Our middle child, who has spent his life mocking British television shows, is on the verge of becoming an Anglophile.
We were stunned to learn that Bryan saw the “Downton Abbey” movie, which was better than he expected. He’s also secretly enjoying the TV program.
Twice, his girlfriend has caught him watching the show on his own.
Bryan, 33, has been badmouthing British TV for 25 years. He grew up in a household where “Masterpiece Theater” aired every Sunday night. Bryan grew tired of hearing the theme music and the posh British accents. He equated it to torture.
Bryan took his girlfriend to the “Downton Abbey” movie as a favor to Kel.
“It was not half-bad,” he said. “It was a good movie.” The film “was about two hours too long,” but it had some dry humor and snarky wit, he said.
Bryan’s favorite character is Carson, the butler. “I can relate to Carson. We both live to serve,” Bryan says.
After seeing the film, Bryan and Kel have watched a few episodes of the TV series together. He went ahead without her a couple of times.
He’s kept watching the show, he says, because he wanted context. So much happened in the movie that he needed backstory.
But he thinks he’ll keep watching the series.
“I’d be open to it,” he said. The producers have a good way of moving the story along and engaging the viewer, he said.
But not always. Sometimes, the show bogs down in scenes “where it’s a bunch of old women talking about things that don’t matter. That’s when they lose me.”
Still, “There’s something about it that keeps me coming back.”
“Bryan’s upbringing was always going to catch up with him. It just took him over 30 years to accept that period pieces and elegant accents were his destiny,” says his sister, Brenna.
Bryan is a huge fan of the movie “Titanic.” On the first episode of the “Downton Abbey” TV series, one of the relatives has gone down on the Titanic. So that probably helped draw Bryan’s interest.
Bryan admits that “Downton Abbey” is well-made. The house is so impressive he thought it was a creation of CGI.
Giving Carson more credit than he deserves, Bryan likes what the butler has done with the landscaping. “He runs a tight ship,” he says.
Bryan also likes Bates, the valet who was wounded in the Boer War.
But Bryan doesn’t understand the British aristocracy. He doesn’t know why the members of the Crawley family are lounging around in “straight-up formal wear” on a Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking of formal wear, Bryan and Kel haven’t yet set a date.
But now that we all attended a wedding last weekend and Bryan enjoyed the “Downton Abbey” film, “We’re the next great love story,” he said.
They’ll probably call each other Lady Kel and Lord Bryan.
His older brother says his kid brother has slowed down.
“Domestic bliss and age have softened Bryan and shifted his interests from three-day music festivals and whiskey to the BBC and white wine,” Benj says.
Bryan is even starting to talk like a Brit.
Had he been plied with white wine, elegant food “and leather recliners, maybe you’d have gotten more of my attention and less of my disdain,” he wrote.
Jeff Bahr is a reporter for The Independent. He may be reached at (308) 381-9408.