Y'know what I hate? When people label a character/season/anything from a piece of fictional media as "underrated/overrated" and yet, never explain why. Some say Revenge of The Island is underrated, but not me. Personally I thought it was "meh" and bland beginning to end. Way too repetitive to enjoy. I'm not here to call Justin "underrated" and force you people to like him, that isn't the point of this article. This is for people that call him "flat" and "a pathetic antagonist." Yes, he is a pathetic antagonist, but it's done intentionally and in a very clever way.
It always makes me sad when Justin gets so much hate and Alejandro gets praised by fans. Not that I am putting Alejandro down, he is a great character who earned and deserves all the fans he has, but I am among the few that thinks Justin was even more well written, fleshed out, complex, and deserves just as much, if not more praise, as Alejandro gets.
Whether you like, dislike or just do not care for Justin, I sincerely hope you read this blog and think about Justin after you are done.
In order to fully understand Justin's character, you have to take a deeper look into his past, even before he was in Total Drama. I am referring to his biography from season one. It gives us an in-depth view of the kind of person he truly is. Justin was born handsome, he was born a test tube baby that his mother wanted because she knew he would be good looking.
Justin has always been a looker. As a child, old ladies lined up to pinch those magnificent cheeks. This led to him becoming a successful child model and he hasn't stopped working since. His fifth grade teacher had to send him to the principal's office just so the rest of the class could get some work done.
He's a straight-A student, but there is a doubt to whether he earned a single one of those grades.
People just feel compelled to give Justin stuff for free so he doesn't have to work for a living like other mortals. For this reason, Justin will donate his winnings to his favourite charity, the Unattractive Looking People Wish Foundation. No one knows why he auditioned for Total Drama Island and no one really cares...they are just soooo glad he did.
These sections are more then just jokes from the writers, it is intentional. Justin had everything handed to him on a silver platter since he was a young little boy, he never had to work hard to get what he wanted he just used his looks for everything. Most people think that if Justin was ugly, he would have killed himself because of how much of a loser he is, but that is not true at all, if Justin had been born ugly he would have been a completely different person from what he is now, either a better or worse person (but most likely a better one). After all he would never have everything handed to him in life, he would have to work harder in life since no one would care about him, and his personality would be completely different. As a kid, his brain was still developing and he grew a huge dependence on his looks because he thought that's all he needed to get through his life, thus he is a very lazy and unconfident person and was very used to easily relying on other people. That's all he needed to get through life, right?
That poor pathetic fool....
On Total DramaEdit
Even in the first two seconds he was introduced, everyone on the show immediately loved Justin without even knowing who he is or what his name was. Everyone loved Justin in the first five minutes loved him solely for his looks, even Owen. This reminds him all he needs are his looks, he does not need to work hard to win the show, all he needs is his looks to win this show.
People ALWAYS forget what he did in The Big Sleep, it foreshadowed his antagonistic role in the very next season, and added a layer to his character. He wants to actually play this game, and he thought he could get away with it since he gets away with everything thanks to his looks, but Chris didn't buy it at all.
Then came his unfair elimination, Heather may have been attracted to Justin, but she would never put a boy ahead of the main prize the winner gets, while it is never explained why she never randomly targeted Justin, I think she just wanted to get rid of him for his overwhelming popularity among the girls on the show and even a few male characters (especially Owen). Nobody left on the show was happy to see Justin be eliminated in Heather's place, everyone was angry about it and Justin did not understand why he was eliminated. What did he do wrong? This is a major turning point for Justin's character as he begins to play the game more seriously, using charm and talking more often in the following season.
Then came the Total Drama, Drama, Drama, Drama Island episode. Justin charms Katie and Sadie the entire episode because he doesn't want to work alone. He eventually gets annoyed by the girls constant chatter and ditches them in a cave. He encounters Gwen, Trent, and Leshawna and knows well he can manipulate the girls with his looks. He charms them (even Gwen who has a boyfriend at the time) and gets them to tell him where they already looked for the case so he does not have to waste time. It is clear by this point Justin is a nasty person, he depends entirely on his looks because that's all he ever needed in his life to get what he wanted. He may be sixteen years old, but he is still an insecure little boy underneath.
