Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Office Covention in Scranton this weekend - October 26-28!

I first heard that the American version of The Office would be set in Scranton about a year before the program debuted. I was kind of excited by this news, even though I had never watched the British version. (I saw the beginning of one episode on the in-flight entertainment on a flight back from Ireland in 2003, but quickly became annoyed and changed to another channel.) I e-mailed a friend of mine who is a huge fan of the British version, and he e-mailed back some bad news.

The problem is, the British version of the show is set in a place called Slough, which is supposed to be a miserable, dreary, dreadful, hopeless, no-fun place to live and work, a literal Slough of Despond. In reality, it's not supposed to be that bad, but the show exaggerated things a bit. Would the American version do the same thing for Scranton?

It did not.

The show is set in Scranton, and some external shots were done in Scranton, but for the most part the cast and crew have not spent any significant time in Scranton. The writers and prop people have gone into overdrive with local references, however, and each episode is liberally salted with them.* A growing sentiment among some fans of the show was that Scranton must be a cool place to live and work, and an even cooler place to visit.

They will get a chance to see for themselves this weekend when The Office Convention takes place in Scranton. It runs October 26-28 and kicks off with Al Roker broadcasting live from the University of Scranton (my Alma Mater) on Friday morning. For more details, see the official website, or go to this entry from NEPA Blogs and follow the links to two Office fansites, each of which has more information and additional links. Also see John Webster's blog (he's half of the Daniels & Webster morning team from Rock 107, itself a frequent reference on the show), particularly this entry.

The weather this weekend may be typical Scranton weather - cold, wet, and dreary - but with the Flaming Foliage at or near peak, here's hoping that many of the convention-goers will come away with a positive impression of the area!

*Sometimes these references are other-than-accurate. In one episode a character laments that she wants a house with a veranda, but there are none in the area; in reality, many of the old coal baron mansions that fill Scranton's Hill Section feature verandas, second-(and third-) story porches, and other architectural highlights not found in newer construction. Also, the characters apparently frequently go to Chili's for lunch. The closest Chili's is near Wilkes-Barre, just outside the Wyoming Valley Mall, some 20 miles away from downtown Scranton.


supertiff said...

innaccuracies aside, how fun!

betz said...

harold, don and his cousin are going to go to the convention.
so i was aware it was going on.