Watching TV with the Red Chinese
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Watching TV with the Red Chinese
Three Chinese students, Tzu (James Chen), Wa (Keong Sim) and Chen (Leonardo Nam) come to study in America in the summer of 1980. They move into a New York City apartment next door to Dexter (Ryan O'Nan), a graduate student who introduces them to Suzanne (Gillian Jacobs), his occasional girlfriend and to Billy (Michael Esper), a struggling filmmaker. The Chinese find America fascinating. However, their perceptions, based on watching non-stop television, change when one of them is brutally mugged, when Suzanne takes up with Chen behind Dexter's back, and when Zap (Peter Scanavino),… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Dotan takes this iffy story and makes it nearly unwatchable by jumping back and forth in time, using screens within screens and bouncing between color and black-and-white."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"The conversations feel artificial, overly concerned with re-creating period detail or interjecting relevant philosophical life concepts, like a constantly rehashed theory of alternate universes built on different "what if?" scenarios."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"Less a story loosely bound by cause and effect than a kind of scrapbook of memories, all of which convey the concerns of being super smart and mostly confused in a culturally mixed Manhattan, circa 1980."
‑ Sara Maria Vizcarrondo, Boxoffice Magazine
"The film nicely captures the grad-student vibe: beer-fueled bull sessions about science, religion, probability and destiny; fragile, self-absorbed egos preening even as confidence wavers."
‑ Daniel M. Gold, New York Times
"The timeline jitters out of order, dropping viewers into a scenario it takes far longer than necessary to discover is straightforward and self-seriously soap operatic."
‑ Alison Willmore, AV Club
"A cautionary tale of innocence lost, delivering a prophetic message with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight that a generation ago America might have already been 'a culture in decay.'"
‑ Kam Williams, AALBC.com
"This quirky indie has an off-kilter, shaggy appeal and a filling story."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Nearly every scene is clunky..."
‑ Nick Schager, Village Voice
"The first half of Shimon Dotan's Watching TV with the Red Chinese is a virtual compendium of high-culture references, topical concerns addressed almost in passing, and narrative fracturing devices."
‑ Andrew Schenker, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Watching TV with the Red Chinese on Rotten Tomatoes