Matt Collins

Top Three Towns TV Put on the Map

Few stars have ever shone brighter on the small screen than Main Street USA.

Whether it’s set to the iconic whistling of the Andy Griffith theme song, that still-annoying Dawson’s Creek intro music, or the empowering opening tunes of Parks and Rec, the small towns featured in our favorite TV shows don’t just play the background—they’re often the stars of the show.

Defining the flavor and feel of the story … playing straight man to the show’s wisecracks about American life … or just offering the perfect spot for that long-awaited kiss, these towns are rarely recognized for the role they play in our daily lives. So today, we’re going to pay a bit of due respect to these superstars of the stage and screen. And we’re skipping out on the usual suspects too; no New York or Chicago in today’s list … instead we want to focus on the sleeper hits—the towns that no one even knew about—

Today, we’re going to look at the top three towns TV put on the map

TV Town 3: Scranton, Pennsylvania from The Office

For the better part of a decade, NBC’s mockumentary The Office charmed fans and viewers with its unique brand of cringe comedy and tongue-in-cheek humor. Depicting the day-to-day struggle of paper company employees in the most average of possible settings, The Office relied on Scranton to help set the tone … to contribute to the general workplace gloom with its regular cold weather and set the stage by being the most average setting possible.

At this, Scranton excelled.

From the Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Co. building in the show’s introduction to the Joe’s Kwik-Mart and Poor Richards Pub, Scranton so perfectly captured the show’s energy that producers did everything they could to include recognizable landmarks and filler shots—even if most of the episodes were filmed on a soundstage hundreds of miles away. The result is that Office Fan Tours are still offered in Scranton to this day a real Dunder Mifflin Paper Company has even started up, and they’re actually doing pretty well for themselves.

Sure, Scranton might be the birthplace of your Vice President—but it’s still more recognizable as the home of The Office …

TV Town 2: Albuquerque, New Mexico from Breaking Bad

Albuquerque borders on being “big city,” but the immensely unique role it played in the hit series Breaking Bad meant we simply couldn’t rule this one out, even if we wanted to. From the craggy red rocks visible in the show’s very first scenes … to the lonely, silent deserts of its finale, Albuquerque’s dramatic landscape provided the perfect backdrop for the tense and often-understated tragedy of Walter White.

What most Breaking Bad fans don’t realize, though, is the show’s dedication to its location

Because unlike almost every other major show on television, Breaking Bad wasn’t filmed on some backlot sound stage. They filmed on location. And when they weren’t out in the wild, they were filming on soundstages in Albuquerque. It was surely no easy task, but you have to wonder whether the location didn’t make it easier for our favorite stars to stay engrossed in the action.

Albuquerque is often dwarfed by its nearby cousin Santa Fe when it comes to tourist appeal. But ABQ still has the annual “International Balloon Fiesta” to call its own, along with its own modest art scene and a host of great Native American crafts. Surely worth an hour’s drive out from Santa Fe …

TV Town 1: Lima, Ohio from Glee

Each week, Mr. Schuester and his choir full of misfits are hard at work re-enacting musicals and singing some of your favorite pop songs, all in effort restore William McKinley High School’s Glee Club to its former glory. And occasionally there’s a trip to Breadstix in the mix too.
But while viewers fall in love with Lima as the vision of pastoral, Middle American paradise, they don’t realize that they’re just seeing a fraction of what the city has to offer.

There might not be a Breadstix restaurant or a William McKinley High School anywhere in town, but there are some incredible parks that look simply breathtaking in the Spring & Fall. There’s also the Allen County Courthouse for you history buffs out there, where John Dillinger’s gang broke the outlaw out of jail all the way back in 1933.

Lima’s also home to an impressive symphony orchestra as well. Which; when you think about it, is a step up from most glee clubs.

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