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Scenery Porn / Live-Action TV

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Even Daenerys is mesmerized by the view

  • Golf telecasts often feature loving shots of the course scenery. CBS' coverage of The Masters tournament is especially known for this.
  • This is one of the primary draws of Travel Channel and HGTV. You could say the two are glorified screensavers in TV network form.

  • The Smithsonian Channel has Aerial America, which is stunning footage taken from a plane, helicopter, etc. of the various landscapes across the United States, with each episode focusing on a specific state, then a certain theme after all the states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were covered.
  • Every establishing shot ever on The Amazing Race. Watch the Opening Credits from one of the later seasons, every scenery shot is a place they've visited over the course of the series.
  • The inside of the House in Beyond the Walls is hauntingly beautiful and the cinematography takes care to make it seem at once claustrophobic and vast in scale.
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  • Breaking Bad. The cameras take every opportunity to show off the deserts of New Mexico, and doesn't skimp on spending time developing scenes.
  • Boardwalk Empire; the jaw-dropping re-creation of Atlantic City's boardwalk is this all over, and more than a few establishing shots give a sweeping view of it.
  • Burn Notice is full of shots of Miami in every single episode, often accompanied by girls in bikinis, which makes it an odd combination of Scenery Porn and actual (softcore) Porn. So did CSI: Miami and (possibly) for the same reason. And, indeed, most shows set in Miami fall prey to Scenery Porn. It's almost like there's a reason. Some other show they're referencing... Some other show set in Miami. Some other show that looks like a 45-minute music video of cars and guns and bikinis and scenery porn.
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  • Carnivàle has perfect cinematography. At least, the first season had it nailed down pretty fine.
  • Most episodes of Charmed open with some magnificent, view-from-the-sky establishing shots of San Francisco. The White Lighters have also been known to have meetings with the main characters on the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • The Cosmos reboot showcases Italian wine country, the forests of the Triassic, and other impressive vistas from Earth's past and present... to say nothing of the cosmos itself, which is just jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
  • The British documentary series Coast, which explores coastal communities and features in Britain, Ireland, and northern continental Europe. Ditto the Australian and New Zealand spin-offs.
  • Doc Martin: From the opening titles, the DOP takes the opinion that any shot with less than three people in it can be improved with moorland or some good Cornish cliffs.
  • Doctor Who, for all of its Special Effects Failure, also employs sweeping vistas.
    • In the new series, we've had some really lovely alien planets, gorgeous shots of outer space, and some amazing location shooting in Utah. This especially applies whenever they get to show the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey — so long BBC Quarry, hello CGI domed city.
    • The Classic series did not find this as easy due to having No Budget but managed it in a few cases — particularly "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", which benefited from heavy Prop Recycling of the Peter Cushing Dalek movie, meaning the Dalek ship interiors looked brilliant, and also delivered some gorgeous shots of an abandoned London.
    • "City of Death" has a lot of beautiful shots of Paris. "Shada" attempted to duplicate this success with Cambridge, but the episode got stuck in Development Hell. Some of the prettier surviving shots (the Doctor punting a blissed-out Romana up the Cam) were recycled to Fake Shemp the Fourth Doctor into "The Five Doctors".
    • "The Two Doctors" is set beautifully in Seville simply because the showrunner at the time fancied a holiday there. One of the common fan complaints about the serial is that, unlike the clever use of Paris in "City of Death", the setting adds nothing to the plot.
    • Oddly averted in "Planet of the Dead", where the location shooting in Dubai was heavily hyped, but apart from the area directly around the bus the vista is mostly CGI of an infinite desert (and not particularly good CGI either).
  • Every episode of Emerald City contains spectacular vistas both natural and architectural.
  • The NHK series Fudoki consists of lush looks at Japan's historical and natural wonders.
  • Game of Thrones: The series as a whole is known for its often breathtaking Scenery Porn and beautiful establishing shots of locations, both real and computer-enhanced. Even its Title Sequence fits under this.
    • The show went for this in a big way in Season 2, with absolutely stunning visages and creative cinematography to show off the glories of the Icelandic landscape. Notable also in that the plot for those scenes was rather basic and setting up for the next season (mostly just walking from place to place) which really did not need to be so stunning, but, damn it was cool.
    • The scenery in Bear Island, where House Mormont lives, is beautiful.
  • The Great British Bake Off: Picturesque shots of the lovely manor gardens surrounding the Bake Off Tent are routinely used as transitional cutaways. As a bonus, most also involve adorable animals, including lambs, ducks, bees visiting flowers and — most memorably, in series 2 — squirrels.
  • Both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys & Xena: Warrior Princess, both filmed in New Zealand, had some of this.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water is sponsored by Australia's Gold Coast tourist board and Sea World. Many Americans hadn't really heard of the Gold Coast before this, but wow, is it pretty.
  • I Spy has a lot of this, including footage of Hong Kong, Mexico and San Francisco. This was unusual for the time, as most series were filmed on the backlot, with some added stock footage.
