If you're like me, when you watch TV or a movie, you pay as much attention to the sets as to plot and character development. In a great movie, a gorgeous setting is icing on the cake, but even a mediocre movie is elevated (or at least made more bearable) by beautiful design. Hell, sometimes the sets are more interesting than the shows themselves!
Here are some of my favourite sets from shows and movies I love. The list is by no means comprehensive (partly due to my photo google-fu, which was not so strong this time).
Rivendell (Lord of the Rings trilogy)
In the books, my heart belonged to the Shire (particularly Bag End), but the movies really brought Rivendell's beauty to life. I'm too tall for a Hobbit house anyway.
The Harry Potter movies (above) haven't thrilled me since the first one (and that was before I read the books), but I have to say I adore the set designs (and the score too, actually).
Forget the magic; I wish that world were real just so I could live there!
I love Pushing Daisies. I can't even say how sad I am it's been cancelled. Besides the show's originality, great characters, and compelling stories (much like Bryan Fuller's other prematurely cancelled shows, Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls), the sets and costume designs are amazing, with a retro feel and super-saturated colours. I also wanted to find photos of the exterior of the aunts' house (interior, below) and Dead Like Me, particularly the Lass house, but see above re: google-fu, lack of.
As you can tell from the next photo, I have a taste for fantasy and whimsy. Let's just say I'm not a fan of neutrals! This is Jack's house from Nightmare Before Christmas (one of my favourite movies of all time). Too bad I couldn't find a picture of the gothic-arched windows with scrollwork panes.
I liked the movie Practical Magic a lot, but I love the house! In fact, I think the house made the movie. If I ever build a house, it'll be based on this one.
The kitchen. Great stove (I believe it's an Aga)! And although you can't see it, I want a pantry full of herbs like theirs.
The Royal Tennenbaums is a great movie (in fact, I can't find any fault with it). The house is fantastic as well: a great, decrepit mansion that suits the characters and makes me drool every time. [Edited to add: Apparently the original photo was the wrong one. Google and my memory both failed me this time! Here's the right house...]
Angel (the character) seemed to always live in style, both on Buffy and Angel (the series), but in my opinion, nothing topped the Hyperion hotel, which he and the Angel Investigations crew occupied for not nearly long enough. I don't know about anybody else, but it made me want to buy and convert an old hotel (lots of room for guests too). This is a shot of the hotel's courtyard.
Anyone else care to share their own favourite examples?