HBO’s teen drama Euphoria recently won Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) at the 74th Primetime Creative Arts Emmys. Adapted from the Israeli miniseries of the same title, Euphoria is known for beautifully incorporating saturated colors and meticulous lighting, playing a contributing factor to the show’s grim meets retro Y2K aesthetic.
Cinematography is just as essential to a filmed production as any other component behind the scenes. While colors are used to symbolize moods and themes, sharpness is utilized to highlight the emotions of the characters within a scene’s predicament. A lot of shows look stunning, but users of Reddit have discussed which shows have the best cinematography.
In the way of shows with outstanding cinematography, Reddit user maybachmonk feels that HBO’s Succession “is not being said enough for my liking”. The dramedy revolves around various members of the affluent Roy family, who are at the helm of the world’s largest media and entertainment company.
Since the show’s inception, Patrick Capone, Chris Norr, and Andrij Praekh have been combined forces in cinematography. Every frame in Succession adds realism to a story with natural lighting in a handheld camera style, providing the audience proper observation of its characters and scenarios.
Reddit user DancingOnACounter thinks”fargoespecially season 1″ has terrific cinematography. An anthology series adapted from the Coen Brothers movie of the same title, season 1 pays homage to the original film and establishes an individual story. The first season’s location was Bemidji, Minnesota, paving the way for a malevolent and murderous winter wonderland.
Dim lighting and crisp color rendering were implemented to flesh out the show’s ghastly tone. Cinematographer Dana Gonzales incorporates Joel and Ethan Coen’s wider lens usage while creating a sensible yet independent style of his own.
many feel mr. Robot was a show people didn’t watch enough during its original run, despite earning leading man Rami Malek a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2016. Redditor BoatsnGoats1 thinks that every episode feels like the “cinematographer is having af** k*ng blast with every frame”.
mr. Robot’s cinematography was vibrant in more illustrious scenes, but where the show excelled was in scenes that held a higher level of emotional poignancy. The techno-thriller’s cinematographer Tod Campbell frequently incorporated lower quadrant framing for moments capturing Elliott’s (Malek) angst and solitude.
One of 2022’s funniest running TV shows, Atlanta is a fan favorite and critical darling, with the master behind the dramedy brainchild being none other than Community alum Donald Glover. Reddit user Sneaky_Donkey feels Atlanta‘s cinematography “is criminally underappreciated”.
Where Atlanta aesthetically thrives is through cinematographers Christian Spranger and Stephen Murphy’s usage of underexposure. The scenes of darker contrast present refined realism through its humble setting. Without even trying, the simplistic lights add such emphasis to the heart of the stories.
Better Call Saul
Breaking Bad‘s prequel spin-off Better Call Saul had enormous shoes to fill in the way of matching its predecessor. The show went beyond expectations in acting, writing, and cinematography. Reddit user b_knickerboxker thinks BCS is like “watching a series of the most amazing paintings you’ve ever seen”.
The brilliance of the cinematography is evident not only in the episodes, but also in Better Call Saul‘s must watch opening credits. Warmer hues highlight tense scenes with cooler colors utilized for relaxed moments. Cinematographer Marshall Adams mixes things up with the selection of camera angles, toggling from extreme close-ups to extreme wide shots.
The sci-fi series Legion deserves a second chance. An adaptation of the Marvel comic series of the same title, Legion showcased solid performances, nuanced storylines, and beautiful visuals in two seasons. Redditor Civil-Big-754 thinks the FX series was an “incredibly underrated show and it had some amazing shots”.
fargo cinematographer Dana Gonzales and Polly Morgan created a dystopian universe draped in Technicolor and bittersweet camera angles. legion’s kinetic color scheme heightens the show’s passion and pathos, further adding to the intense ambiance of the complex narrative.
Reddit user Estebanq thinks that the Apple+ series “pachinko is really underappreciated”. Debuting in 2022, the drama is an adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s novel of the same name, revolving around a Korean family that immigrated to the United States. pachinko has received widespread praise, especially regarding cinematography.
Cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister wanted to integrate Korean and American stylized elements to represent the characters’ two different sides, that of their home country and their present land. panchinko is a show that uses a more subdued color palette to bring focus to the story’s emotional depth.
The Marvelous Mrs. maizel
Set in the 1950s and 60s, Amazon Primes The Marvelous Mrs. maizel provides a swell time every season, from the snappy dialogue to the breathtaking aesthetics. This Reddit user thinks that “the overall color composition for that show is just beautiful”.
Whether the setting was Manhattan, the Catskills, or Paris, every frame designed by cinematographer David Mullen could be a painting emerging from a time capsule, perfectly matching the era. His preference for using long-take shots pays off well, effortlessly establishing nuance and atmosphere for each scene.
Game of Thrones
HBOs Game of Thrones burned the television mold to the ground when it premiered in 2011. Adapted from George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, the show hits on every major level, which is why Redditor boofoodoo picked “Game of Thrones“for fantastic television cinematography.
Cinematographers Annette Haellmigk and Fabian Wagner’s work on the show has been unanimously praised, breathing as much life as possible into the fictitious world of Westeros. Game of Thrones utilized its visuals as a storytelling launchpad of context in the thralls of stunning scenery and production design.
Reddit user Fantaghir0 feels “Squid Game” ranks among the best television cinematography. Netflix’s South Korean dystopian drama stands out for personifying the mise-en-scene, which translates from French into “the complete scene”. Having lost the Outstanding Cinematography trophy to EuphoriaEpisode 7 “VIPS” should have been Squid Game‘s Emmy submission on Episode 4, “Stick To The Team”.
“VIPS” is Squid Game‘s strongest and most visually vibrant episode, creating a hypnotic dream of jungle decor and Circus chic. Cinematographer Lee Hyunh’s implementation of an unusual color palette serves the purpose of irony while contrasting the show’s sinister themes.
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