The TV Set Reviews
Sunday evening film, requires brain and no hangover.
Random line "World's Grossest Meals is moving to Wednesdays after Idol."
The story of a TV pilot as it goes through the Network TV process of casting, production and finally airing.
Jake Kasdan's satire, "The TV Set", is a pitch perfect , dead-on depiction of the myopic vision of American television which has become a vast wasteland of so-called 'reality' shows and mean-spirited game shows when in essence, the true pillars of its foundation, the scripted format is on the wane. Never before has a sharp-edged black comedy been needed to poke at the underbelly of the medium than now. The filmmaker cut his teeth on TV including the much critically lauded, hastily dispatched "Freaks & Geeks, that his insider voice is on full display for biting the hand that fed him and for rubbing its ilk in the mess its created.
Kasdan layers everything with a touch of stinging wit, caustic dialogue, and unbelievable accuracy of how some people truly are so incredibly dense to the matters of the creative process it's a true wonder how the hell they got so far (let alone dressed themselves in the morning and made the effort at a daily life!) Duchovny's Mike Klein, behind a thatch of itchy/scratchy beard as a mask of indifference to what is thrown at him knowing ultimately he will have to acquiesce at basically every power play and sign his soul away to get his baby on the air; truly soul-crushing to watch one's lifetime dream become a living nightmare. While not a classic like "The Player" or even "Network" the film works on its own merits by not caving in to be likable either; Lenny wouldn't have it any other way.
Overall, if you are interested to see what writers/producers go through to create and get your favorite show on the air you should enjoy this film.
This movie was witty, and really insightful on Pilot Season. Every year we watch about 2 or 3 pilots on TV, but I never thought about how many get rejected, and how hard it is to actually get one on the air. Its humour if very broad, and "I like broad, whats wrong with broad?" David Duchovney also does great as the struggling writer trying to get his show up and running by Lenny(Weaver). She loves his script, but doesn't like the direction that the show is going, so she basically changes it. She turns it into something it wasn't, which probably happens a lot. Just think about the shows you watch, and if thats really how they were supposed to turn out.
There's plenty of laughs that, for anyone familiar with the fail that is prime time network sitcoms, are awesome. Not only does the show get mutated into something terrible, we get to see the actors in it change for the worse, developing egos before the program even gets chosen for airing. Good length to it all, nothing is stretched out needlessly and it isn't too quick.
A really funny( but probably scary acurate) look at how a project can completely fall apart right in front of you.
Duchovny is great in this playing the perfect straight man to overbearing Weaver, and Gruffudd proves he is far better then the Fantastic Four films in this as a tv exec. trying to balance his career and his family life.
It's almost a cautionary tale to anyone who dreams of creating a TV show.