"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book" -- Groucho Marx
The only good thing to come out of the cancellation of the television show Freaks and Geeks was the emergence of some pure comedic talents; writer-director Jake Kasdan being one of them. With The TV Set, Kasdan dives back into the seedy cesspool that is network television in order to provide us with a first-hand look at what goes on behind the scenes of one little show trying desperately to land a spot in the primetime line-up. From the lonely writer whose only goal is to transform his original vision into a new hit show, to the network executive who judges the quality of a product based solely on the opinion of her 15 year-old kid, The TV Set is at its best when its characters are at their worst. If you thought the folks on your favorite reality show were pathetic, wait until you meet those who fought to put it on the air.
In the vein of films like Network and Broadcast News, The TV Set revolves around the trials and tribulations of writer Mike Klein (David Duchovny). After selling his pilot script for a show called The Wexler Chronicles, Mike sets out on a journey to not only produce a successful pilot, but also sell his unique and personal vision to the same folks who think the new reality show Slut Wars is the greatest thing to happen to television since its inception. Though it's not based on any one particular experience, it's quite obvious that this film is very personal for Kasdan. These are people he's dealt with; these soulless, emotionless network devils are probably the same ones who canceled Freaks and Geeks because, let's face it -- the audience at home would take hot and sexy over awkward and ugly any day of the week. At least, that's what the people running the show like to think.