I spend far too much time thinking about TV. There was a time when obsessing over the low-culture medium of television wasn't terribly cool, but at some point, it became acceptable to create animated GIFs from the latest episode of Community. (OK, maybe not, but that's what I tell myself.)
As part of that minor cultural shift, it seems like every pop-culture website now feels obligated to post recaps of TV shows the day after they air. New York Magazine has recaps of the Real Housewives shows, among others, and food-blog Eater covers Top Chef, while The Onion offshoot The A.V. Club is the king of the recap, even covering long-cancelled shows like Veronica Mars and The Twilight Zone.
However, reading these summaries of what I just watched has started to affect how I think of the programs I actually like. Recappers all seem to hate the Steve Carell-less version of The Office, but in general, I've enjoyed the show. It's not perfect, but I still like the characters and laugh at how they interact, which is all anyone could ask for. It turns out that the recap culture's obsession with deconstructing each show detracts from the actual entertainment experience of watching TV.
From now on, I'm going to just annoy friends with my theories about what's going to happen with Ben and Leslie on Parks and Recreation, instead of relying on the so-called experts.
The week on The Range
We continued to unpack the city election; followed the latest news about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' new book and the ABC News special; noted Richard Carmona's entry into the U.S. Senate race in Arizona; told you that Republican Dave Sitton was considering a run for the congressional seat now held by Giffords; shared a veteran's story on Veterans Day; and brought you the latest edition of the Arizona Illustrated Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We continued following the legal fight over redistricting; unveiled an unofficial semi-clothed Occupy Tucson protest; watched the dust settle in the wake of the recall of state Senate President Russell Pearce; was a little surprised to see that even Mike Tyson thinks Herman Cain is crazy; and had something to say about GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry, but can't remember what it was now.
We saw a lot of movies at the Loft Film Fest; talked about our favorite TV shows; listened to some great music; wondered about any critic who liked Jack and Jill; watched an asteroid narrowly miss the planet; and warned you to be on the lookout for cactus thieves.
We sampled the wares at the Pin-Up Pastries food truck; told you a food-truck festival was coming up; wondered why coconut water had become ubiquitous on American grocery shelves; noted that Red Velvet Cupcakery was closing; and discovered that the Tucson Weekly has a Google+ page.
We celebrated the opening of the Casino del Sol's new expansion; visited Biosphere 2; gave you some gardening tips; shared the latest cycling news; lost our appetite while thinking about a tiny bake-able representation of a pig; shared our disappointment that we wouldn't see graphic anti-smoking ads on packs of cigarettes; and learned why it's sometimes a bad idea to take a bus to Wisconsin for a threesome.
Comment of the week
"I'll take Chang Nelson Reilly in the off-center square for the block."
—If you'd like to be featured in this space, follow the lead of commenter "mr. meade," and reference the stars of '70s game shows ("The Best Cover of a Lady Gaga Song Ever," The Range, Nov. 8).
Best of WWW
For obvious reasons, many of our most-highly viewed posts on The Range this year have to do with news regarding the status of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Back when she was still at University Medical Center, we would cover press conferences about her condition live on The Range and via social media. Since then, even though the release of information about her recovery has been more sporadic, it's still definitely a topic in which people around the country are interested.
This week, however, there were updates and bits of new information coming from all over the place, between the release of Mark Kelly's memoir Gabby, the 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer, and a number of other articles. We've worked hard to keep up with everything, so if you missed something this week, or just want to keep up with news on Giffords in the future, bookmark The Range.