In THE TV SET, writer/director Jake Kasdan
uses his first-hand knowledge of the world of network
television to craft a wily comedy about the making of a TV
pilot. A story of art, commerce, and compromise, THE TV SET
lays bare the people and the process that give us the shows
we see every night.
Writer Mike Klein (David Duchovny) has just sold his pilot
script “The Wexler Chronicles,” a character-driven dramedy
inspired by his real-life struggle to cope with his
brother's suicide. Almost immediately, he discovers that
realizing his vision will be an uphill battle. In the world
of network television, a small handful of powerful, highly
competitive executives determine America’s viewing choices.
Lenny (Sigourney Weaver) is the brash, headstrong president
of PDN (whose most trusted advisor is her 14-year-old
daughter), and who must approve all of Mike’s creative
decisions. Richard (Ioan Gruffudd), Mike’s one true ally at
the network, was recently hired from the BBC to add a touch
of class. But he is caught between his instinct to support
Mike and his obligation to produce shows that will fit onto
Lenny’s fall schedule.
Mike discovers that the road to a prime time slot is fraught
with peril. At the network casting session, Mike’s choice of
a lead actor is overruled, and he is forced to cast his
distant second choice, Zach (Fran Kranz), whose
boy-next-door looks are better suited to Middle America.
Also, Lenny has one “small” problem with the script – she
feels that the suicide story, the show’s main premise, is
too depressing for prime-time television. Mike gets little
support from his manager Alice (Judy Greer), whose constant
reassurances seem a little empty. His only real comfort
comes from his wife, Natalie (Justine Bateman). But she has
practical concerns – she’s pregnant with their second child
and knows that if Mike’s pilot does not get picked up, he’s
out of a job.
As the process continues, Mike’s misadventures escalate.
During filming, Zach, who’s still struggling to “find his
character,” becomes preoccupied with his indifferent leading
lady, Laurel, (Lindsay Sloane), which does nothing to help
his acting. Lenny, buoyed by the surprisingly strong
overnight ratings for her new smash reality hit “Slut Wars,”
has made up her mind that the suicide has to go and insists
on cutting an alternate and more slapstick version of the
Battling ill-health and ill will, Mike wrestles with daily
disasters, all the while trying to stay true to his original
vision. But that’s never easy especially the politics. But
the demands of pilot season are all-consuming and there are
unexpected endings…in the show and in life.
©2007 Think Film Company. All rights reserved.
MORE MOVIE REVIEWS
Submit Your Movie Review