Thursday, June 5, 2008

Monarch of the Glen

Last year the women of the Lamp Post recommended a BBC show that E and I have become quite addicted to -- Monarch of the Glen. Set in an ancient Scottish castle, the modern son, who had been living in London, must return to the old family castle in Glenbogle, Scotland and try to keep the old place from falling to bits, literally, figuratively, and financially. His aging parents haven't the faintest clue of the severity of their situation nor of the burden of responsibility Archie must now assume as "Laird" of Glenbogle. He now has an ancient castle to attend to, two dotty parents -- the father, played by Richard Brier, is hilarious, three staff members to oversee, a great expanse of land to tend, and tenants to care for, including a rather cheeky teacher of the elementary school, Katrina, whose idea of even having a "laird" is repulsive. But Katrina and Archie seem to be falling for each other, despite their Beatrice-and-Benedick exchanges and arguments and also despite Justine, Archie's London girlfriend and fellow restaurant owner.

The staff are wonderfully brilliant -- Lexie, the cook and housekeeper, is Glenbogle-born-and-bred and has the attitude to prove it; Golly is the old ranger who cares for the animals and the land, and Duncan, who has a huge crush on Lexie who has a crush on Archie, helps Golly care for the extensive acres belonging to the Laird. Add to the mix the two women (or is it three?) in Archie's life, plus his eccentric mother and far more eccentric father, plus a highly-competitive neighbor named Kilwilly, plus a tumble-down castle badly in the red, and we have the makings of an intriguing, warm, sometimes sad, mostly funny, wry, and definitely Scottish television program.

E and I made our way through the first series (season) via Netflix, and this week we're starting Series 2; seven series were made all together. And we plan on watching every. single. one.

On this second season DVD, an advertisement for another BBC series called Ballykissangel piqued our curiosity, and I found that our county library has all six series. It looks as though it takes place in a small Irish town and centers around eccentric townspeople and a young priest. I ordered the first series and will report back when we've watched it.

So there you go -- I've recommended a couple of long BBC series to while away the hot summer days when sitting in a cool living room sipping iced tea is the only way to deal with soaring temperatures each afternoon, right?

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