Looking for TV shows or movies with amazing scenery
May 10, 2020 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Pretty much what it says in the title. I want to travel from the comfort of my couch.

I just finished watching Virgin River on Netflix and I found myself really loving the shots of the British Columbia landscape interspersed throughout the show. I want to watch more TV shows set in pretty places. I don't care if the show is mystery or drama, the only criteria is that it be set in a place with amazing scenery which is shown on screen. I have no issues reading subtitles so the show or movie does not need to be English speaking. I have access to Netflix, Hulu, CBS All-Access, and Amazon Prime. I'm thinking of signing up for Acorn TV.


TV: Loch Ness (Scotland), The Coroner (Devon), Just started Hinterland (Wales).

Movies: Mama Mia (Greece)
posted by Constance Mirabella to Media & Arts (42 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Lost (shot in Hawaii)
posted by kapers at 2:18 PM on May 10

Not sure how findable any of these are but I've liked the looks of: Doc Martin (Cornwall), Zen (detective show, Italy) and Wallander (Sweden)
posted by jessamyn at 2:21 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Brokeback Mountain is one of the most visually gorgeous movies I know of. I'm from that area and I cry every time I see the movie because of the tragic love story, of course, but also because it makes me deeply homesick for the Rocky Mountains. So beautiful.
posted by forza at 2:22 PM on May 10 [5 favorites]

Top of the Lake.
posted by penguin pie at 2:27 PM on May 10 [10 favorites]

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) is an absolutely gorgeous movie, and the story goes all over the world. (I actually hate this movie, but it's undeniably gorgeous.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:27 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

Season 4 Episode 3 of Black Mirror - Crocodile
Amazing shots of Iceland.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 2:30 PM on May 10

Detectorists is on Amazon
posted by janell at 2:31 PM on May 10 [5 favorites]

posted by something something at 2:36 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]

So, this is a little bit silly, but... Survivor. Lots of swooping shots of the islands they're filming on, especially once they started filming in HD. If you want, you can fast-forward through all the talking.

Same deal with the Amazing Race, if they ever decide to show that again.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:39 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

More Wales: Pride. I don't remember how much there is but the scenery is lovely and the movie is great.
posted by Botanizer at 2:43 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Devs (hulu). It's shot at UC Santa Cruz - gorgeous redwood forest scenery.
posted by shw at 2:44 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

On Acorn, you might like Vera (Northumberland). Through Amazon Prime you can also get Britbox, which has Shetland (the Shetland Isles), and also MHZ, which has a wealth of European shows. We've especially liked the scenery on Murder In..., a French series that is set in different places each episode, Inspector Montalbano (Sicily), and Murder by the Lake (Lake Constance).
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 2:45 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]

Sex Education is filmed in an around Symonds Yat in the Wye Valley -- where England meets South Wales. It's a beautiful place in real life, so much green, and the photography makes it look more so.
posted by popcassady at 2:46 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

The BBC Earth series has really beautiful photography.
posted by effluvia at 2:59 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

This is kind of a left-field suggestion but I've been recently addicted to videos by Rambalac on Youtube for scratching that travel bug. They're all just high-quality video of long walks around different parts of Japan with no narration at all, only the ambient sound. Some are in beautiful natural places and some are crowded, lively urban environments and they're all just great little getaways.
posted by theodolite at 4:31 PM on May 10 [7 favorites]

The Brokenwood Mysteries and Killing Eve.
posted by racersix6 at 4:47 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Tarsem Singh's The Fall is unicorn of a movie, of which Ebert said: Tarsem...spent millions of his own money to finance "The Fall," filmed it for four years in 28 countries and has made a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it.

YT trailer. The wikipedia page (plot summary has spoilers) has a list of locations.
posted by juv3nal at 5:10 PM on May 10 [8 favorites]

Older: Out of Africa, A River Runs Through It , Koyaanisqatsi (slightly kidding, but Koyaanisqatsi is amazing)
posted by sammyo at 5:26 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]

Came here to mention The Fall. The locations are so amazing you'll think they're CGI. They're not.
posted by adamrice at 5:42 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]

Thirding The Fall.

Also try Never Cry Wolf (Canada and Alaska), Local Hero (Scotland), Days of Heaven (wheat fields of Alberta), Lawrence of Arabia (Jordan, Morocco, Spain), The Beach (Thailand).
posted by gudrun at 6:15 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

There's a Canadian-South African co-production (I know!) called Charlie Jade on Amazon Prime that doesn't look like anything else around. It was filmed in and around Cape Town and takes place in three different universes that a couple people can travel through, sort of color-coded, and it's really visually stunning.

