Scrantonicity ~ “The Farm”

Friday, March 15, 2013

The bulk of this episode takes place in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, although the community is never referenced by name. But we know this because of the very popular (but bogus) TripAdvisor page for Schrute Farms. And once again, I have to hand it to the show for finding such a good stand-in for a northeastern Pennsylvania farm. I’ve been searching the internet, trying to find the California location they are using, but so far I’ve only found ridiculous mis-information like this.  I am positive The Office is not filming on location in Honesdale. But wherever they are, the scenery and the greenery all look… acceptably authentic. That’s good enough for me. As for other examples of “Scrantonicity,” here’s what I was able to harvest from “The Farm.”

 

The show opens with Creed standing in the Dunder Mifflin elevator, reading a copy of the Scranton Times. Just to mess with my head, I think the show should sneak in as a prop, a copy of the Government Center & Van Nuys News Press,” or even the LA Times. Now that would be funny.

 

Packer arrives at Dunder Mifflin bearing gifts; he has cupcakes which he says he got at “Nipples” at the Steamtown Mall. Pam gently corrects his Packer-esque mistake with the real name, which is “Nibbles.” The actual full name of the Scranton bakery is “Nibbles & Bits,” and the prop department has packed the cupcakes in genuine “Nibbles & Bits” white boxes with circular red logos on the top. “Nibbles & Bits” is not located in the Steamtown Mall, but on Ash Street in Scranton, not far at all from Heil’s Place, a tavern where I may have raised a glass or two way back when. But it’s always fun to have them reference the Steamtown Mall, so I certainly don’t mind the creative license. Later on in the show, Pam laments the fact that everyone is ready to forgive the despicable Packer because Nibbles cupcakes are so good, and they wouldn’t be so forgiving if the cupcakes came from the “Supermart.” Obviously, the Supermart is a generic stand-in for any and every mediocre supermarket bakery that serves up institutional-quality, cardboard-flavored, overly-sweet treats. That made me laugh; gosh, didn’t any real Scranton bakery want that national TV exposure?

 

Meanwhile, back at the Schrute farm, Dwight is sitting on a couch with sister Fanny. Draped over the couch is a crocheted souvenir Scranton blanket touting the “Lackawanna Iron And Coal Company Furnace.” This imposing old structure is located just outside of the downtown area, and not too far from where the Dunder Mifflin office would be located, if it indeed existed. The historical furnaces are huge, and cast interesting shadows, making them a favorite place for local artists to sketch the bold, abstract lines and shapes. They would be impossible to miss as the Dunder Mifllin-ites make their daily treks to and from downtown Scranton, and it was fun seeing the crocheted version of the furnaces visible on the blanket.

 

In the same scene, Dwight’s brother Jed is sitting in a chair reading a newspaper. This time, the paper’s masthead clearly identifies it as the “Co-op Farm Journal.” I searched, but was unable to find a “Co-op Farm Journal,” in northeastern Pa or anywhere else for that matter. So this must be a generic prop newspaper, even though a copy of the real Scranton Times was visible on the nearby coffee table. I wonder why they didn’t use the “Wayne Independent,” the real newspaper serving the Honesdale area. Or, I thought they might have used the nearby Carbondale Miner newspaper, until I looked it up and found that it was no longer being printed. Of course, the Schrute household featuring an old edition of a defunct newspaper sounds just about perfect! :lol:

 

Wrapping up this episode’s random product placement would include the Acker Drill Company coffee mug on Kevin’s desk, the red Pennstar Bank ruler on Angela’s desk, the New York Yankees cup, (possibly Jim’s, courtesy of  Athlead) and the Herr’s Home Style Potato Chip cannister upon which a very stoned Andy is laying down some heavy beats. And then there is this observation: not a “product placement,” but on the whiteboard calendar behind Angela, I noticed the intriguing designation “Zipper Day, 1937.” Well, apparently, on that day, April 29th, in 1937, the famous (?) “Battle Of The Fly” took place. Esquire Magazine was the “judge,” and they judged the zipper clearly superior to buttons, when it came to closing the “fly” in a pair of pants. The Levi Strauss Company was not swayed by this judgment, and continued with exclusive button flies for the next twenty years. Come to think of it, the Amish eschew zippers altogether, so it stands to reason that to this day, they employ buttons in that area. And that could possibly include the Schrute clan, with their vague ties to the Amish. Hmm… vague ties… buttons… zippers… I guess that give us, uh… closure on “The Farm.” :roll:

 

~ Bob

9 Comments

  1. Suri says:

    This was really fun read Bob. I love all your little observations. There really was quite a bounty of Scrantonicity for you to glean from this week. (I am now out of farming references.)

    I thought the Amish didn’t use buttons either and stuck exclusively to hooks and eyes. But perhaps they have progressed to buttons. I saw a few Amish folk at the train station up in Rochester last week when I went up there to visit my son. However, I did not inspect their antique ensembles for buttons.

    Thanks for another great installment of Scrantonicity. I’ll try to get a recap up over the weekend.

    1. Bob says:

      Thanks, Suri! So, as soon as I read this, I HAD to Google for the answer: MOST Amish folks DO use buttons; a few of the ultra-conservative Amish groups still use “hook & eye” fasteners.

      Your use of the farming term “gleaning” made me laugh! :lol: Thanks again for the nice comments. If you DO find time to write a recap, either for this or one of the remaining episodes, that would be great. I enjoy your recaps. :)

  2. AleyaJean says:

    Hey! Just found your website! I grew up in Scranton and am a huge Office fan. Every time I see the intro I think about how my friend’s house is in the drive by shot going down the express way, or how the bus is blocking the shop where I got my first tattoo :)

    I also had my first account at PennStar. Thanks for pointing out all the fun stuff!

    1. Bob says:

      Thanks, AleyaJean! I’m glad you found the website. That is really cool that you can see your friend’s house in the expressway shot. Now I’m going to rewatch the opening credits, and I’ll be comtemplating on where your friend lives. And I’ll pay close attention to the bus, too. Then I’ll try and figure out the tattoo shop; Would it be “Slingin’ Ink” on Mulberry Street? Just guessing at this point.

      I’ve had a LOT of fun with “The Office” supposedly taking place in my hometown, and I’m always happy to share the laughs with a fellow fan of the show. Thank again for the nice comment! :)

  3. Donna says:

    Hey Bob! Sorry I’m late to the party. “Late” seems to be my M-O this season. :(

    Great recap. Loved the little tid-bits, like the delicious Nibbles & Bits. That whole scene with Packer in the office was hilarious. I sat down twice to catch up on this episode and both times was interrupted. So, I wound up rewatching the first-half three times. And each time, that scene has me LOL’ing. The lines about Pam’s “girls” and the office “XXL’ers” were tasteless, crude, hilarious and totally Packer. Really funny scene and I’m glad we got one last taste of ol’ Todd before the show signs off for good.

    Great find behind Angela with the Zipper Day calendar. That is definitely an obscure reference! Leave it to you to ferret it out and put in just the right puns to make it fit nicely in your post. It was exactly the “closure” I needed ;)

    I’ll try to get over to the threads soon and add my two cents. Miss you all and welcome AleyaJean!

  4. Bob says:

    Thanks, Donna! Better late than never to THIS Scranton party, which is, uh… gonna stop in about 6 weeks. :( But, what a party it has been. :)

    Whatever crew member wrote “Zipper Day” on the Dunder Mifflin whiteboard HAD to know that at least a FEW eagle-eyed Office fans would find and zealously research it. In fact, if you Google “Zipper Day 1937″ NOW, one of the first links you’ll get will be, uh… “Scrantonicity.” So, it looks like at least ONE fan zealously researched the zipper. :roll:

  5. Donna says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz8KPHeMmr0

    Saw this link on friend’s FB page. So cool. I especially love that we get the name of the show’s main prop guy, Banner. He would be the man who orchestrated all the props that you so doggedly sleuthed out every week for your Scrantonicity posts. It’s been a great run Bob. I will surely miss it!! :(

    1. Banner says:

      Hello. Banner here. Every episode, as The Office prop guy, I got a huge kick out of sticking obscure Scranton references into the show. I’d always say “Let’s see if Scrantonicity can find THAT!” http://muwhahaha.com/

  6. Bob says:

    Don’t get too excited. That’s just me, pretending to be Banner. ;-)

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