A flashback to 1966 shows McMurphy as a hospital ward nurse who joins the army and after months in basic training, arriving for the first time at China Beach where she meets Dr. Richard for the first...
Youngstown, Ohio, 1988. Boonie throws a reunion of all the China Beach veterans. Among the attendees are McMurphy and Joe Arenburg and their baby daughter, Beckett and his wife and teenage son, Lila ...
Dateline: November 1967, within klicks of Danang, Vietnam, sits a U.S. Army base, bar and hospital on China Beach. This is the 'Nam, filled with wounded soldiers and one very lovely but damaged Army Nurse Colleen Mc Murphy. Many heroes, dead and alive, in the forms of nurses, warriors, Donut Dollies, lifeguards, politicians, USO entertainers, Chopper Chicks, doctors, officers and enlisted men, brothers and sisters, Kool-Aid Kids, orderlies, medics, morticians, Army brass and one hostile prostitute named K.C. try to make sense of life and death in between bourbon, bullets and battles.Written by
The run of this show overlapped with the run of the NBC series Quantum Leap (1989). Both programs featured a main character named "Samuel Beckett"--a name that is most associated with the Irish playwright ("Waiting for Godot", "Endgame", "Happy Days") and novelist who is widely considered to be one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. See more »
McMurphy's pilot boyfriend is a Captain (wearing two silver bars on each shoulder) and has Command Pilot wings on his flight suit name tag (pilot's wings with a star surrounded by a wreath). To earn Command Pilot wings you have to be a rated pilot for 15 years and have 3,000 hours of flight time. No pilot in the USAF would be a rated pilot for 15 years and amass 3,000 flying hours and still be a Captain. Besides, assuming he graduated college at age 22 and flight training at 23, and then flew for 15 years he would be 38 years old. Clearly he isn't that old. [See Wikipedia article on "U.S. Air Force aeronautical rating" for rating criteria] See more »
I was eleven when I started watching this show, and it left an indelible impression on me. I was watching a lot of shows back then that I was probably too young to watch(!), and there was a lot of stuff I didn't get, but I knew, even as a middle schooler, that "China Beach" was something special. A few months ago I started borrowing videotaped episodes from a friend (thank you, History Channel!), and re-experiencing it. While, at times, it's cheesier than I remembered it (and that was mostly just in some season 1 episodes), you can't do better than Marg Helgenberger and Dana Delany and Jeff Kober as K.C., McMurphy, and Dodger (respectively). The dialogue is great, but there's so much said in just a look, and that, my friends, is acting. There was really something special going on in that show. I think it was partly the subject matter and the shooting everything(?) on location (as opposed to a sound stage -- I know it wasn't shot in Vietnam ;)), but it felt so deceptively REAL... Anyway, I couldn't love it more, and I've never seen another show like it. My thanks to the producers and writers and crew (and, of course, the actors!) -- you all should be really proud of what you did.
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