I'm just here for the set
October 22, 2022 9:11 AM   Subscribe

I love to watch more movies or TV series that have beautiful sets. Can you suggest some, please? Examples of shows that have what I'm looking for inside...

The Crown
Sex Education (particularly Gillian Anderson's character's house)

I like amazing use of color, interesting architecture (especially paneling or molding) or places that look really comfortable to be in. I'd be happy to have suggestions for any location, culture, or class (not just the British ones in my examples).

Extra bonus points for explaining what you like about the set.
posted by mcduff to Home & Garden (44 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I really love the condo building in Only Murders in the Building. It's where I like to fantasize that I'd live if I lived in New York.
posted by primethyme at 9:17 AM on October 22, 2022 [21 favorites]

I think Downton Abbey -- which is a show I heartily got sick of and ended up not finishing -- would fit your requirements perfectly.

I also just watched Rosaline on Hulu (Romeo and Juliet's story told from the POV of Romeo's ex), and they clearly shot it in some beautiful historic villas somewhere. They're absolutely lovely.

Similarly, the Kenneth Branagh Much Ado About Nothing, shot in Tuscany. Every set is gorgeous, interior and exterior.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:27 AM on October 22, 2022 [7 favorites]

Love Between Fairy and Devil, the sets and clothing are absolutely gorgeous and lived-in. Ghibli-level of set design (though it's live action with occasional surprisingly non-dodgy cheap CGI). It's a similar romance-humour-action combo to Bridgerton except with extra supernatural and magic. Takes them nearly a dozen episodes to expand from the first few set locations though.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 9:31 AM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
posted by credulous at 9:46 AM on October 22, 2022 [19 favorites]

I spent my entire late teenage and early twenties obsessed with the interior aesthetics and color palette of Amélie. One of the pivotal scenes involves her finding a secret treasure behind the tiles of her old timey Parisian bathroom.

This probably says more about my own tastes than the criteria you shared, but I am also obsessed with Susan Sarandon's English adjunct by day/sexy baseball witch by night apartment in Bull Durham.

Seconding Only Murders in the Building.
posted by mostly vowels at 9:55 AM on October 22, 2022 [5 favorites]

The Queen's Gambit
posted by cooker girl at 10:08 AM on October 22, 2022 [10 favorites]

Only Murders in the Building has stunning interiors. Try The Gilded Age along with Downton Abbey.

The house in The Midnight Club is really cool.
posted by jeoc at 10:11 AM on October 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

Maybe a little too violent, but Warrior (2019-) "During the Tong Wars in the late 1800s, Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy from China, immigrates to San Francisco and becomes a hatchet man for the most powerful tong in Chinatown."

Very wide range of visuals, from the humble to incredibly wealthy. Also contrasts well the facade versus the private comfort. British/ American and groups of immigrants from various regions of South China. All done well. Costumes are good, too. Oh, cool, there finally will be a season 3 in 2023.
posted by porpoise at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

The End of the Fucking World sets have a similarly retro feel to Sex Education. The colour scheme is a little darker - more reds and browns, less yellow. Lots of panelling.
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 10:22 AM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Mad Men, 1000%.
posted by General Malaise at 10:28 AM on October 22, 2022 [14 favorites]

Oh, and Severance, if you like weird.
posted by General Malaise at 10:29 AM on October 22, 2022 [13 favorites]

I recommend checking out The Great. The sets and framing are strikingly beautiful, with rich, lush, warm colors and interesting textures - carvings, embroidery, etc. (The linked trailer gives just a taste of the style. Many scenes are yet more gorgeous and fetchingly shot than the bits they chose.)

Bonus - it's a really great show with a witty script and an excellent ensemble cast. Give it a try!
posted by sl1ce at 10:32 AM on October 22, 2022 [6 favorites]

Murder in Provence (one season) has me trying to memorize her home (and Roger Allam). Signora Volpe, (one season) another British mystery set in Umbria where it's always sunny and warm.

For something jaw-dropping and completely different: The Curse of the Golden Flower, set in Peking, as it was.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:40 AM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Would you be interested in non-Anglo historical fiction? to over-generalize, these productions get a lot of budget for set design. I don't watch much China-made dramas but my friends made me watch Nirvana in Fire, and I thought the sets were quite grand. For movies, Hero gets recommended a lot on the aesthetics you're asking for. For South Indian movies, also a lot of choices but I'm not too well-versed, but as always, I'm going to recommend Baahubali specifically . From my country, I would say this is a little slow, but Puteri Gunung Ledang reimagines this myth into a historical period when the Hindu kingdoms in the region are on the wane while Muslim kingdoms were increasing in power, so there's intentional juxtaposition of styles as well.
posted by cendawanita at 10:52 AM on October 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

For TV: Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire
For movies: The Fall, I Am Love, The Talented Mr. Ripley
posted by lovableiago at 10:57 AM on October 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

Under the Tuscan Sun features a near-ruined Tuscan villa gradually being renovated in a way that mirrors the lead character’s life transformation through the course of the film. It’s a little cheesy but enjoyable. Even a tumble down Tuscan villa is pretty beautiful, and the house is depicted as a place of nurturing and growth.
posted by penguin pie at 11:09 AM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

