So Evan lied about the book, right? However, the only thing he did as opposed to reading straight from the book was say, "Conversation is the most important part of any relationship." Even if that wasn't really a question... What's the problem? It seems like perfectly sound advice to me. Do you disagree with that statement so vehemently that it's impossible to forgive him for lying?
From a narrative standpoint, there’s no logical reason for the writers to establish Evan as a deceitful character…unless we’re not meant to trust him. If Evan’s personal beliefs about relationships and “who belongs with who” were actually intended to be the word-of-God-gospel-truth, why call his integrity into question by showing/telling us that he’s manipulating the situation with some kind of agenda in mind?
And then they drive home his status as a potential (likely, IMO) narrative “troublemaker” at the end by revealing his parentage. Like yeah, it’s a funny joke and all, but if people think Lauren’s kid (of all people) is truly meant to be some kind of sage-like savior who used deceit to guide everyone to their “happily ever after” as opposed to a wannabe-Sherpa (and fellow teenaged peer) who led them to a pretty but inhospitable mountaintop that they’ll have to come down from eventually…then idk what to tell ‘em.
This isn’t about whether I can “forgive” the character or not. That’s irrelevant. Who cares whether I “forgive” Evan or not? He’s not real, he’s not even a fleshed-out character—he’s a plot device meant to enable the next phase of the story. The point is that this is fiction and the writers had a reason in mind when they chose to make it clear that the Evan character was being deceitful and he was doing so with a personal agenda of some sort. That’s a questionable to me. It’s a big honkin’ red flag.
If I’m supposed to trust this never-seen-before 14 or 15ish year-old character’s word as the Ultimate Truth About Relationships™, then why are the writers showing/telling me that he’s being deceptive? Why are they calling his trustworthiness into question? And why’d they insert those “don’t do that"s whenever Evan went on about his mountain guide dreams? And why have him interrupt the Rilucas scene implying that he “sherpa’d them to the mountaintop” after all the “don’t do that"s? Do people really think we aren’t supposed to draw the blatant connection there?
There’s also the fact that "conversation is the most important thing in any relationship” largely flies in the face of everything BMW ever taught (and therefore what Jacobs/the writers believe) about love—and not just with Corpanga. More than anything else, it was CONNECTION…which has pretty much always been presented as “really looking at each other,” from the BMW days up to now. But we’d be here all night if I tried to get into that in detail right now. In a nutshell though:
What’s most important in a romantic relationship specifically is HOW YOU FEEL and how the other person MAKES YOU FEEL. That’s it. There’s no reason to have a romantic relationship with someone if it doesn’t stem first and foremost from HOW YOU FEEL. (Or in the case of our dear, dear kidiots, how you THINK you feel.)
Love in the BMW universe isn’t rational. It doesn’t care about “supposed to” or magazine quizzes or couple’s books or games or “what’s best for the group” or what some dude you’ve never met before thinks is most important. If “conversation” was the ultimate thing, then Cory should’ve wound up with Angela because he told her she was “really great to talk to,” or Lauren, since he and Topanga never managed to talk all night until they’d been married for nearly 17 years. (Why does it not surprise me that Lauren’s kid thinks it oughta be “conversation”? 😂)
Cory didn’t pick Topanga because he “had so many good conversations” with her or because he didn’t want her talking to anyone else but him about important stuff, he picked Topanga because he couldn’t live without her, which—while romantic af—is not at all rational. He probably could’ve lived without her, he just didn’t want to. And even if we toss Corpanga aside, there’s really NO couple (even the ones who ultimately failed) in the BMW/GMW universe that got together based primarily on having “good conversations” (or the belief that they have them)…not until GM Ski Lodge anyway.
What’s most important in a romantic relationship in particular is the emotional substance of that relationship (which, yes, CAN be shown via conversation, but in other ways as well). A good conversation can happen with almost anybody (Riley and Evan demonstrated this), but it doesn’t automatically follow from there that you “belong together.”
Super close friendships (of the Shory/Rilaya level) and romantic relationships in this particular fictional universe have always been based on far more than “conversation.” Like sure, being able to talk to one another in the first place is an important component of it all, but it’s not the only or even the most important thing. HOW you talk to each other and how that affects you/makes you feel is also an important factor. How those conversations shape you as a person also matters.
(And this is the part where we usually get bogged down in arguments about whether or not encouraging someone about their talent because you want them to be happy, talking about religious beliefs in a way that encourages a cynic to pray, or pushing someone to admit their feelings until they finally cave is a deeper level of connection/affect on another person vs “I might wanna be a vet/Sherpa when I grow up” and “go Knicks!” …but we can swerve on that tonight for the sake of time.)
GM I Do is a really good place to start if you want to see what the writers think a romantic relationship should actually be based on. Regardless of whether you feel like Shawn/Katy was “rushed” or not, it’s pretty clear IMO that GM I Do was intended as a slight (albeit by no means 100% comprehensive) refresher course about what REALLY matters most when it comes to romantic relationships in the BMW/GMW universe.
Funny how “conversation” never came up even once. You’d think if the writers truly believed “conversation” was the most important thing, they’d have used Shawn & Katy to reiterate that point (and therefore shore up Rilucas & Josh/Maya), or that they’d have used it to “sell” Shawn and Katy to us since most of their relationship happened offscreen and Evan’s decree is fresh in our minds from the episode before. But nope. In neither Upstate nor I Do is Shaty’s relationship said to be based primarily (or even at all) on “good conversation.”
Romantic relationships in this particular universe (regardless of whether they’re “endgame” or not 🙄) have always required a helluva lot more than “good conversation.”
So yeah, I disagree with Evan. But judging by basically everything the writers ever taught about love on BMW (and again, not just with Corpanga)…the writers disagree with him too. Even if I “forgave” the character it wouldn’t change how Evan’s assertion falls extremely short of damn near every lesson BMW ever taught about what love is.
I mean, if people want to believe that Jacobs changed his mind and he now believes that “good conversation” is the be all end all of “who should be with who” (even though he’s said that he still believes the same stuff he believed back in the day), you’re obviously well within your rights to do so…but obviously I don’t agree that’s the case.