Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
What's missing here is the sense that anything truly vital is at stake -- like, say, our cultural intelligence or the future of mainstream entertainment.
New York Times:
The jokes are things people shooting a pilot might actually say; the telling episodes of vanity or stupidity are entirely believable.
J. R. Jones,
Various news stories have noted the movie's accuracy, which I don't doubt, but the blanket antipathy makes for a wearying and predictable story.
Wall Street Journal:
The TV Set isn't in the same league with Network or The Player, but it's very good, and its cast is accomplished.
... a well-acted and generally funny comedy that doesn't bog down in emotion even when it bogs down in its own plot.
A somewhat cold and calculated film that apparently unconsciously exemplifies that which it intends to criticize.
Very smart, very funny movie about the making of a network sitcom is a cut-glass gem of a showbiz conceit.
Detroit Free Press:
While some of the gags may be a little too inside baseball, anyone who has seen Broadcast News or reads the occasional issue of 'Entertainment Weekly' will have no problem understanding and enjoying Kasdan's chomp on the hand that once fed him.
At its best, The TV Set is wry and even laugh-out-loud funny about the messy tangle of art, commerce and family, as talented creative types try to stay true to themselves and put food on the table.
... the movie deserves attention because of its sunlit graces, droll subtleties, terrific performances and soft-boiled rue.
The satire is unrelenting but not too broad; it stays close to common observation.
New York Daily News:
Writer-director Jake Kasdan has been through his share of meetings with production executives eager to share their ideas on improving his ideas, and in The TV Set, we see that dynamic play out from beginning to corrosive end.
New York Post:
Everyone already knew showbiz is ridiculous, but the funniest example Kasdan can come up with is a manager who has never seen Taxi Driver.
The appalling sausage factory that produces what we see on network TV is nicely skewered in The TV Set, an engaging if not exactly edgy comedy that exists to restate the obvious.
Kasdan should have the expertise to write a backstage expose of the TV industry. This one simply isn't funny.
San Francisco Chronicle:
A wickedly funny satire about the vast wasteland takes the position that shows aren't born dumb. They get that way because of network meddling and a widely held assumption that audiences prefer pabulum.
The TV Set is a little wonder of a movie, as smart and sad and true as any comedy I've seen this year.
Kasdan wisely doesn't make this about the big, bad bosses vs. the creative geniuses who won't compromise. It's a well-balanced look at a process, which, from the outside seems arbitrary and convoluted, but from the inside makes sense.
The TV Set skewers the television industry in a manner that occasionally feels familiar and at other times is humorously incisive.
An insider pic likely to produce a few knowing guffaws from the industry but only occasional chuckles from John Q. Public.
The TV Set, written and directed by Jake Kasdan, often possesses the gimlet-eyed wit of The Player or the mock docs of Christopher Guest.