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We are late to the party: you’ve all probably already seen the spectacular miniseries, but we only watched it, delightedly, last month, and so we want to share our impressions and maybe convince a few other latecomers. So, do watch

A Queen’s Gambit

What is it? A period miniseries telling the story of Beth, an orphaned girl who develops a masterful skill at chess. From a Christian orphanage, through Kentucky suburbs, she rises to compete in the grandest international tournaments.

Why we love it? This is a beautifully done show, with a lot of attention to detail and a thrilling psychological portrait of an exceptional person. Some people claimed that it is interesting despite all the chess and thanks to the motifs of addiction and dysfunction, but we actually liked the chess (even though we’re very much not players or fans of the game).

Visually speaking, everything looks wonderful. The recreation of 1950s and 1960s is fantastic, with gorgeous outfits and interiors. Additionally, every new locale has its distinct visual character reflecting the changes in Beth’s life and commenting on them.

A slightly late recommendation, but we spent literally the last days of December delighting in this show.

Bridgerton (season 1)

What is it? A Shondaland foray into (alternative) Regency England, of all places, the show tells a story of a London season and the debutantes’ hunt for husbands.

Why we love it? Once you give up the expectations for historical accuracy, this show is pure delight. Its rompy, sudsy drama kept us glued to the screen. The show refuses to apologize for everything it is not and embraces its chosen convention – which is basically sexy costume melodrama – with aplomb. Most of its vast array of characters are likeable and fairy well-cast, with some choices nearing perfection (particularly Polly Walker as Lady Portia).

Visually speaking, the show is as lovely as anything, with vivid bright colors and lovingly created super clean London streets. Is it realistic? We bet not. But it looks charming as hell.

November’s been on the busy side and the only thing we managed to watch together was Perry Mason and this is what we want to share with you.

Perry Mason (season 1)

What is it? An HBO show that reimagines the old-school lawyer Perry Mason as a bit of a bum, a private investigator and, yes, a lawyer but mostly by accident. It takes place in 1930s LA where a truly gruesome crime is committed and Perry takes it upon himself to discover the truth.

Why we love it? It’s a meticulously done show, nicely shot and oppressively dark. It’s as noir as you can take it, guys. But what we love particularly is Matthew Rhys as Perry and Tatiana Maslany in a guest role as a lady preacher. These are two actors that we loved, loooooved in The Americans and Orphan Black respectively and they don’t disappoint.

Visually speaking, we were truly impressed by the attention to detail, including design details of old ads, signs etc. This show simply looks damn good. While the story gets you down occasionally, it’s always pleasant to look at.

re-commendations-impulseOn December we skipped recommending stuff to you because Christmas and work took up all of our time anyway. But this month we’re back with another show that we think you might like and that kept us excited this month.

Impulse (season 1 and 2)

What is it? A show by YouTube Red tells a story of Henry, a teenage girl with a superpower: she teleports. This is not your run-of-the-mill superhero story, though. It’s also not a teen drama, not really.

Why we love it? It’s a surprisingly mature and original story: not so much a story for teenagers as about them. It captures well the frustratingly bad choices teenagers make. It also sets itself an ambitious task of examining the consequences of sexual trauma and of unconventional parenting. And we truly love Henry’s sidekicks, Jenna and Townes, who are shown with warmth and sensitivity.

Visually speaking, the tone is confidently bleak and cold, Henry’s town consistently uninviting. Everyone wears winter clothes, which we appreciate because Hollywood notoriously ignores low temperatures, having people dressed in T-shirts in winter. We could live without the shaky camera, though.

redesign_studio-recommendations-carnival_rowMany of the projects we are working on now take a long time to complete and longer to photograph and so we thought to add a new feature to our blog which would allow us to share with you also some other things that we spend our time on (instead of the constant sneak peeks). We don’t even want to focus on strictly design-related things but rather draw your attention to different things you might like.

