Jake Kasdan's The TV Set is an insider, derisive look at how a "pilot" is born on the small screen.
David Duchovny (House of D) plays overweight, gradually aching Mike Klein, writer of the melodramatic "Wexler Chronicles". It is among the lineup entries on the PDN network presided over by Lenny, a wonderfully supercilious Sigourney Weaver.
The sensitively drawn script gets a less serious makeover as the lead actor, Zach (Fran Kranz), whom Mike thinks is right for the part, has a style that proves somewhat discomforting for cast and crew. His love interest, in particular, who tries to make a melancholic scene touching, looks like a young Stevie Nicks.
The TV Set can be a bit mannered and less insouciant than one might have wished, but it's a fairly interesting look at how Mike's vision is ultimately projected. Ioan Gruffudd, recognized of late for his Mr. Fantastic part, is the hard-working ex-BBC network programmer who empathizes with Mike. He has decent scenes with Duchovny and Weaver, who has command over the schedule (and the movie) with programs like "Slut Wars."
As a satire, there isn't enough bite as from some of the lines much of the appeal may come to those who know the upscale L.A. area. Kasdan, who knows the industry very well from dad Lawrence, comments markedly on what makes small-screen fare agreeable to the masses. Less jokey and somewhat pert and bright, The TV Set is a little too compromised for its own good, but see it for Weaver and her candid opinions, especially about originality and suicide. And, look for admirable support from Justine Bateman as Mike's very pregnant wife and Judy Greer as a network assistant who has never seen Taxi Driver.