Scrantonicity ~ “Moving On”

Friday, February 15, 2013

This Office episode, “Moving On,” was originally planned as a typical half-hour show. Then NBC pulled the plug on one its dismal new offerings, “Do No Harm,” and they suddenly found themselves scrambling to fill the void in the schedule. The Office, with its efficient single-camera format, always manages to videotape way more than they can use, so they were only too happy to re-edit the footage to extend the episode to an hour. Well, I’m happy to report that this hour-long Office did not feel too “padded” or over-extended, as some have in the past. And, the extra time gave me more opportunities to find examples of “Scrantonicity,” which I did. So, without further ado, we’ll just be “Moving On” to those Scranton-istical references now. (I just had to look that phrase up; I thought it was “further adieu,” which makes no sense. Whew, I’m glad I didn’t make that mistake)… anyway, moving on…

 

The first Scrantonicity sighting is a good one; Pam Halpert holds her rather paltry work resumé up to the camera. I can’t read everything on the out-of focus paper, but I was able to decipher that Pam lives on Linden Avenue in Scranton, and she graduated from Valley View High School. So, now we know that Pam Beesly grew up somewhere “up the line” (northeastern Pa slang) from Scranton, in one of the small towns of Archbald, Blakely, Olyphant or Jessup, which feed into the Valley View School District. There was stuff I couldn’t read on there, but I’m pretty confident her resumé will eventually find its way to the internet, just as the whacky applications of Dwight’s friends did after the episode “Junior Salesman” aired. You can read them here. I am particularly fond of the resumé of the new Dunder-Mifflin hire “Clark Green.” Clark lives at 375 Orchard Street, Apartment 206, which means he lives less than a mile away from the office. He could walk to work if he wanted to, which I’m pretty sure he never does. Also noteworthy is that Clark graduated from Marywood University, with a BA in Retail Business Management. That’s noteworthy because both my wife and I graduated from Marywood, so we might encounter Clark with a cocktail in a plastic cup at some future alumni gathering! Furthermore, the name “Clark Green” is probably an inside joke by the writers, since there is a town of “Clark’s Green” just outside of Scranton. If it isn’t an inside joke, well, it oughta be!

 

The next “Scrantonicity” occurs when a suspicious Andy opens the break room refrigerator and spies the incriminating lunch sack marked “Pete.” The plain brown bag is sitting next to a carton of Gerrity’s 100% Pure Orange Juice. After all the Wegman’s product placements on the show, it’s nice to see rival Gerrity’s get back in the game. Later on in the episode one of the hot tea mugs Phyllis is holding has a Gerrity’s logo on it.

 

When Toby and Andy are talking at Toby’s desk, we get a really clear view of the “Toby’s Troops” Tobyhanna green foam bone, which is a promotional giveaway from the Tobyhanna, Pa Federal Credit Union. I’m guessing that the very real “Toby’s Troops” program is just coincidental to the character Toby, and that’s why it is there as a prop. As I’ve mentioned before, my dad worked for years at the Tobyhanna Army Depot, so that place has a special meaning for me. On his desk, you can see that Toby stores his pens and pencils in an coffee mug festooned with the NBC network logo, which is not surprising. Also visible in this scene, just above the Boscov’s magnet, is the fictional prop handbook “A Mediator’s Tool Chest,” which is is gag version of the very real “Mediator’s Tool Box.”

Pam interviews for a job with the Simon Real Estate Company in Philadelphia. One of the best jokes in this episode is that the Simon Company turns out to be a “Bizarro-World” version of Dunder-Mifflin, and the boss conducting the interview is a “Bizarro Michael Scott.” As Pam is led on a deja-vu trip around the office, we can see very similar props and product placements, except they pertain to the Philadelphia area. One wall plaque reads “Award Of Merit ~ Billy Alt.” Billy Alt is a real  real estate agent from Las Vegas, Nevada, so the “inside joke” connection to The Office isn’t clear. Maybe Billy sold Greg Daniels a Vegas time-share just off the strip. That’s worth some merit, I guess. And it is worth mentioning that the Simon Real Estate office not only uses the exact same brand of whiteboards on the wall, but whoever updates them has the exact same handwriting as the person from Dunder-Mifflin! Wow, what a coincidence. :shock:

 

Nellie and Daryl are shown reading the Scranton Times-Tribune newspapers. Nellie’s local section displays the headline “County OKs Brixx Lease.” The Brixx is an old office building on Washington Avenue in downtown Scranton, and that newspaper article ran on January 12, 2012. So we know how old that particular prop was, anyway.

 

When Toby decides to go visit the “Scranton Strangler,” George Howard Skubb, he ends up at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Facility in Hunlock Creek.” This “joint” is located on the banks of the Susquehanna River a few miles outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The sign is briefly visible in the background, and is another fine example of the “above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty” prop department’s handiwork. I love how they researched and used a real nearby prison. I can only hope this isn’t the conclusion to the long-running, convoluted Scranton Strangler thread, as it is rather anti-climatic at this point.

 

The last Scrantonicity sighting of the episode is on the Oscar’s computer screen as he dangles upside down in the doorway. When the ad announcing the upcoming Office documentary appears in the lower right hand corner, the rest of the screen is advertising WVIA, the local public access channel, which serves TV, radio, and the internet. The studios are located in Pittston, Pa just off of I-81.

 

And so, without further ado, it is time to bid adieu, and be “moving on” toward the series end. Thanks for reading and participating! :)

 

~ Bob

 

2 Comments

  1. Suri says:

    Great stuff as always Bob. Do you think they flew the actors to the PA prison, or only did some outdoor shots and then edited them into whatever set they used to film Toby going in and coming out?

    The Bizzaro Dunder Mifflin was really hilarious. I’m glad Pam decided not to subject herself to another thankless, dead-end job where she would have to put up with the endless antics of a bizarre boss.

    I didn’t really get Oscar’s ads for abs thing or how it fit into the episode. But I did like the foreshadowing of the documentary coming out in May.

    I’m a little nervous for JAM at this point. They have created way to much angst for these two. I hope the writers can resolve their issues in a positive way that the fans can respond well to by the time they wrap up the series.

  2. Bob says:

    Thanks, Suri! No, I don’t think they flew to Pa for the episode. But that ever-hard-workin’ prop department once again took the time and effort to construct an official looking sign, that was onscreen for about ONE second. Amazing, as usual. :)

    The show is REALLY making us sweat these last few visits with Jim and Pam, aren’t they? I have a feeling the writers will make all the angst worth our while.

Leave a Reply