson or two. Manny discovers he can play the piano, without lessons. He can play it the regular way with the keys and by using spoons to strike the strings from the inside the piano. Sometimes it gets pretty stupid but often the show is built on that stupid idea. Bernard gets hooked up with a pretty gal but that will self destruct before the episode is over.
In Fever London is hot and Bernard's thought turn to a summer girlfriend. Fran's landlord pushes her wall further into her one room flat so he can add another small apartment. That wall gets pushed back and forth. I do like the surreal nature of the stories at times. Manny has some sort of medical problem that triggers at 88 degrees. Bernard doesn't believe him and keep turning up the heat. Of course it's real and there is some serious damage to the store because of it. Bernard looses his summer girl. Not that it's surprising.
In The Fixer Fran gets a job and loses it without ever knowing what her duties were. Bernard and Manny have to teach an illiterate thug how to read in two days or he'll beat them serious. I'm rooting for the thug guy at this point. Luckily they are saved even though they contributed nothing to that.
Fran finds she has some relatives in Blood. They like her because she has a car and will drive them around. She blows up her car to get rid of them. Fran is stupid but not as stupid as Bernard and Manny who try to re-invent the shop. First they turn it into a cafe then a post restaurant. They have a brief success then totally ruin it. All though this the guys keep hunting unseen creatures in the shop. They must have gotten them all as they never reappear.
In Hello Sun Fran takes up Yoga but it doesn't stick to it long enough for it to have any effect. Freud comes between Bernard and Mannie. Not surprising since the two of them are idiots. They seriously lack any sense at all.
A Nice Change has the trio planning a vacation to get away from the construction noise next door. They plan poorly and wind up with some cheap tickets that shunt them around from airport to airport for a couple of weeks. When they return home the construction is done and the place is a bookstore. End of series.
I'm still having mixed feelings about the series. There are some funny bits but the main characters are still pretty awful. The Brits seem to have a lot of them in their sitcoms and I find it hard to like them a whole lot. Sometimes it just wears a bit thin.
The single disc has all six episodes with a commentary on each by the trio. I enjoyed the commentaries. There's a featurette and some outtakes. Not enough stuff to make me buy the thing but I still enjoyed it enough to put Series 3 on my queue at the Library.