I recently watched Red Sea Diving Resort on Netflix and it was also filmed in South Africa and has amazing landscapes. The movie itself isn't the best, and is very white-savior-y, but it looks great (and features Chris Evans and some of the other male stars in little tiny seventies shorts, so there's that visual as well if you're into that). Bonus fun is spotting some of the Charlie Jade actors in it.

Seconding the stunning The Fall. Man, I love that movie.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 6:17 PM on May 10

Find movies shot in Australia or New Zealand. Films that come to mind --
Man from Snowy River (1982) and Man from Snowy River II (1988)
The Lord of the Rings series.

As it turns out, Jurassic Park (1993) was filmed in Kauai and Oahu.
posted by TrishaU at 6:34 PM on May 10

The Durrells might be gorgeous- I’ve never seen the show, only read the novel, but the luscious Mediterranean coasts of Corfu Greece figured prominently into the book, so hopefully they star in the tv show as well!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 6:50 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami was a master filmmaker and an astonishing landscape artist. You can see examples by typing "kiarostami landscapes" into a Google image search. Unfortunately, streaming might be difficult. The Wind Will Carry Us is on Kanopy, which may be free for you if you have a library card, depending on your library. A bunch of his other films are currently streaming on Criterion Channel, which has a 14-day free trial, including three films known as the "Koker trilogy" and A Taste of Cherry.
posted by Mothlight at 6:51 PM on May 10

Another recommendation for The Fall. Also, Broadchurch has spectacular scenery.
posted by Dolley at 6:57 PM on May 10

TV series: Outlander (Scotland). I can confirm the recommendation above for The Durrells (Corfu).
posted by JonJacky at 7:13 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]

Not sure how you feel about British costume dramas, but Enchanted April starts in miserable grey rainy 1920s Britain and then the characters rent a villa in Italy where it is summer and everything is ravishingly beautiful. Definitely a dream vacation of a movie.

A Room With A View also features beautiful Italy as well as lovely English countryside, and is a charming romance.
posted by sumiami at 11:29 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

Death in Paradise is set on a beautiful carribean island, and is so fun to watch.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:14 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]

On the Smithsonian cable channel there's a series called Aerial America. There are others there that cover other countries. In a sort of similar (visually) vein, the movie Winged Migration has a lot of stunning photography. Lots of classic Western movies have great scenic settings.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:59 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]

The mention of Death in Paradise reminded me of the Jesse Stone movies, set in fictional Paradise, MA, with lots of Nova Scotia coastal scenery. Not the really spectacular Minas Basin stuff, because there's nothing like that in MA.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:13 AM on May 11

The Revenant is gorgeous.
posted by condour75 at 6:08 AM on May 11

This is non-fiction, but Netflix's The World's Most Extraordinary Homes feature amazing homes that are almost always located in locations that are just as amazing.
posted by mmascolino at 6:56 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]

The Night Manager is a pretty good Le Carre adaptation, with lots of Euro/Mediterranean scenery.

Six Underground is pretty bad, in that post-human filmmaking style Michael Bay has perfected. But if you want to see explosions and stunts performed against a gorgeous backdrop of shiny, glittering cityscapes, it's pretty ok.
posted by Bron at 7:21 AM on May 11

Under the Tuscan Sun has great views of Italy - not just Tuscany
A Walk in the Clouds shows California wine country
posted by soelo at 9:29 AM on May 11

Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man has some stunning shots of Alaska (and bears!)

I also love getting lost in Happy People: a Year in the Taiga.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 9:45 AM on May 11

Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The Australian Outback. It's not exactly pretty but it is stunning.
posted by wwax at 10:06 AM on May 11

Hitchcock's "The Trouble With Harry," 1955. Fall foliage in Vermont.
posted by Performing Without Annette at 1:36 PM on May 11

The 2005 Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley always takes my breath away. Stunning shots of Derbyshire cliffs and fields, and of course beautiful country house manors.

If you're a foodie, you should check out Chef's Table on Netflix, too. They profile chefs from all around the world and there are oodles of juicy shots of them preparing pasta, sampling fish, gathering herbs, etc. in their respective countries.

(The Fall enthusiasts unite!)
posted by wintersonata9 at 4:55 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

If you can get hold of them, Great X Railway|Railroad Journeys are ideal armchair tourist fodder.

For X substitute Alaskan, American, Asian, Australian, British, Continental, Indian.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 6:27 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

From just last year, a massively overlooked movie, Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life. (trailer)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:05 PM on May 11

Belle (dir. Amma Asante) is a gorgeous film.
posted by panther of the pyrenees at 11:34 PM on May 12

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