The TV Set (Kasdan, 2007)

Over-the-top at times (people can’t be this stupid can they?), but Jake Kasdan’s satire The TV Set showcases a biting banality of flat lights and artificial back drops that feels menacing and deceptive. When a veteran writer/producer (David Duchovny) attempts to sell and make his passion project for network television, we get a sneak peak at the artistic compromise, maddening corporate interference, and utter spinelessness of the entertainment business as the show purposefully (for the sake of ratings) morphs from “serious” to shamelessly “funny.” None of the characters really get fleshed out beyond cliche, but the sadness stemming from Duchovny’s disappointments and gasps of horror from seeing his labor of love shredded into the dumbest fodder imaginable becomes downright scary. The TV Set is a timely portrait of an artist coming to grips with his own lack of power in today’s entertainment business, but come on, what cynic didn’t know that?

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