I’m a fan of The Office and because the show is set in Scranton, part of the fun is seeing all of the Rust Belt, back-of-BosWash references on the show. Upstate cities occasionally get mentioned, and products from Wegmans sometimes make an appearance. It turns out that being cast as a “boring, dead-end city” has paid off handsomely for Scranton: they just hosted a wildly successful convention for Office fans from all over the world.
It’s all because of the name, you know. SCRAAANton. It sounds scraggly, like it’s just scraping by. Syracuse is just as worn down as Scranton, but would we ever get a TV show set here? Doubtful. In order to have a TV show set in your city, it has to either be very, very cool (like San Francisco), or very UN-cool — yet, it must be brave enough to embrace its uncoolness. I think Syracuse has a problem with that. (Not as bad a problem as Rochester has, but still.) Upstate is too proud, the pain of its fall still rankles too much.
If you had the ear of someone in Hollywood, what would be your Syracuse TV series pitch? Sitcom or drama? Past day or present day? Dramedy? RomCom? Sci-fi? (Extra points if it’s scripted, and not a reality TV concept.) Personally, I’d prefer a good old serialized drama a la Hill Street Blues, though not necessarily about cops.