  • The opening episodes of the third season of It Takes a Thief (1968), filmed and set in Italy, featured a lot of this.
  • JAG: The 100th and 101st episodes "Boomerang", filmed on location in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia certainly took advantage of the setting. Also the parts of early season 5 episodes filmed aboard the nuclear air craft carrier USS John C. Stennis certainly did that as well.
  • The crossover movie Kamen Rider Drive and Kamen Rider Gaim has the gorgeous planet where Kouta and Mai live.
  • Both Kingdom and Doc Martin have long shots of their (Norfolk and Cornwall respectively) scenery.
  • Supposedly the reason why Last of the Summer Wine was initially popular was that people would watch with the sound off, ignore the plot, and just gaze at the beautiful scenery. The people who watched the unfunny "comedy" A Year in Provence generally did the same thing.
  • Life had great cinematography, and also showed the LA area to good effect.
  • Life on Mars (2006) went out of its way to establish its version of the Seventies, down to copying lighting and cinematography techniques from Seventies films and television. A prime example of Real Is Brown.
  • Lost. The directors of the show not only used the gorgeous vistas of Hawai'i (where they actually shot) really well, but they also created really meaningful establishing shots. No generic, CSI-style flyovers here, folks.
  • Mad Men has ridiculous amounts of detail in the backgrounds and props, things that add character but never, ever get used. One hotel room gets a suit valet (thing you hang a suit on), a bottle of liquor in the background, clothes and pocket-stuff, cuff links... and none of it is used or referred to, but captures the era.
  • The scenery in Australian drama McLeod's Daughters is lush and beautiful. The sweeping shots over the farms are stunning.
  • The Dutch version of The Mole seems to have taken a page from The Amazing Race (above), using gorgeous scenery for Establishing Shots.
  • Many of the sketches in Monty Python's Flying Circus written by Terry Jones/Michael Palin were set on location in beautiful countryside locations. (It got to the point where as soon as they began reading a sketch, John Cleese would go 'here we go, pan over beautiful countryside'). Lampshaded in a sketch at the end of one episode which starts with an image of the ocean roaring onto a beach, at which point John Cleese comes on and apologises for the fact that there's no actual jokes at all, but at least the scenery is lovely.
  • The Ken Burns mini series The National Parks: America's Best Idea is essentially six episodes of old photos, talking heads, and lots and lots of this.
  • No Reservations is as much Scenery Porn as it is Food Porn.
  • NYPD Blue really liked its slice-of-life shots of the titular city. Law & Order and its offspring occasionally indulge too.
  • Person of Interest, being about an Artificial Intelligence that spies on you, features many nice time-lapse surveillance shots of New York City, as well as some very pretty internal computer interfaces that sort through dozens of surveillance feeds, display data, and generate predictions. In Season 4, a second AI comes into the storyline with its own take on these things as well.
  • The Pillars of the Earth has its churches. Its gorgeous gorgeous churches.
  • The BBC documentary series Planet Earth has a ton of this. Aerial views of mountains, deserts, and forests, waterfalls and oceans, large migrating groups of animals, and more, all shot in HD, no less! Just let this video explain for itself.
  • Poldark spends a lot of time on beautiful, dreamy shots of the Cornish landscape and coastline.
  • Ever since Power Rangers moved to New Zealand, they've been taking advantage of the beautiful landscapes the country has. Power Rangers Mystic Force and Power Rangers Ninja Storm are especially good for it.
  • The Prisoner (1967) had its exterior scenes filmed on location at Portmeirion resort, an Italian-styled village built in the 1920s. Incredibly picturesque and exotic looking, it made for a memorable background as a vacation home/prison.
  • The Santa Barbara police station on Psych falls into the Architecture Porn category. Many of the exteriors, whether filmed in Vancouver or Southern California, are also very pretty.
  • Pushing Daisies not only has this (including a beautiful CGI-enhanced graveyard), it also has architecture Porn. Can't... stop... drooling! The episode "Window Dressed To Kill" has, towards the start, a shot of a massive prison in the middle of an icy area that qualifies as Scenery Porn among Scenery Porn. Seriously, it's gorgeous.
  • Rosemary & Thyme features two women solving mysteries and gardening. Since they do gardening jobs for big stately homes set in the British countryside the locales are often beautiful, and only enhanced by the work the main characters do (just ignore the corpses).
  • Sense8 is shot on location in San Francisco, Seoul, Mexico City, London, Mumbai, Nairobi, Chicago, Berlin, and Iceland, by double-Oscar-winning director of photography John Toll, and takes full advantage of both those facts.
