I love the show “The Office” I am actually watching the fourth season right now and laughing as much as usual. However, there is one issue that has always bugged me about the show no matter how much the resulting situations make me laugh.
The character is Jan. When we first meet Jan she is a no nonsense business woman. She puts up with Michael yet gets her job done. She oversees several different franchises and handles herself well. Then we start to get to know her. It starts with her and Michael hooking up which is an honest mistake…I think most of us have a “why that guy” moment, but its’ the start of her downfall. First, she hooks up with him and puts her job at risk. Then we start to see the “real” Jan, emotionally desperate and slightly crazy. She is controlling, obsessive, going to therapy for her issues. She makes Michael Scott, one of the most disgusting people, sympathetic. Jan continues her downward spiral as she self-combusts, stops caring about work, and gets fake breasts as a way to feel better about herself after a break-up. In season four, we get to see her in all her glory. A woman who doesn’t work, abuses her caring boyfriend, becomes jealous and threatening to other women in the office and a drunk who only cares about money.
I know that The Office likes to make a mockery of all types of office employees: the annoying boss, socially awkward employee, crazy cat girl and the crazy girlfriend but the whole “women in power are actually crazy” is just a little too much for me. It’s similar to the arguments made in multiple crap articles: that women who love their job or work hard are really miserable because what they want is a boyfriend. The minute Jan and Michael start down their path Jan seems to completely fall apart and self-sabotage. The series went this way, to a slightly lesser scale, with Karen and now with the new head of Human Resources being a woman I am interesting to the path they will have her take.