15 TV Shows for Architecture and Design Lovers (and Lovers of Architects)

Following up on our “15 Movies for Modern Architecture and Design Lovers,” we have decided to share a list of fifteen visually stunning serials for those in search of something to watch. Movies are great for one-night binges, but sometimes, when a story is so gripping you don’t want it to end, a TV series is the perfect fit. Plus, some of these selections feature architects as protagonists, which is definitely an added bonus. Take a look at our suggestions below, including something for everyone; from the family home from “The Brady Bunch” to the murderous halls of “American Horror Story: Hotel.”

 

Mister Ed (1961)

Where to Watch: Dailymotion 

Genre: Comedy

The 1961 sitcom series Mister Ed, was a heartwarming black-and-white look at the life of Wilbur Post, an architect who moves from Los Angeles to a farm, where he discovers that his new horse can speak. Although the series does not feature grandiose architecture or interiors, it is a worthwhile oldie that puts an architect at the helm of the storyline.

 

Addams Family (1964)

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Genre: Comedy

Located at the infamous 1 Cemetery Lane, the Victorian Addams mansion was a museum-like home for the fantastically creepy family of quirky occult characters. The orante set was filled with odd statues, supernatural art, and (fittingly) a mideivil torture chamber.

The Brady Bunch (1969)

Where to Watch: Hulu

Genre: Comedy

One of the most beloved television shows of all time, “The Brady Bunch,” which follows a six-child household, led by an architect and his wife, and chronicles their adventures in suburban living. The classic show was primarily set in the Brady household, which was a mid-century masterpiece fit for an architect as the main character. A 2019 HGTV special, “A Very Brady Renovation,” saw original cast members reunite to renovate the Studio City home originally used for filming. 

Mad Men (2007)

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Genre: Drama

Known by some as the television show with the best interiors of all time, Jon Hamm’s Madison Avenue-set series captures the exquisite midcentury madness of the 1960s advertising boom. Sourced with furniture from the actual catalogs of the time, “Mad Men” is the Holy Grail of period dramas. 

Homecoming (2018)

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Genre: Science Fiction

Filmed on a Toyota campus built in the 80s, the Julia Roberts (season 1) and Janelle Monae (season 2) starring psychological thriller takes place at the mysterious Geist Corporation, a futuristic company set against the backdrop of a modernist building that contribute to the show’s suspenseful nature.

Westworld (2016)

Where to Watch: HBO Max

Genre: Science Fiction

One of the most mind-boggling science fiction series of all time, HBO’s “Westworld” splits its time between an old Western town and sleek corporate labs and control rooms. The android-focused show reveals an even broader vision of the future in their third season, which left audiences speechless.

 

Scream Queens (2015)

Where to Watch: Hulu

Genre: Comedy / Horror

Ryan Murphy knows how to choose a set. Some of next few shows are some of his best projects, with period-accurate sets and breathtaking locations. Set on a wealthy college campus, the Ryan Murphy (“Glee,” “Nip/Tuck,” “American Horror Story”) comedy-horror is pure camp; and its sets are nothing short of complimentary to the quirky plot. For a group of menacing-yet-trendy sorority girls, interior design plays a major role in the aesthetics of their glamorous lives.

 

American Horror Story: Coven (2013)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Genre: Horror

“American Horror Story”’s third season, “Coven,” follows a group of troublesome teen witches living in an 1850’s New Orleans mansion. The house and its bloody history play a significant part of the story, although, warning: this season is certainly not for the faint of heart.

 

The Crown (2016)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Genre: Drama / Historical 

If you love royal drama and aristocratic castles, “The Crown” is a stylish and accurate portrayal of the design and decor of the British monarchy. The story’s primary location, Buckingham Palace, was recreated in a series of Tudor homes across England, with a touch of CGI for accuracy. 

American Horror Story: Hotel (2015)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Genre: Horror

Another installment of “American Horror Story” we just could not leave off the list is the Lady Gaga-starring “Hotel.” This installment looks into the world of vampires in a paranormal 1920s art-deco hotel, here dubbed “The Cortez,” and inspire dby real-life murderous architect HH Holmes, who designed a hotel fit for murder and cover up. 

 

Ozark (2017)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Genre: Drama / Crime

The Netflix fan-favorite starring Jason Bateman follows a seemingly-average suburban family who relocates to the remote mountains to launder money. Their lakeside rental is a gorgeous mid-century house surrounded by trees; and makes a perfect setting from the family drama, tension, and thrills that ensue.

Big Little Lies (2017)

Where to Watch: HBO Max

Genre: Thriller 

If you have not seen this star-studded Californian thriller, there is no better time than now. The two-season series is set against the backdrop of Monterey, California, with the character’s homes – especially Renata’s (Laura Dern) – epitomizing the term “dream house.” The nail-biter’s plot is certainly more of a focus than the sets, but there is no denying that after one episode you will wish you could hop on a plane to California. 

 

American Crime Story: Versace (2018)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Genre: Thriller / Crime

To sell it simply: the second installment of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series following the most iconic crimes in American history, “The Assasination of Gianni Versace” shot key scenes in the opulent Versace mansion in Miami, perhaps one of he most infamous interiors in the world. The mini series focuses on Versace’s killer and his life of crime, but not without exploring the Miami beach Architectural District first.

 

Hollywood (2020)

Where to Watch: Netflix

Genre: Drama / Historical

Set in 1940s Hollywood, Ryan Murphy’s seven-part period drama follows an ensemble cast of producers, aspiring actors, and soon-to-be-starlets as they try to make it in the Golden Age of film. The series boasts glamorous old Hollywood mansions, restaurants, and auto body shops sure to please anyone who digs retro design.

 

DEVS (2020)

Where to Watch: Hulu

Genre: Science Fiction

This cerebral science fiction show starring “Parks & Recreation”’s Nick Offerman, by the creator of “Ex Machina” (one of our favorites, see our movies post) takes place in a mysterious tech facility, actually filmed on the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. The modern campus’ larger-than-life windows and cement corridors add to the elite, eerie feeling DEVS successfully creates.