Is Jonathan a jerk?

Jonathan reminds me of the loner "nice guy"I thought I was back in high school when really I was a super judgemental prick. His verbal takedown of Nancy in Season 1 is hot trash. It's all predicated on the idea that he's somehow better than her. I'm down with liking Vonnegut and staying home and I'm pretty antisocial, but there's nothing especially noble about it. It's good to challenge your routing once in a while. And sure, Nancy's dad in particular is a boring mess of a person, but it's not like you can't marry a Steve and have a good interesting life. I've seen rich douches from high school become better people, and Holden Caufield types become increasingly insufferable. Not to say that's the general pattern, just that it goes all directions.

I remember my own thought process back then, and it wasn't good. Cynical, judgemental, thought I had it figured out while everyone else was a poser or an asshole. I don't think I came out of it fully until I was in my mid-30's, and came to realize there's a lot I didn't know. I think being picked on can strengthen you in some ways, but it can also lock you into an adversarial and unforgiving frame of mind. 

Could be I'm projecting my own past dissatisfaction with myself, but a lot of his dialogue resonates in an irritating way.

I'm only 2 episodes into Season 2 and Jim's comments on the podcast got me thinking about this again.


  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    Also curious to see if any of this changes about his character over the rest of this season. 
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited October 2017
    I don't think he's a jerk. I think we have seen a whole lot of great qualities in Jonathon over time, most notably that he is a wonderful and very caring big brother and he does what he can to take care of his family. He is still a teenager, and all teenagers are jerks to some degree, but putting aside the normal teen stuff (and I would qualify what you're saying about him as normal teen jerkiness) I think he's actually a really good guy. He's also a dude whose had it tough which should be considered, especially when you add that he's come out of it with some pretty solid values when it comes to trying to help people.

    To the stuff you mentioned, you also have to take into account that the show has shown Jonathon as a guy who gets pretty consistently crapped on by his peers. He's labeled an "outsider" and you can wonder about the whole chicken and the egg of it all, but it is how he is treated by most of the kids at his school. He has an over-the-top distaste for "normalsy" but that is total teen shit. Not to offend, but most teens are insufferable in a way, and they're supposed to be. Despite it, I think I was a good guy at that age and yet I was completely insufferable as a teen. Mopey and righteous and obnoxious. Everyone has their own way with it, but it's just how teens are. It's that part of life where you are so certain that you have everything figured out because you're not a "kid" anymore, but you really haven't a clue about anything. Everyone went through it, some at a much greater volume than others, but everyone does. I actually think getting older and realizing it is one of the cornerstones to finding some humility and becoming a better adult.

    I actually think Jonathon is a really good kid.
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    Yeah, that's all true. I think at best I'm just neutral on him, and I just don't care enough for the show to spend time on him. That speech to Nancy in the woods soured me on him more than anything.

  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited October 2017
    Oh, he’s THE WORST. He is a creepy stalker and we are supposed to find that romantic. Nooooo. 

    (I might be bitter because I had a super pretentious boyfriend when I was young who was a lot like Jonathan - I never would have watched Mr Mom in front of that guy.)
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