'Mad Men' is so absurdly beautiful. And so is Christina Hendricks.



Check out the Best TV Shows To Screencap

We live in an era of repurposing. Screencaps, Snapchat, and GIFs transform our favorite shows into bite-sized images. But, what shows are the best for those of us who incessantly screencap every moment spent online? The following shows have incredible cinematography, paying attention to framing, symmetry, and color scheme in a way that re-runs of Friends just can’t. Add them to your queue, make sure you can quickly screen-cap on your computer (Command-Shift-3 on Mac, Windows-PrntScn on Windows), and horde each beautiful frame until your hard drive runs out of space.

True Detective

The incredible imagery found within the first season of True Detective should come as no surprise to those familiar with director Cary Fukunaga’s filmography. His other works–Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, and the recent Beasts of No Nation–all have a tremendous sense of place. Matthew McConaughey’s now-famous monologues as Detective Rustin Cohle were empowered by the show’s bold use of color, thanks to cinematographer Adam Arkapaw, which lent Louisiana’s roadways and swamplands a flourish of psychedelia. The series’ twists and turns felt consistent in Fukunaga’s universe. A not-quite real dreamscape gave the world character that the second season of True Detective lacked.

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The infamous six-minute tracking shot.

The Man In The High Castle

The last time Ridley Scott was connected to an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story, Blade Runner happened. Now, we get the Amazon Prime-exclusive miniseries The Man In The High Castle, an alt-history series that recasts the Axis Powers as the victors. Cinematographer James Hawkinson has worked hard to maintain Scott’s signature style, and the result is awe-inspiring–retro-futuristic depictions of the United States, from cities to towns, drenched in Nazi propaganda and layered in an ominous fog.

Fire and brimstone and Nazis.

Twin Peaks

This one is practically cheating. David Lynch’s Twin Peaks was a stunner back when TVs were reliant on bunny-ear antennae. So much of its imagery has survived to this day–from the iconic red room with its zigzagging checkered floor, to the quiet unease of the American northwest. If you haven’t gotten into this show, capturing and poring over every single frame, now might be a good time–the long, long-awaited third season is set to roll out next year. It’s some damn good watching.

The famous red room.

Bleak House

Fact: At any given moment, the BBC is adapting a Dickens work. Its latest attempt? Dickensian, a soapy melange that casts famous Dickens characters across novels. The show, which premiered on December 26th, will have to stand up to Bleak House, the critically-acclaimed 2005 miniseries (and one of the first shows broadcast in full HD!). The series stars everyone’s X-Files crush Gillian Anderson as the melancholic and courtly Lady Dedlock, who steals the spotlight in every scene she’s in. Secondly, the show is absolutely gorgeous, perfectly capturing the muck and mire of London’s industrial streets, as well as the gothic timelessness of the countryside. You get a true sense for the rabble and bustle that defined Dickens’ lifetime.

Gillian Anderson in ‘Bleak House.’

Mad Men

We’ve heard the complaint that Mad Men’s universe doesn’t look lived in–from scene to scene, its rooms look like a tearout from some bygone Sears catalogue. But the show’s ultra-smooth visuals are clean by design, juxtaposed against ugly and invisible trends of sexism, alcoholism, and self-loathing. That the show maintained its aesthetic poise through seven seasons, while cycling through directors and cinematographers, is a testament to its focus. It’s a show that visually celebrates a culture without idolizing it–a drama that keeps us glued to the screen for every beautifully-framed shot and unseen plot twist. Bravo.

RIP, most gorgeous show ever.

Stay tuned to Milk for more visual treats.

Images via Slate, Screenshank, Moviehole, Gillian Anderson Fan

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