Tv & Film
The Office: Superfans Episode That Proves Jan Didn't Ruin Michael's Finances
Fans of "The Office" might hate it when Michael Scott (Steve Carell) leaves Dunder Mifflin to be with Holly Flax (Amy Ryan), but most agree that Holly is a much better partner for him than Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin).
From the beginning of their relationship, things are a bit unorthodox between Jan and Michael. She is, after all, his superior. As things progress, this power dynamic starts to become a problem. Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and some of the other Scranton workers see it for themselves in Season 4, Episode 13 ("Dinner Party") when Michael shares some concerning tidbits about their living situation. For example, since Jan has some personal space issues, he sleeps at the foot of the bed like a pet dog.
Therefore, in Season 4, Episode 8 ("Money Part 2"), which sees Michael blame his severe credit card debt on Jan, it's almost easy to believe him. When accountant Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nuñez) sits down with Michael to go over his charges, he tells Oscar, "She has my credit cards and she's using them as if I'm made of money. She thinks I'm a human ATM machine."
In the original episode, it's unsaid what exactly Jan is purchasing with his credit cards. It is revealed, however, that Michael dropped $125 on Amazon for a "Best of the Muppet Show" DVD set. Yet in the extended "Superfans" edition, it's clear that Jan is actually more responsible than Michael when it comes to money.
Jan used Michael's credit cards to buy necessities for their home
The same scene between Michael and Oscar is featured in the extended "Superfans" cut, but it includes a big reveal of how Jan is using her boyfriend's credit cards. In disgust, Michael tells Oscar that $218 was spent at Target for washcloths and sheets, and $178 was spent at Kmart for glasses and silverware. Michael asks, "Who needs an entire set of silverware?"
Later in the episode, in another extra scene, Oscar lists other charges – including multiple magic sets and professional bass fishing equipment – that Jan definitely didn't buy.
It's clear that, in this instance at least, Jan is not in the wrong. She's the one who purchased necessities while Michael splurged on unneeded items. Additionally, at the end of the episode (both the original and "Superfans" edition), Jan shows a rare, softer side. She promises to support Michael through this difficult time, just as he always does for her, no questions asked.
Overall, this episode is a great example of how, despite Jan being portrayed as an antagonist on "The Office," she and Michael have their own respective flaws. In an interview with TODAY, Melora Hardin said of the couple, "Those two together are just sort of a perfect match of imperfection."
In an interview with The Paley Center for Media, Steve Carell explained how Michael is incapable of taking responsibility for his own questionable actions, like going into debt for a "Muppets" DVD and blaming his girlfriend. Carell said, "I think he's a man who clearly lacks self-awareness ... If he caught a glimpse of who he really is, his head would explode."