Before I start, I’m just going to say that the only characters who didn’t do something shitty in both musical or movie would be Betty Finn, Martha Dunnstock, and Dennis. That’s it. If you try to say anyone else didn’t do one shitty thing, yikes.
Alright. So, Jason Dean is a pretty shitty human being, I get it. But, quote from the author’s note in the Heathers musical script that, I personally think sums it up pretty well before I go into a rambling mess.
“Most villains don’t think they’re villains; they rationalize villainous behavior with “it’s what I had to do to fix my problem.” So it is with Heathers. You’ll get best results when your characters avoid excessive or gratuitous cruelty and negativity and instead play up solutions and hope…Dan Waters had an idea to tell a story about a school as cruel as the real world, and the kids who tried to change it.”
I won’t go into J.D.’s history too much because that’s been played out a million times. What all has he grown up with but Bud’s destructive behaviors, both in his occupation and presumably in his home life? Destruction is all J.D. knows, to an extent.
His main point was to make the world better, and though his execution was poorly picked, he MEANT WELL. “Make the world a decent place for people who are decent.” So, @people who seem stuck that he only did what he did for Veronica, no. The big plan was to stop assholes from being assholes by any means necessary and he overstepped it by a long shot.
To say that Jason Dean is completely a monster is to wash out every other aspect about him, just as to praise Heather Chandler (which, I’d like to point out is just was all the students who fake mourn her are doing) is to erase all the wrong she did.
One of the points of this story is to show that teenagers are humans and they make mistakes, and J.D. is no exception. I’m not saying what he did was right, because it was NOT, but the meaning behind it was GOOD. You have to take in every aspect of him as a character to understand him, to do otherwise is to disrespect the story, the writers, etc.
The murders: Make the world better for better people. Good idea, bad way of going about it.
Going to kill Veronica: Concerned about her fessing up, hope to get her back. Super duper Shitty.
Trying to blow up the school: VERY EXTRA INTENSE SHITTY. He’s incredibly unstable at this point.
Blowing himself up: Kind of redemption, he’s stepping back and realizing that, y’know. This didn’t work and he trusts Veronica to fix things her way.
To defend Heather Chandler, Kurt Kelly, or Ram Sweeney by pulling the “they were only seventeen” card, you have to do the same for Jason Dean.
** THIS GOES FOR BOTH MOVIE AND MUSICAL JASON DEAN LMAO STEP OFF ME WITH THIS ‘MUSICAL JD IS A BETTER PERSON’ NONSENSE.
what she means: If you look at Freeze Your Brain at face value, you could easily interperet it as simply about JD’s fixation on 7/11 and his issues oversharing. But it’s really more about a place that feels normal and familiar and safe in a frightening and new situation. It’s easy to overlook this, as a lot of the song is made to be comedic. Take the lines “When mom was alive/we lived halfway normal./Now it’s just me and my dad,/we’re less formal” for example. During the musical, it’s easy to focus more on Veronica freaking out than on JD’s words and their meaning. This is done intentionally, as if to show that JD hides how hurt he is about his mother’s death with other emotions, as many people do. Towards the end, it is shown that JD uses slushies to control a possible self-harm habit and self-destructive thoughts, and that’s when the gravity of the song hits you. Despite sounding light-hearted, Freeze Your Brain is about a teenager trying to hold onto the one place that makes him feel safe and happy no matter where he is. If you consider the possibility that his mother introduced him to 7/11, it’s also about trying to recapture childhood emotions, despite the fact that so many things have changed.