6.6/10
5,223
34 user 59 critic

The TV Set (2006)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 28 April 2006 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

The story of a TV pilot as it goes through the Network TV process of casting, production and finally airing.

Director:

Writer:

1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Zero Effect (1998)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The world's greatest detective Daryl Zero aided by his associate Steve Arlo investigates a complex and mysterious case of blackmail and missing keys for shady tycoon Gregory Stark who is less than forthcoming about what is really happening!

Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Ryan O'Neal
Playing God (1997)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When he loses his job, a famed surgeon abandons his former life and enters the criminal underworld as a gunshot doctor for criminals.

Director: Andy Wilson
Stars: David Duchovny, Timothy Hutton, Angelina Jolie
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Paul Thomas Anderson spoofs the famous 1980s Mattress Man commercial outtake using Dean Trumbell, the character played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Anderson's 'Punch-Drunk Love', and he ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, David H. Stevens, Jimmy Stevens
Zero Effect (TV Movie 2002)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Alan Cumming, David Julian Hirsh, Krista Allen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Zach Harper
...
Laurel Simon
...
Natalie Klein
...
Chloe McCallister
...
...
Hutch
...
A.D.
...
Exec. #1 / Cooper (as Phil Rosenthal)
David Doty ...
Exec. #2 / Rose
...
...
TJ Goldman
Edit

Storyline

A television network is making a pilot of Mike's quirky comedy based on the aftermath of his brother's suicide. As the network suits ask for change after change, and as Mike struggles with compromise, there are strains on families, execs who show rushes to their children, leads who feel each other out, and assistants who put a smile on everything. Can an honest show get made in the world of reality TV chasing an audience of teen-aged boys? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A place where dreams are canceled

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Call Me Crazy  »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,531, 6 April 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$265,198, 15 July 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sigourney Weaver's character was written as a man. It wasn't until late in pre-production that it was decided that the role of could actually be a woman instead. Still, no line was re-written for the gender change. Even the name Lenny was kept. See more »

Quotes

Mike: If I don't worry about the content in my show, then I'm part of the problem. I'm making the world more mediocre!
Alice: I think that you're overstating the situation just a little bit.
Mike: But you've never seen "Taxi Driver"!
Alice: I am going to rent "The Taxi Driver", okay?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits an elimination round from the fictional reality show "Slut Wars" plays, featuring Seth Green as the host. See more »

Connections

References ER (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Scene
(from "Out of Sight")
Written and Performed by David Holmes
Courtesy of Universal Studios
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Why isn't this funnier?
29 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Despite its short running time, "The TV Set" doesn't quite sustain its humor throughout. There are tremendous lulls in-between some very good jokes. There are a few really big laughs and the premise is awfully enticing. Yet, writer-director Jake Kasdan, who wrote and directed the very funny and hugely under-rated, "Zero Effect" (1998), cannot seem to keep things funny throughout.

The film, to be distributed nationally by ThinkFilm, is a rather rude awakening, albeit a funny one, to anyone who aspires to be a writer, especially a TV writer. Mike (David Duchovny) comes up with an idea for a TV series, only to find he is forced to compromise at every turn - from the lead actor to the tone of the pilot to plot points.

The first 10 minutes or so are very funny. But the film loses steam as it goes along, partly because Kasdan seems to want to make a 21st century version of "Network" (1976) at times. But trying to emulate Paddy Chayefsky is no easy feat. Chayefsky was unique and although Kasdan scores some points, he just cannot overcome these huge dull lulls when exposition takes over for comedy and the film just falls flat.

Sigourney Weaver as Lenny, the studio executive - incidentally, the role was initially written for Ben Stiller, so I suppose it's a blessing that he backed out because the man's not done a good movie in years and has ruined several potentially funny films - seems to be simply replaying her shrill, bitchy Katharine Parker from "Working Girl" (1988). Trouble is, villains need to be interesting and Weaver can't quite find what makes Lenny an intriguing person.

Judy Greer does the best of the lot. She has fine comedic timing, knows how to turn a phrase and realizes that good comedy requires underplaying a role sometimes. It's good to see Justine Bateman back in action, but she truly is wasted as the suffering wife. Ioan Gruffudd brings a semblance of dignity to the proceedings finding the right balance for a character conflicted by personal gain and artistic integrity.

Then, there's Duchovny. I realize he has an incredibly loyal following for whom he can do no wrong. Every performance, in their mind, is Oscar-worthy. (I am a huge Woody Allen fan, but I readily admit the man's made some turkeys. Duchovny fans, on the other hand, can't seem to quite grasp that he isn't all that good an actor.) Duchovny has the emotional range of Patrick Swayze, if that. You want to see how limited his range is? Watch Duchovny's crying scene in "Return to Me" (2000).

Duchovny has a few good moments in "The TV Set," especially reacting to what's happening around him. But, truth be told, he gives the same performance in everything he does, be it television or movies. There's no difference between his performance here and his turn in the wretched "Connie and Carla" (2004). It's impossible to differentiate one Duchovny performance from another. There's a smugness to him that can be appealing, and which occasionally works, but he desperately needs a broader range of emotions to turn him into an average actor.

Kasdan misses several opportunities to get in some great jokes. After a while, the film takes on a typical arc. You sense where the story's going. A couple of digs at TV work. After all, Kasdan has experience having good shows canceled. And some of his best jokes seem to lurk in the background. You have to pay attention, but they're good.

"The TV Set" isn't a bad movie. It just isn't as terrific as it could be or Kasdan wants it to be. He has a lot to say about the state of TV today - which is, with a few exceptions, rather execrable - but he seems to struggle trying to find comedy for his entire story. Writing comedy isn't easy. And Kasdan should be credited for coming up with this. I just wish this had been funnier. Come to think of it, a bit more of "Slut Wars" - written well, of course - might have helped.


31 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial