Of course we watch TV for its entertainment value, but as design enthusiasts, we have a particular interest in the spaces where those shows take place. A set quite literally sets the scene, and is also a wealth of information into the character and their story. When a show has been around for a long time, the space becomes so familiar, like the home of a close friend or family member. Unsurprisingly, the shows nominated for Emmys take place on spectacular sets. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites from this year:
The Handmaid’s Tale
The dystopian drama based on the classic Margaret Atwood novel ran on Hulu earlier this year, and we were struck by how the disturbing events felt even more terrifying against the pristine upper class homes on the show. Though they’re fancy, they’re not all that different than what we see around us, making Gilead feel both plausible and extremely unsettling. The show won Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour Or More) at the Creative Arts Emmys last week.
The half hour comedy won Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less) at the Creative Arts Emmys, and with good reason. The HBO show goes to great lengths to recreate the realness of D.C. office space: Pod Save America podcast hosts (former Obama staffers) said in an April 10 episode that Veep is closer to their real-life D.C. experience than any other Washington-set show, like House of Cards or even The West Wing.
Master of None
The Netflix comedy co-created and starring Aziz Ansari was nominated for eight Emmys this year, including Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actor. Though it didn’t get any nods for its set, we love that Dev’s apartment is rooted in Ansari’s real life style. Production designer Amy Williams also gave us some insight into the space, saying Dev is “the kind of guy that would occasionally splurge for a cool chair after booking a high-paying commercial.”
We love a good period drama, and yet it’s got to be tough to recreate such a famous woman (the Queen) in such a famous residence (Buckingham Palace). But Netflix’s The Crown rose to the challenge, taking home the Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period Program (One Hour or More). We did our best to round up items for you to get the look (without owning crown jewels) here.
Big Little Lies
No other show gave us quite the real estate porn that Big Little Lies did this year. The HBO whodunit had a stellar cast, gripping storyline, and impressive twist finale, in addition to those stunning multimillion dollar homes perched on miles of California coastline. It raked in an impressive 16 nominations, including Best Limited Series and a slew of acting nods.
The Primetime Emmys (hosted by Stephen Colbert) air tonight Sunday, September 17, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.