Every end of the month we are going to recommend to you one thing that kept us involved and excited and tell you why. We’re starting with:

Carnival Row (season 1)

What is it? A fantasy show from Amazon Studios, showing an alternate reality where fantasy creatures live alongside humans in a sort-of Victorian reality. However, the politics of the world are messy (and heavily a metaphor of non-fantasy politics, but we’ll let it slide), the persecution increasing and, to make matters worse, mysterious crimes ravage the capital. The story focuses on a police inspector and a pixie refugee who used to be a couple and now reconnect.

Why we love it? For the meticulous world-building, an interesting plot and some great acting (particularly from the supporting actors though we gotta admit: Orlando Bloom ages well). Also, we’re suckers for all sorts Victoriana and if it has a whiff of magic, all the better.

Visually speaking, the not-London is stunning. Clearly, the creators paid a lot of attention to detail and to differentiating between locations. It pays off.

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Those of you who’ve been with us for a while will have seen this project but we’re reposting both for the new guests and because of the special occasion: the 25th anniversary of the first emission of Friends, which remains just about the most popular TV show in TV history (we go by impression, not data, here).

For us the show was certainly an important one (well, for one of us; the other one only watched it much later). We celebrated 20 years of Friends with a poster in which we designed an icon for each episode: that was a lot of icon-designing and a lot of Friends-watching and both of those things were so much fun.

poster_friends_wizIf you like the poster, it’s available for sale here.

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And for those who only like a particular season or would like all the seasons separately so that they can cover the entire wall with bigger Friends icons, we also made 10 posters for 10 seasons.

friends-20-redesign-season01Season 1: The One Where They Get a Monkey, a Fussball Table and Rachel (buy here).

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Season 2: The One Where Joey Moves Out and Back In (buy here).

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Season 3: The One with All the Drama with Ross and Rachel (buy here).

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Season 4: The One That Ends in London (buy here).

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Season 5: The One with Monica and Chandler’s Secret (buy here).

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Season 6: The One Where Monica and Chandler Get Engaged (buy here).

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Season 7: The One Where Monica and Chandler Get Married (buy here).

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Season 8: The One with Rachel’s Pregnancy (buy here).

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Season 9: The One Largely about Babies (buy here).

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Season 10: The Last One Where They All Become Adults (Except for Joey) (buy here; all posters can also be bought here).

Original post with a bit more of our Friends story and sentiments here. (And yes, we’re Monica and Chandler fans.)

And on an unrelated note: did you know there’s a Friends Lego set? You probably did. It seems quite fun.

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This week marks the 20th anniversary of Sex and the City, one of the cult TV shows of the late 90s / early 2000s, which changed the way people talked about sex and female friendship on TV. As you might have noticed, we like celebrating shows that were important to us with posters and so we have designed a poster for the occasion. Since one of the more characteristic things about the show (and one which has aged a little better than others) was always fashion, particularly Carrie Bradshaw’s crazy outfits, we have focused the poster on Carrie’s classic (and less classic) looks, 69 of them.

We did a whole lot of research (both re-watching the show and looking at many, many lists of “best outfits on SATC”) and sketched more than 90 looks that seemed important, then trimming the list down a little (it was still a lot of dresses to draw). We generally focused on those clothes which were somehow connected with the storylines and so, to my chagrin, did not include almost any of my personal favorites: the lunch outfits, but instead recreated various combinations she wore when breaking up and reconnecting with her significant boyfriends and experiencing .

If you like the poster, you may buy it from bza.co.

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And if you like the behind-the-scenes images, here’s what the research notes look like (we’re not those designers who make beautiful, print-ready sketches).

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Our project Iconic TV Posters happened a while ago (here and then here) and since then we’ve been watching some new shows so it’s only right to broaden the list every now and then. Today we add a show for your guessing pleasure (assuming you even heard of it). It’s just finished its second season and it remains a weird and charming (if sometimes darkish) delight that so far we’ve had no success in recommending to our friends. So, do you know the show as encapsulated in these three icons?

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We’ll put the answer in the comments and if, like us, you appreciate an original thought in the creation of a show, give it a try.

And if you like the poster, as usual we added it to our stores on Society6 and bza.