'The TV Set' not ready for playing in prime time.

Byline: Richard Duckett


Mike Klein's proposed TV show is never going to make it through the gauntlet of meddling network executives unscathed. Because of that, it is not going to be nearly as good as it could have been.

Unfortunately, "The TV Set," the comedy/satire chronicling Mike's travails starring David Duchovny, isn't quite as good as it could have been, either - although probably for different reasons.

There are amusing and telling moments in "The TV Set," but by this time many of us have likely already cottoned on to the point that there are a lot of insincere, untalented egomaniacs out in the network offices of TV land. Woe, indeed, are we.

There's a lot of woe in store for writer/producer Mike (Duchovny). He has gotten a show titled "The Wexler Chronicles" to the point where American Network Television is about to greenlight a pilot for a possible place on its fall schedule. But the network execs have a couple of suggestions ...

First, they don't like Mike's choice of lead actor (the over-acting replacement is hilariously played by Fran Kranz). The story line for his show has something to do with the character of Wexler returning home after his brother has committed suicide. The execs, though, think that suicide is a bit of a "downer." Couldn't he be returning home because his mother had died? Besides, they didn't really like the actress playing the mother. As for the title - how about the test marketing people exploring an alternative. How about "Call me Crazy"?

Not surprisingly, slowly but surely Mike goes a little crazy.

The film begins very capably as Mike slowly realizes what he is up against. Little asides also help build the comic atmosphere. One actor ponders whether growing a beard was a good career decision. It wasn't.

Somewhere along the way, however, "The TV Set" starts to lose its touch. Satirical touches are often...

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