From striking landscapes to mind-blowing special effects, visuals are a really important part of what makes a TV show memorable. Here’s our pick of the most stunning shows on the small screen.
1. Breaking Bad
There was a patent visual language communicating with viewers right from the very first episode of Breaking Bad. The bright blue of the southwestern sky set against with the orange of the New Mexico desert worked perfectly alongside the bright colours of Walt’s cooking jumpsuit and his clear crystal meth. The cinematography of the show and its dramatic visual style was applauded from the very start of the series back in 2008, and remains one of the most memorable aspects of this TV masterpiece.
- Mad Men
Mad Men’s meticulous attention to visual detail and its nostalgic style is one of this show’s greatest appeals to viewers, earning the show praise and a host of awards. The lush visuals of the series comes down, in part, to the great attention paid to period sets, props, hair, make-up and costumes – making the 1950s and 60s advertising world feel sumptuously real to us as we look on. Sculpted dresses, pencil skirts, fully-stocked whisky cabinets, cigarettes and wood-paneled offices almost jump from the screen, making it a gorgeous watch.
- Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is unquestionably one of the most visually spectacular shows television has ever born witness to. The special effects are stunning, with every location, from Westeros to the Wall, having a unique, distinctive look and feel. To create these looks, the makers use a blend of traditional photography and heavy compositing, to create environments that are both visually arresting, and totally lifelike.
- Wolf Hall
The rumours that the BBC spent an incredible £20,000 on candles alone for the filming of Tudor period drama Wolf Hall turned out to be true – and in our opinion, it was money well spent. The series feels wholly convincing thanks to the incredible historical accuracy of its visuals, from candlelit scenes and entirely hand-sewn costumes, to stunning cathedral backdrops and actors spending hours perfecting the right cap-doffs and bows. The result is a shadowy world that transports us to the perilous times of Henry VIII.
There is a uniqueness to Hannibal’s visual style that means the look of this show can’t really be compared to any other TV series. Whether it’s the arresting colour scheme, the use of slow motion in scenes, or the disturbing visual horror of some of Will’s dream sequences, there is always something incredible to behold. And while it might feel a bit too gruesome for some, even organic material like food and human bodies become something beautiful in this stunning depiction.
With honorable mentions going to…
Director of photography Matt Gray approached Broadchurch as if it were a documentary, with a goal of depicting the physical landscape as part of the story. And with its blue waves, golden sand and white cliffs, the impact is dramatic.
The desolate, white, icy scenery in Fortitude feels like a character in itself, and is not only breathtaking in itself but also works to move the plot forward.
[This is a Collaborative Post]