10 Great TV Shows That Are Ugly On Purpose

8. Pistol

Channel Zero

You take Danny Boyle, The Sex Pistols, a punk pastiche aesthetic, mix them all up, and what do you get? An ugly yet riveting miniseries.

This show is a textbook example of how ugliness can be beautiful. Pistol makes you feel like you're stepping inside the archive footage of a Sex Pistols concert and does so entirely thanks to specific filmmaking tools.

The series chooses to be framed with a 4:3 aspect ratio, reflecting the TV mechanics of the '70s. This is taken even further by the constant cutaways to actual vault footage, which matches this specific framing and makes you question whether are you watching constructed drama or real-life moments.

In addition to this comes the camera focus, which flip-flops between a soft focus and a grittier one. Both of these visual tones and the switches between them give the show a chaotic and manic vibe, especially when paired with the frantic editing. But, they also make the series look grungy and gritty, capturing the essence of The Sex Pistols.

Overall, it's a thoughtful and unique-looking show that readily emits the ugly, filthy energy of the band it's honouring - even if John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten) has shared his hatred for it.

In this post: 
Channel Zero
First Posted On: 

Michael is my name, overanalysing comedy is my game! Anime, wrestling, TV, movies and video games all live in my head rent free!