Another is the cast. As Mike Klein, creator of The Wexler Chronicles, David Duchovny (TV's The X-Files ) also knows of what he speaks. And as Lenny, a crude and rapacious exec at PDN, known as “The Panda” network, presumably Sigourney Weaver is able to draw on her experience acting on soaps and as the daughter of Sylvester “Pat” Weaver, legendary president of NBC.
Mike is trying to get his relatively downbeat show on the schedule without compromising his principles or throttling insecure actors. He has an ally in a network programmer (Ioan Gruffudd) recently recruited from the BBC to inject some class. But they're up against shows like Slut Wars and World's Grossest Meals and a sensibility reflected in Lenny's threatening confession, “'Original' scares me a little.” Most worrisome to Mike, his perky and able manager (Judy Greer) has never seen Taxi Driver. As the network's dumbed-down version and his cut are vetted by focus groups, Mike — with a wife (Justine Bateman) and kids to support — channels all his anxiety into his sore lower back.
The conclusion of Kasdan's snarky, low-budget glimpse behind the small screen is appropriately cynical; there are no heroes and no Peter Finch-in-
moment. It's hard to be shocking or revelatory on this subject, yet it's made crystal clear we're amusing ourselves to death. In a few months, viewers will chuckle knowingly when they watch
The TV Set
Cast: David Duchovny, Sigourney Weaver, Ioan Gruffudd, Judy Greer, Fran Kranz, Lindsay Sloane and Justine Bateman
Director/Screenwriter: Jake Kasdan
Producers: Aaron Ryder and Jake Kasdan
Rating: R for language
Running time: 87 min.
Release date: April 6, 2007 NY/LA