DVD Review “China Beach: The Complete Series”

chinabeachActors: Dana Delaney, Michael Boatman, Robert Picardo, Concetta Tomei, Marg Helgenberger
Directors: Mimi Leder, John Sacret Young, Christopher Leitch, Michael Fresco
Distributed by: Time Life
Run Time: 3553 minutes

Series: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

I remember when “China Beach” originally aired on TV but I never watched it and still haven’t till receiving this DVD set. The show was considered groundbreaking television and I have always been interested in it. It is now celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary and is finally being released on DVD thanks to StarVista Entertainment and Time Life for the very first time as a complete series on any format! This 21-disc collector’s set features all 62 episodes with over ten hours of exclusive, never-before-seen bonus features. I have to admit, the show is definitely quite intense and it was definitely worth the binge viewing. I am not sure that I would watch it again anytime soon but I still enjoy it.  Fans of the show will definitely want to pick up. This complete series release would also make a great gift for this holidays season!

Official Premise: From the moment China Beach debuted in 1988, with its iconic opening credits set to the Supremes’ “Reflections” as its theme song, it was hailed as groundbreaking television. In an era of testosterone-driven war movies, China Beach delivered a unique perspective: the Vietnam War through the eyes of women! Never before released on DVD or VHS! You can now own the entire TV series with this deluxe collector’s edition housed in a beautiful display box. Includes 268 classic hit songs as they were played in the original broadcast.

“China Beach: The Complete Series” is well delivered in a deluxe collector’s box, featuring metallic printing and original artwork and logo treatments from the series. The packaging also includes keepsake China Beach dog tags that can be removed from the set and worn. Inside there are special liner notes penned by Dana Delany, Robert Picardo, series creators John Sacret Young and William Broyles, Jr., and series writers Lydia Woodward and Carol Flint and a collectible 32-page book. Also included are three original, complete scripts, with reproduced covers sporting autographs from the entire cast and key production personnel. Also included will be five 8″ x 10″ color photographs of the original China Beach cast and the recent reunion. Fans are going to dig these extra goodies. I think they would have been happy with just the complete series…and I haven’t even got to the special features yet.

So like I mention there are ten hours of specially-created bonus features included on this release. To start, there is footage and behind-the-scenes stories from the 2012 Cast Reunion. There are  new interviews with key cast and crew. There are a ton of great featurettes including “Voices Of War: The Real China Beach”, which is a documentary about the real China Beach/My Khe Evac Hospital and “Inspired By War: How It All Began”, which focuses on the origins of the program. There are audio commentaries on four episodes from Dana Delany, John Sacret Young, director Rob Holcomb, and writers Lydia Woodward and Carol Flint. There are three roundtable discussions with cast and crew, as well as  rare behind-the-scenes footage from the final China Beach episode and more. They really delivered for the fans here and this is quite the release.


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