Writer/director Jake Kasdan's showbiz comedy The TV Set stars David Duchovny as Mike Klein, a television producer who in the beginning of the film successfully sells a network on a story idea. The film follows Klein as he must actually put the show together, navigate the corporate minefield of the network, and figure out what aspects of his show he is willing to compromise. Sigourney Weaver plays the demanding president of the network, Justine Bateman plays Klein's wife, and Judy Greer plays his manager. The TV Set had its world premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
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Somehow I felt like this should have been funnier. It was like watching three episodes of a half decent HBO sitcom, like Curb Your Enthusiasm starring David Duchovny.
Here he plays a writer who's making a very personal series, and the network loves it. Trouble is, in order to get it on the air, he has to make more and more compromises to please the suits. Sigourney Weaver is great as the clueless president who has her 14-year-old make all the network decisions, and she says things, "Originality's great as long as it's not too original."
The movie goes down a familiar, predictable path, and I was hoping the guy who did Thank You for Smoking could do more with this material, but alas it wasn't meant to be.
Ever wonder why there's never anything good on TV? The hilarious yet unsettling "The TV Set" takes you to the exact place where artistic integrity and network television collide and shows you exactly why the former never ends up on the latter. At its best, this film is a brilliant modernization of/homage to "Network," Sidney Lumet's 1976 masterpiece on the state of the American entertainment industry. Here, idealistic TV writer Mike Klein (David Duchovny doing equal parts deadpan and man-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown) watches as his smart, serious, and deeply personal series pilot is sliced and diced by network execs down to a broad, low-brow sitcom complete with fart jokes. Sigourney Weaver is great as the emasculating head exec. Writer/director Joseph Kasdan is obviously drawing from personal experiences having worked on some of the most famous brilliant-but-cancelled shows of this decade ("Freaks and Geeks," Grosse Pointe," "Undeclared").
This is a comedy about the misery one writer goes through in trying to get his pilot picked up by a network. David Duchovny's simple comedy "The Wexler Chronicles" must compete with such popular offerings as "Infidelity 101", "The World's Grossest Meals" and "(Loose Woman) Wars". We see him through auditions and the challenge of getting the ego-bound actor who plays Wexler to give the same performance on film as he gives in rehearsals, meetings with the Brit producer, who knows that most of the shows he works on are absolute crap, and suggestions by the network president, played by Sigourney Weaver as queenly and silken-voiced but hard and sharp as a diamond brooch. If you live in a workaholic workplace, you'll see your job in this movie. If you are prostituting your dreams and values because you need the money, you'll see your life in this movie.