This is one the best series that I have watched growing up. The drama and the action, everything one could want in a television series in one package and more. Not to mention the acting, simply the best. I dont think that this show could be copied. I simply can not wait until China Beach returns to us on dvd. Even though quite an old show, its storyline and acting was and is way beyond it's years. The beginning where the young lady gets offered to eat the dog and will and always remain a classic in my mind.
This series was one of the only few media treatments of the Vietnamese War that ever got the heartbreaking truth about that whole episode in U.S. history correct. The horrors of war and the psychological ramifications on those involved is never presented in a more clear and concise manner than on the series China Beach. The character of Colleen McMurphy,as portrayed by Dana Delany,was magnificent. Delany,in her characterization of McMurphy,generated an on screen enigmatic pathos that left a feeling of the utter dispair that those in the reality of the war must have endured. Jeff Kober, as Evan"Dodger"Winslow, was equally charismatic. While McMurphy brought the female perspective of the army nurse to the series,Kober,in the role of "Dodger", represented the soldier that was fighting in a war that he didn't understand and against an enemy that was more than just the Vietnamese. The pain and torment suffered by "Dodger",as so amazingly played by Kober,left no doubt as to the emotions of others that were in his place in the real Vietnam. China Beach had a short run of only four saesons,but left a mark on the dramatic television genre that is not soon to be forgotten. It is advisable to anyone looking for visual media on the Vietnam War to view this series. I is a true winner in all regards.
This show came out and I loved it - although originally I felt I was watching a raunchier version of M*A*S*H. It did capture a lot of the magic of M*A*S*H but I would not say it copied it or was a knock-off. Somewhere along the line it did change and I found less interested in watching it and although I enjoyed the finale I did feel it was time for the show to end.
I liked Marg Helgenberger’s character, I do think the character KC became too much of the show and would have enjoyed storylines about other character’s more.
By the time this show premiered, America was ready to throw off the shame that had shackled it about the war. Because of my age, I could be objective enough to realize the Vietnam vets had been screwed. We, as a country, were ready to see the good and bad about the war, without hearing those stupid "Hey, hey lbj, how many kids did you kill today". I'm not a war protester fan.
PLEASE release this on dvds. I love the show, I remember a few episodes where I turned the TV off after the episode and just stared at the blank screen totally blown away. I have VHS tapes from syndication but would really like complete dvd sets. This show was at times completely mind blowing. The characters were incredibly engaging and I really miss it.
Look at some of the characters, they are played with feeling and soul. They don't make anything like it today. It is sometimes heartbreaking, confusing, dramatic, funny and action packed.
It is played so well that it seems you were there yourself.
When it came on the scene it was allready a classic, now it can be counted as one of the very best drama's ever.
I remember the first time I saw China Beach. My college roommate and I were upset that this new show was interrupting one of our regular favorites - I believe it was Knot's Landing. After viewing that first episode, however, we were both hooked and it became a part of our regular viewing lineup. Grittier and more dramatic than the classic MASH, China Beach managed to carve out its own niche, realistically portraying the gruesomeness of the war and shedding focus on the lesser talked about women who were a part of it. Delaney and Helgenberger delivered outstanding performances throughout the series, the writing was always top-notch, and the soundtracks were always superb. This important and gut-wrenching series is long overdue for video release.
Normally I don't care for shows that are set in wartime, but China Beach was the exception to the rule. It showed the war from a perspective I hadn't seen before. The writing was excellent and the cast outstanding. It was shocking when major characters were killed off, but that was the tragedy of war and China Beach was not afraid to show us the horrors of it. Dana Delany and Marg Helgenberger won much deserved emmys for their roles.
China Beach depicted issues familiar from dark war comedies like M*A*S*H and revisionist allegories like Apocalypse Now. Story lines explored the corruption or ineptitude of military authority; soldiers' inability to function in "normal" interaction; the medical staff's necessary posture of mordant irony; or the war's sudden curtailment of friendship or romance.
Set in a Vietnam locale called China Beach, at the 510th Evacuation Hospital and R&R (the "Five-and-Dime" Rest & Recreation) facility, the cast of characters include US Army doctors and nurses, officers, soldiers, Red Cross volunteers, and civilian personnel (American, French, and Vietnamese).
The show did not shy away from showing the gruesomeness of war, providing a very gritty view of the experience there. The narration shifted the usual priorities of such plots by focusing on the women at the base, portraying war, through their eyes. China Beach's two crucial characters are the camp's head nurse the wilful Colleen McMurphy, a woman proud of her composure and careful in her moral convictions, compassionate but capable of a scathingly condemning glance and K.C. the calculating madam, alluring but hard, for whom the war brought nothing but higher profits, better contacts, and escalating entrepreneurial opportunities. Dana Delany's character McMurphy proved to be a passionate woman who as a feminized, Irish Catholic found not mere escape, but potential redemption in relationships. Rather than a hooker with a heart of gold, Marg Helgenberger's character K.C. emerged as chillingly objective, independent, self-isolated and unaccountable.
Dana Delany and Marg Helgenberger both earned Emmy Awards for their roles in this critically acclaimed series.
China Beach debuted in 1988 amid numerous shows at the time that explored the 60's and Vietnam. Unlike most of those other shows, China Beach focused on the women that served in the war. The show brilliantly depicted the tragedies and destruction of war, but lightened the mood with snappy dialogue and a wry sense of humor. The show wasn't afraid to show the realities of war as several cast members were killed, lost limbs or severely injured. The last season showed that even if you weren't physically scarred, emotional scars ran deep.
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