12 TV & Movie Picks
Tucson is the setting for these popular hits and cult favorites chosen by our local film buff.
12 TV Shows & Movies Set in Tucson
Popular hits and cult favorites chosen by our local film buff.
If you're missing the Old Pueblo, you can visit virtually by watching TV shows and movies set in our fair city.
This list includes six of many hit reality TV shows shot in Tucson over the past 20 years and six cult-favorite TV series and movies set here in the 80's and 90's (still most excellent after all these years). All were shot at locations in Tucson and southern Arizona with assistance from Film Tucson, Visit Tucson's regional film office.
6 Reality TV Shows
Slobby's World (Netflix)
Follow the wacky antics of style icon Slobby Robby (a.k.a. Robert Hall) who buys and sells 80's and 90's memorabilia from his store Generation Cool in the Historic Fourth Avenue district. This hit show is redefining vintage shopping for a new generation.
Bar Rescue (Paramount)
This Tucson episode (originally aired on Spike TV) chronicles food and beverage industry expert Jon Taffer streamlining local drinking hole RJ's Replays (renamed by Taffer and his team as The Frozen Cactus) to overcome obstacles, thrive and succeed.
Carnival Kings (Cooking Channel)
Pima County Fair is the lead star in two episodes (click the title above for the first) as host and Michelin-starred chef Richie Farina conjures up inventive cuisine based on Tucson's idiosyncratic view of carnival eats.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E! Network)
Fans of the long-running show will be thrilled seeing Scott Disick & Kourtney Kardashian (UArizona grad) take the 35-foot Quantum Leap challenge at luxe Miraval Resort, followed by snacks at two Main Gate Square gastropubs, Gentle Ben's and Frog & Firkin.
Ride with Norman Reedus (AMC)
The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus (and co-star Austin Amelio) take a motorcycle tour of Rooster Cogburn's Ostrich Farm, Tucson Mountain Park, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and even chow down on a massive Sonoran hot dog at Ruiz Hot Dogs Los Chipilones.
Man vs. Wild (Discovery Channel)
Watch as survival expert Bear Grylls braves the challenging desert regions of southern Arizona. Without giving away any spoilers, let's just say that some scenes shouldn't be viewed while eating. Enough said.
6 Movies & TV Series
The Three Amigos (1986)
We've watched and read countless movie buff-based examinations of this over the years but have never encountered such a concise essay dissecting how and why the somewhat silly comedic elements work so well in dissimilarity with the on-point production.
The Wraith (1986)
Despite its so-bad-it's-good reputation, we're proud Tucson is linked with such an enjoyable film that generates so much passionate online discourse. Viewers are still captivated by the locations, and a little good-humored bad publicity is good publicity.
Can't Buy Me Love (1987)
This teen rom-com's popularity grows yearly, judging by the mass of online articles about its locations. We're partial to Jordan the Lion's travel vlogs (he stages key scenes), and he's also making a location video on Revenge of the Nerds (UArizona/1983).
Hey Dude (1989-91)
This well-liked Nickelodeon series aimed at teens ran only two years, yet it still garners intensive scrutiny from its present-day-adult fans. The main location is scenic Tanque Verde Ranch (plus a look-alike set built a little way from the property).
Tank Girl (1995)
Thanks to the popularity of the 1988 UK comic book that it's based on, this dystopian punk comedy is the definition of a cult film, and this article on the SyFy Channel's website is the best evidence we've seen for why this film is beloved after 25 years.
Tin Cup (1996)
An iconic favorite of Golf Magazine's editors, this popular sports rom-com starring Kevin Costner and Rene Russo has cameos by titans of the sport, picture-perfect vistas of Tubac Golf Resort and Spa, and enough lay-up shots to thrill any golf addict.