Black Books centers around the foul tempered and wildly eccentric bookshop owner Bernard Black (Dylan Moran). Bernard's devotion to the twin pleasures of drunkenness and willful antagonism deepens and enriches both his life and that of Manny (Bill Bailey), his assistant. Bearded, gentle, sweet and good, Manny is everything that Bernard isn't and is punished by Bernard relentlessly just for the crime of existing. They depend on each other for meaning as Fran (Tamsin Greig), their oldest friend, depends on them for distraction. Black Books is a haven of books, wine and conversation, the only threat to the group's peace and prosperity is their own limitless stupidity.