Top-notch whimsical drama from Scotland
R.L. Holly | Austin, TX USA | 02/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Monarch of the Glen is an incredibly solid, well-crafted series from BBC Scotland, and the first two seasons are exactly where a newcomer should begin. Although the individual episodes are self-contained (and usually include multiple storylines), there is a strong continuity among the characters that requires chronological viewing. Series one is the slower of the two here, with so many characters to be introduced and established, but the momentum builds and by series two events are really bouncing along at Glenbogle, the fictitious (but built on solid foundations) Highland estate of young Archie MacDonald. And series three and four are even better.
Impeccably scripted and performed, MOTG brings us the (mis)adventures and troubled relationships of the MacDonald family of Glenbogle plus their assorted friends, families, retainers, and interlopers. Each episode lasts less than an hour, but they are so tightly written and fast-paced that you feel you've watched a full-length feature film every time. This is quality stuff, folks, chock-full of bittersweet romance, generational conflict, the struggle to balance traditional virtues in a modern world, and classic British eccentricity on parade. Richard Briers and Susan Hampshire are particularly marvelous as the doting (and dotty) Hector and Molly MacDonald, Laird and Lady of Glenbogle, but the show revolves around their son Archie (Alastair Mackenzie) and his pursuit of the woman of his dreams (whoever she may be) along with elusive financial solvency for the aging estate. Each episode brings Archie new challenges on both fronts. Can he possibly sort out his love life before his parents drive him crazy? Will Glenbogle again escape the grasping claws of creditors, tax-assessors, and meddling politicians? Will Lord Kilwillie ever manage to boast of the "Tallest Tree in Scotland" or make off with Hector's prize cask of single-malt whisky? The terrific supporting cast and guest stars make this show a treat for any Scot-ophile, and the scenery will make you want to plan your next vacation in the Highlands. Charming as a day in Brigadoon, without the Clan Bogus kitsch.
Best of BBC
Eleanore Gaylets | OLD FORGE, PA United States | 05/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have watched many BBC productions, but this is the greatest of all, I wish they would hurry and release 3 & 4. For 4 nights I have watched the program and have decided to keep this set and not sell as I do with so many others. I will watch them again when they release the others. Archie is the best, Hector is the funniest and I love all things Scottish. If you have a chance to buy this set, go ahead you won't be sorry. Ellie"
Monarch of the Glen--A Rare Treat
Karoly | Western WA-USA | 09/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a series that makes one wish for the Scottish Highlands. It is beautifully written, has breathtaking scenery, and it an easy way to spend a few hours.
Transporting the viewer into the world of Young Laird MacDonald, and the mishaps that plague him at every turn, it quickly engrosses the viewer into the life and moral struggles he faces as he comes to terms with his unwelcomed birthright. Although longing for the independent life he has created, he is dedicated to his family, especially his mother, and does his best to rectify the damage done to his family's assets by years of neglectful management by his father.
The stories move quickly, and are filled with colorful characters, fast and light humor, and scenery of a beautiful country, which is a supporting character in its own right. The costuming is fun, the dialogue appropriate for the setting, and the native wildlife interacted with respectfully. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser, but people who are not familiar with the Scottish brogue or common Scottish slang may have a difficult time with comprehending the supporting characters and their conversations with one another.
Monarch of the Glen is appropriate for most general audiences. There is some mild violence, some inferred mature themes, and some mild oath muttering, but nothing that should be considered offensive to even the most sensitive viewer. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good story, especially those who enjoy the setting of the beautiful Scottish Highlands."
Highlands here I come...
Megan Hennessy | Levittown, PA United States | 08/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Monarch of the Glen is a wonderful Drama brought to us by the BBC Scotland and Ecosse Films. It has fun, lighthearted comedy, romance and whimsey. It is appropriate for all ages, races and backgrounds.
This is just the best programme on television, pure blissful escapism. The beautiful scenery and the greatest characters. Drama, romance and comedy in bucketfuls!
This show has captured my heart. Immense beauty, exciting and real characters, true and truly felt writing, and wonderful actors are only some of the reasons that I can not and will not do without this show.
Monarch of the Glen is a beautiful programme which manages to combine romance, comedy and drama all before the watershed. It appeals to the whole family and the actors are all fantastic. The storylines are great, with many twists and turns but always ending like a fairytale. The amazing scenery is magical and it really takes away the dreading of monday mornings. It is shown in 44 countries and all boglies (fans of monarch) are now eagerly awaiting series six. It has 50 million viewers worldwide and after watching just one episode you'll see why.