  • The Granada TV Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett is pure Victorian Scenery Porn, down to every last detail. It was one of the last ITV series that got given a big enough budget to reproduce this kind of detail—when you look at their later dramas, there simply isn't as much stuff on tables, walls, on the streets because they can't afford it anymore. And considering how the Victorians loved their bric-a-brac, every elaborately decorated inkwell, every Orientalist screen, every Arts and Crafts wall-hanging, every lead ornament on a window, every motherfucking Symbolist painting whose height of popularity matches the story year exactly is enough to make the history geek pass out in ecstasy. And that's before we see the ominous print of the frickin' Reichenbach Falls on Holmes's mantlepiece, and the way the directors framed numerous shots to match the original Sidney Paget illustrations... excuse me, I think I need a lie-down.
  • The Sons of Anarchy episode "Lochan Mór" opens with a montage of the boys driving through the Northern Irish countryside.
  • Stargate Atlantis: The city of Atlantis is beautiful in its own right, but several later-season nighttime establishing shots are breathtaking.
  • Star Trek: Voyager has a ridiculously gorgeous opening title sequence — so much so that it broke physics.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • In "Remembrance", the episode begins with shots of various nebulae, and they're stunning. The forested hills that are beyond Picard's vineyard (they can be seen behind his outdoor dining table) are picturesque.
    • In "The End Is the Beginning", Jurati has a magnificent view of the Okinawan sea shore while eating lunch just outside of the Daystrom Institute.
    • In "Absolute Candor", we get a glimpse of the woodland next to North Station, and it's a glorious sight in an otherwise desert environment. The humongous tree where the Qowat Milat nuns reside adds an almost mythical feel to the area. There's also a lovely waterfall on the right side of the screen.
    • In "Nepenthe", the Okinawan sea shore is filmed from a different angle than in "The End Is the Beginning", and the wide shot of the blue-green waves crashing upon the rocky cliff is gorgeous. Nepenthe is a beautiful world with pristine forests, lakes and mountains, and we're treated to more than one sweeping vista of it.
  • The Straits revels in the contrast between its action-packed and violent crime premise, and the pristine natural beauty of northern Australia and the tropical coast of Papua New Guinea. The opener alone contains plenty of this.
  • Discovery HD Theater gave the world a show that consisted entirely of distilled Scenery Porn, called Sunrise Earth.
  • The reality TV Show Survivor likes to film in tropical locations, often using some beautiful aerial views during the torch walks (or in the case of "Palau", downright beautiful shots of the ocean). It was already darn beautiful, especially during some of the tribal council sets. (Especially "China", which had the most elaborate tribal council set as described by the show staff) However, it went Up to Eleven in "Gabon" when they made the jump to HD. While people have gotten bored of having four seasons filmed in Samoa (Within two years), they really do showcase that the world can be a very beautiful place.
  • Supernatural sometimes engages in this. Sam and Dean often stop to talk in ridiculously beautiful locations such as scenic overlooks or mist enshrouded train trestles. In addition, the Impala often motors by impressive back-roads scenery.
    • Their often quirky and sometimes themed hotel rooms could also be argued to be this with all of the attention to detail put into the rooms' decoration, but can also cross over into Scenery Gorn when the room details include stained wallpaper, rundown furniture, and worn carpeting and bedding, invoking a feeling of what else might not be the most cleanly about the room.
  • Tales from the Loop is full of magnificent visuals inspired by the original book. Visual effects producer Andrea Knoll stated that the crew would stop a single frame and say "Okay, does this look like a painting?"
  • On Top Gear during their overseas specials, at least a few minutes of reverent attention is paid to the surroundings. The Vietnam special was particularly devoted to this, at least in part because the presenters wanted to show the country as "more than just that place where a war happened".
    • Top Gear has a steamy love affair with this trope. The Aston Martin V12 Vantage is one of the most poignant pieces of film they have ever produced, inter-cut masterfully with the wilds of Scotland. There's also that time they reviewed the Jaguar XK in the Yorkshire Dales.
  • Top of the Lake has lots of really gorgeous scenery from the New Zealand mountains.
  • Expect television coverage of the Tour de France to feature a lot of helicopter shots whenever the Tour passes through somewhere scenic.
  • Twin Peaks has some truly beautiful cinematography. The opening also gives you a good first look at some of the breathtaking nature scenery you're going to see in the show.
  • Torchwood is full of beautiful shots of Cardiff. And in "Countrycide", the countryside.
  • The Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Wallander, set in southern Sweden, is heavy on the Scenery Porn, with countless lingering shots of beautiful Swedish landscapes.
  • Wheel of Fortune can get very elaborate with its set designs, which change every week. They especially love Halloween week, where the set is replete with gag tombstones, an animatronic gargoyle, smoke and lights, etc.
  • Y Gwyll wastes no time in photographing all that Mid-Wales has to offer in its bleak and eerie beauty. From the waves crashing onto Aberystwyth's historic strand, to the windswept Cambrian Mountains, to the primordial mossy ravine below Devil's Bridge falls, to the misty bogs at daybreak in Borth, the scenery really helps to elevate the moodiness of Y Gwyll.
  • The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles had breathtaking scenes set in, among other important communes, Paris, London and Vienna, although they were primarily shot in Prague.


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