The Hunger with Susan Sarandon and David Bowie. It's like forty years old and I probably haven't seen it since then, but the sets and atmosphere is what I remember about it. And it's the perfect season for it.
posted by BoscosMom at 11:18 AM on October 22, 2022 [4 favorites]

Umbrella Academy, especially the first season.
posted by lunasol at 11:57 AM on October 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm so excited to watch all of these suggestions! Thank you!
posted by mcduff at 11:58 AM on October 22, 2022

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover has some really striking and iconic use of color in the sets.
posted by wesleyac at 12:02 PM on October 22, 2022 [5 favorites]

Wes Anderson movies.
posted by perhapses at 12:16 PM on October 22, 2022 [8 favorites]

I’ve always loved the interiors on Dead Like Me, Georgia’s family’s house and the house that the reapers “inherit” from an elderly lady, especially.
posted by corey flood at 12:16 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

I think at least part of Marie Antoinette was filmed at Versailles. It's pretty spectacular.
posted by pangolin party at 12:17 PM on October 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

Poirot is known for its art deco sets.
posted by brook horse at 12:29 PM on October 22, 2022 [4 favorites]

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
posted by brujita at 12:46 PM on October 22, 2022 [4 favorites]

Howards End (the 1992 version)
posted by pinochiette at 12:52 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

Frida for the wonderful colors and architecture of Mexico.
For moulding and architecture you can't go wrong with Amadeus.
1930s Italy - The Conformist.
posted by brookeb at 12:53 PM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Kleo on Netflix has a particular aesthetic and really leverages heightened styles from East and West Germany in the 80s and 90s. There's some really great wallpaper on display in this series.

If you can find Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart, it has a very theatrical sensibility to it. Like, explicitly, in both the sets and lighting (and story and acting...).
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:41 PM on October 22, 2022 [4 favorites]

This may be a too out there suggestion, but if you are also a fan of the Amelie aesthetic, Pushing Daisies main character seems to be the set design itself.
posted by qwip at 2:30 PM on October 22, 2022 [5 favorites]

Pushing Daisies did interesting things with color & set design.
posted by belladonna at 2:32 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

I mean, after the Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me mentions, can I just say Bryan Fuller's stuff in general? He has a real focus on aesthetics that definitely goes beyond sets but that absolutely includes them. (If you can tolerate gore, hie thee to Hannibal - the murder is art, the food is people, it's all dark and lovely and horrible.)
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 3:03 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

Also, given some of the period pieces you mention - what about Babylon Berlin? Weimar-era Berlin is a character in its own right.
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 3:32 PM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm a big fan of the aesthetics of the flats in Pedro Almodóvar's films - they're so colourful and warm and they just fit so well with the stories and characters as well.
posted by Lluvia at 3:46 PM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

The infamous 1963 Dick & Liz Cleopatra has hours and hours of dazzling sets. It's almost too much. My brother mentioned that it seemed like an influence on Peter Greenaway's set designs (note a warning for the recommended 'The Cook The Thief...' for some weird violence).

Russian Ark is a feast of vintage museum set design. In related, the 1967 Russian version of War and Peace also used actual vintage 19th century furniture and chandeliers from various museums in a spare-no-expense budget.
posted by ovvl at 4:12 PM on October 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

Knives Out? Especially the room with the knives.
posted by fiercekitten at 4:57 PM on October 22, 2022 [5 favorites]

Another great filmmaker who goes all out on sets is Roy Andersson. One of my favorite scenes.
posted by perhapses at 5:55 PM on October 22, 2022

In the Mood for Love and other films by Wong Kar Wai.

Point Blank is a movie well-respected for its use of color, which is talked about at length by the director and Steven Soderbergh on the commentary.

The Conformist
posted by dobbs at 6:17 PM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

You didn't specify a time period, so a couple of these are 10-15 years old, hope that's ok.

Alfonso Cuaron's kind of uneven but stunningly beautiful adaptation of "Great Expectations"

Based on the trailer, Akiva Goldman's adaptation of "Winter's Tale." I refuse to watch it because I have such strong imagined visuals from reading the book that I don't want to layer them with someone else's vision.

"Far From Heaven" by Todd Haynes.

Wes Anderson films.

Concurring with "Only Murders in the Building" from the recent TV offerings and "Mad Men" from earlier.
posted by virve at 6:37 PM on October 22, 2022

Sorry, other films of Wong Kar Wai.
posted by dobbs at 6:49 PM on October 22, 2022

Le Cercle Rouge, Le Samouraï, and other films by Jean Pierre Melville.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Transit, Phoenix, Undine, and other work by Christian Petzold.

posted by dobbs at 7:17 PM on October 22, 2022

Seconding the movie The Fall. It includes footage shot in more than 20 countries, with amazing landscapes and architecture included. The wikipedia page includes a list of filming locations.
posted by gudrun at 7:19 PM on October 22, 2022 [3 favorites]

The new Interview With The Vampire series has incredibly beautiful sets in the past scenes and some beautiful art in the background of the present scenes, like a Francis Bacon triptych that I was so happy to recognize.
posted by panhopticon at 12:01 AM on October 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Patriot (Amazon Prime) and Perpetual Grace, Ltd (Epix)
posted by getawaysticks at 8:16 PM on October 24, 2022

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