Critic Reviews



Based on 8 critic reviews provided by
This quirky indie has an off-kilter, shaggy appeal and a filling story.
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.
Boxoffice Magazine
So Watching TV is 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. The affection is sweet and precise, if even the terms we use to define them aren't.
Watching TV feels fundamentally old-fashioned in its storytelling. Thesping is solid, particularly by O'Nan, Nam and Jacobs. But the conversations feel artificial, overly concerned with re-creating period detail or interjecting relevant philosophical life concepts.
Slant Magazine
The first half of the film is a virtual compendium of high-culture references, topical concerns addressed almost in passing, and narrative fracturing devices.
Watching TV With The Red Chinese is based on a Luke Whisnant young-adult novel that co-writer/director Shimon Dotan (Diamond Dogs) seems to have fed into a blender.
Village Voice
Nearly every scene is clunky, and the film's commentary about TV as the unifying glue of American culture is embellished through lame incidents of sex and violence that eventually validate the Chinese tourists' anti-U.S. critiques.
Director-writer Shimon 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.

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