Justin qualifies for season two for being very close to the case.
Total Drama ActionEdit
Justin starts out the season being a lot more vocal, sneaky, and manipulative than he was in his short tenure in the previous season. From the very beginning, he uses his good looks to his advantage by charming everyone around him. In the first episode, he charms the monster into gently placing him into the inflatable holding pit (instead of just dropping him like the rest of the cast). He is put on the Killer Grips, and it is here when he really starts to use his strategy to full play. Knowing how Beth and Lindsay are infatuated with him (to the point they even fight for his affections), Justin reveals that he is going to use Beth's growing feelings for him to his advantage. After accepting her friendship bracelet, he hopes that he can lure her into an alliance to do whatever he wants. This parallels the way how Heather used them in the past. Justin effectively takes the mantle of the main antagonist for the first half of the season, giving everyone the impression that he is a nice person and looking out for their best interests. ~Copy and pasted from Justin page.
I could not have written that more perfectly myself so I decided to copy and paste it.
Justin has learned from his mistakes in Island where he was unfairly eliminated in Heather's place. He is using his looks for more than just what he feels he deserves now, now he uses them to get ahead in the competition. He knows he needs an alliance since just looks didn't help him last time, he needs an alliance and he knew Lindsay and Beth were both attracted to him despite them both having boyfriends at the time.
Unluckily for Justin, infatuation is a temporary occurrence, the girls' feelings for him don't take long to wear thin and they eventually get sick of his lazy attitude during challenges. Lindsay and Beth both grow to dislike Justin and he begins to panic. His obsession over his looks being damaged is more then a running gag, it makes sense. All his life Justin had everything handed to him thanks to his looks, if he lost his looks he would lose everything. He begins seeing himself as a hideous beast, and obsesses more over his looks then the competition.
Which leads to his downfall at the hands of Courtney...
While not as enjoyable as Heather's hair getting shaved, this one is close second in my opinion. In The Princess Pride Justin meets his downfall. He begins to notice that Courtney is taking this show more seriously then anyone else left on the show and asks her for a few pointers. But when she is chosen to be the fair princess of the episode, he grows infatuated with her, just like Beth and Lindsay and all the other girls he manipulated with were all those years.
Courtney notices his feelings for her, and she likes it. She begins flirting with him and feeds his ego to make him see himself as more deserving then Duncan for Courtney's hand since he saw him "cheat" (I know he didn't cheat on Courtney ((at the time)) but I am just going to call it that) on Courtney with Gwen in Action. He manipulates Harold into helping him take down Duncan then backstabs Harold and takes Courtney for himself, since she obviously loves him, right?
Courtney did not like Justin at all. She just used him like he used Katie, Sadie, Leshawna, Gwen, Beth, Lindsay, and all those innocent people his entire life with his charms. He got to experience what all those girls felt every time he manipulated, used, and dumped them after they outlived their usefulness to him. After Chris announces there can only be one winner, Courtney plays innocent ("If that's how it has to be... *frowns") and Justin tries to act like a man, he offers Courtney his sword as he does not believe she will actually betray him. But she doesn't. She wants immunity way more then some pretty boy.
Justin is in the bottom two, and has a miserable expression on his face after Courtney says "This is an outrage! Justin should be going home!" as he now knows without a lingering doubt she did not like him. When he is eliminated no one left on the show cares, not Beth, Lindsay, or even Courtney. Duncan and Harold say goodbye but don't seem like they really mean it since he backstabbed them.
Now Justin's life is ruined, when he lose his looks in total drama action he lost everything.
It is the perfect downfall to a boy that was once named Justin.
I'm not saying you should like him, just that you should learn from him. He is not a flat character by any means. And people that say Courtney debuted at the halfway point because the writers thought he didn't work as an antagonist... people who say that have no idea what they're talking about. Courtney was supposed to overthrow Justin from the start of Action, if they "realized he didn't work" they would've just made him more clever and a better villain. Not to mention the whole thing is planned out from the beginning in storyboards, they didn't "realize he didn't work as an antagonist," they KNEW he wouldn't work since that's the POINT.