Usually, a Stream It is a movie, but sometimes you need something a little bit more involved to get you through a long, rainy weekend or several weeks (or months) of crappy TV choices. So this week, I’m breaking with tradition to bring you the BBC television series, Monarch of the Glen. After all, once Downton Abbey‘s over, you’ll need a new failing manor struggling to become solvent in changing modern times (and this one has kilts. And whisky).
Summoned back to his childhood home in the Scottish Highlands, London restaurateur Archie (Alastair Mackenzie) assumes his role as the Laird of Glenbogle and sets out to restore the financially troubled estate back to prominence with help from his family and loyal staff. The final two series of this British drama shift the focus onto Archie’s half-brother Paul (Lloyd Owen) and his struggles to modernize the 40,000-acre property.
Pain-in-the-arse modern man Archie has to quit his fancy life and fancy restaurant in London to go back to Scotland to dig his family manor out of debt and ruin, with the help of a crazy-ass father, tolerant mother, and some loyal (wise and otherwise) staff.
Richard Briers as Hector MacDonald
Unless you’re a die-hard BBC viewer, you probably won’t recognize most of the faces here, except Richard Briers, who always makes me tear up with his performance as Leonato in Much Ado about Nothing and who’s been in a zillion things. He plays Archie’s magnificently nutty father, Hector, the aging laird of Glenbogle.
Alexander Morton as Golly Mackenzie
You also might know Alexander Morton, who plays the all-knowing Golly the Ghillie with sardonic reticence.
Julian Fellowes as Lord Kilwillie
And then you might not recognize his face, but surely you’ll recognize the name — Julian Fellowes frequently appears as the interfering, poncy neighboring laird, Kilwillie.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Small, Committed Group (or Solo)
You probably want to limit the audience here because nothing’s more annoying than having to explain an entire series worth of backstory to someone who decides to pop in and join you for one episode of season 3, and spends the whole time asking, “Wait, who’s that? What’s going on? Why did she say that to him? Are they dating?” Maybe you and your roommate/spouse/one in particular/BFF can make a regular viewing date, or maybe you just want to binge on the whole show over the course of a weekend, but four seasons (well, the last two kind of suck compared to the first two) is quite a commitment.
Recommended Level of Inebriation None Necessary, Though Whisky Wouldn’t Be Unappreciated
Especially by Archie’s father and Kilwillie. Just make sure it’s scotch. You might also want to have a cup of tea handy (spiked or otherwise).
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Strong
As a tv series rather than a movie, this will keep you busy for at least a couple of days, so you already win the time-to-cost game. There’s also a lot of whisky, since the MacDonalds and Kilwillie distill their own, and you can never go wrong with whisky, especially when it’s being consumed by two crazy old men in a boat on a chilly loch. It’s cozy and funny and just perfect for a rainy afternoon or three.