(Long sigh). So we’ve been really quiet about the How I Met Your Mother finale. [Ariel says: RAGE BLACKOUT.] Ariel and I were both huge fans of this show and while we certainly had lots of complaints about its quality throughout its run, those were nothing compared to how bad the finale was. We have gathered that the show was not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s totally fine (despite us running a blog called Bad Books, Good Times, we’re not actually that concerned with other people sharing our own opinions on what is “good” or “bad”), but even if you thought the show was bad, the finale was on a whole other level of bad. I even thought about doing a proper, line-by-line BBGT-style breakdown of the last episode, but got too angry just thinking about it. I literally cannot articulate how bad it was and how angry it made me, and I’ve spent almost two years writing a blog where all I do is articulate how bad works of fiction are and how angry they make me. [Ariel says: I feel the same. You’d think at this point it would come easily to us to tear something like that apart, but I think the difference is that we were actually emotionally invested in this case, whereas I’ve never cared about whether or not Travis will get to put a ring on it. I’ve only cared about whether or not Kara will finally murder Trabby.]
So in case anyone is actually interested in my thoughts on the How I Met Your Mother finale, the only way I could talk about it was by framing it with a satirical discussion of (not kidding) Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus. It’s over on Abstract Magazine, because 1) it’s not the sort of piece that really belongs on BBGT, and 2) you guys should totes be reading Abstract by now anyway because it’s awesome and I only have a little bit of bias because it’s run by my friends and whatnot.
[Ariel says: My boyfriend sent me a link to Matt’s piece warning me that Matt had written something about the HIMYM finale that was going to really annoy me. Almost immediately, I was like, “No, I know this tone. Thank god, this is Matt’s satire voice.” Blog BFFs 4ever.]
But I digress! Let’s move on to something less frustrating and insipid than the How I Met Your Mother finale: the penultimate chapter of Walking Disaster!
Chapter 28: Mr. and Mrs.
Man, after 27 chapters of will-they/won’t-they dramatic tension, these crazy kids finally worked through all their problems and the previous chapter ended with them agreeing to go get married! I bet after all that build-up, the wedding is going to be ca-raaaazy!
America slammed on the brakes, and raised an eyebrow. “You nearly get my best friend killed at one of your stupid fights, then you bring her to Vegas and marry her when I’m out of town”
WE READ ALL THAT BULLSHIT JUST TO SKIP THE WEDDING?
[Ariel says: At least they didn’t spend a whole book on the wedding that was then completely undermined in the last chapter…]
I honestly can’t think of a single way McGuire could have made this story worse. We had to read an entire book’s worth of repetitive fights and getting together/breaking up scenes telling the story, and we don’t even get to read the wedding it all culminates in? Could you imagine if you actually liked this story? If you were genuinely invested in Travis and Abby and seeing their love develop? This would be like if MacBeth skipped MacBeth’s death. This would be like if you sat through the three Star Wars prequels telling the story of Anakin becoming Darth Vader, but it skipped all the scenes where Anakin actually gets put in the Darth Vader suit. [Ariel says: It would be like never getting to read about Katniss competing in a hunger game.] This would be like if you watched nine seasons of How I M– nope, moving on.
America is also irritated that Travis and Abby felt the wedding wasn’t a particularly important detail to actually include in their story, although not for the same reasons.
“So not only can I not be the maid of honor, but I can’t even witness it?”
Ah, America. Never putting herself first.
“C’mon, Mare. I wish I could say I’m sorry, but I’m married to the love of my life.”
“The love of your life is a Harley!” America seethed. […]
“Not anymore!” I begged.
Jamie McGuire is so bad at showing and not telling, she skipped the wedding in favor of Travis just saying he loves Abby. Guess a wedding would have been too subtle. [Ariel says: I’m relieved we didn’t have to hear their gross vows which undoubtedly pretended that most of this book wasn’t about Abby trying not to be in a relationship with Travis.]
Travis and Abby muse on having another wedding over the summer for friends and family. Shepley and America reveal they’ve been talking about getting their own place. These are all apparently much more important things than Travis and Abby’s wedding.
“Oh, shit,” I said. “We gotta tell Dad.”
Abby’s face turned white. “We do?”
Does Jamie McGuire just flip a coin whenever she’s trying to decide if something is important? It makes no sense that a person wouldn’t realize this is important.
Travis buys Abby a car because these are the richest goddamn college kids in the world. We learn in an aside that Adam, the guy who organized all the fights, was arrested for the fire that dozens of people died in last chapter, which I guess is also when this town’s police force was finally established. [Ariel says: Also is this meant to say that Adam was the villain all along, and while Travis didn’t deserve to get arrested, this guy did? Choose a better fight club venue next time, asshole, you’re under arrest. And what about the lanterns? No one caught those motherfuckers?]
I knew that the news of our marriage would be a welcome distraction from the grim reality of losing classmates in such a horrific way.
“Sure, it really sucked that Susie died in a fire, but at least two kids I’m not friends with just got married!” [Ariel says: So this whole fucking book Abby has lamented the attention of The Students Without Netflix, but now Trabby is using the students’ baffling obsession with them for the power of good? Such selflessness.]
Much like you would expect by this point, everybody – students, professors, etc – are all totally believably invested in Trabby’s marriage and are super happy for them.
Even my psych professor offered me a small smile and nod when she overheard my answer to questions about whether the rumor was true.
There’s a paragraph where Travis muses on how, now that he’s married to Abby, he’s “finally lived up to who [my mother] wanted me to be”. Oh, good! I’m glad we got closure to this thing that was mentioned once on the first few pages of the book and then never again until just now. She’s probably smiling down on all your emotional manipulation and sexual assault from heaven, Travis. [Ariel says: It was all she ever wanted for her son, Matt. Don’t you understand!!]
The chapter ends (don’t worry, there’s an epilogue) with Trabby telling Travis’s dad about their marriage, and these incredibly unsettling words:
“I wonder what Mom would say if she were here,” I said.
Dad pulled back, his eyes wet with happy tears. “She’d say you did good, son.” He looked at Abby. “She’d say thank you for giving her boy back something that left him when she did.”
Just what every woman wants to hear.
It just occurred to me, though, that since we’re slightly ahead in the narrative in Walking Disaster, maybe Ariel’s Beautiful Disaster post next week will actually include the wedding? Maybe Abby thinks Abby and Travis’s wedding is more important than Travis did. [Ariel says: No. It just skips to the epilogue, which is America yelling at her. I think you may have gotten more than I did. I think we’d have to read that Beautiful Wedding shit in order to get the wedding. So rude.]