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“China Beach” is a TV show that aired on ABC from 1988 to 1991. The show took place during the Vietnam War and focused more from the perspective of the women that were part of the ordeal instead of the men that actually fought in the war. The main characters were doctors, nurses, Red Cross volunteers, and other civilian roles that played a part during the Vietnam War. The show received critical praise, but fairly low ratings overall. Shakefire had a chance to review the 1st season of the show that spans 2 DVDs of episodes and a whole DVD of bonus content.
I was assuming the show was going to similar to M.A.S.H, but was utterly disappointed. The dialogue very bland and the plots were extremely boring and lacked enthusiasm. The characters were easily forgettable and lacked personality. I understand this is a different view of war, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more action or better writing than all the overly exaggerated drama. To make matters worse, the picture quality was grainy and the looked a lot older than the early 80s.
The only saving graces for the show were the bonus content and the music. The bonus content is a nice treat for any fans of the show and the music was mostly pretty good. Other than that, this show is a complete skip. I am trying not to be impartial to M.A.S.H., but I enjoyed their views on war a lot more than “China Beach.” For those reasons, I am giving “China Beach: Season 1” a “D.”

Paul Arca
Review by Paul Arca
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