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Classic Episodes: China Beach – Tet 68

China Beach

Another in our series of classic episode looks, this time it’s 1980’s Vietnam War drama China Beach.

A series set in Vietnam could hardly ignore the Tet Offensive, the turning point of the war. “Tet ’68” opens with Wayloo (Megan Gallagher), the ambitious TV personality, cheerily describing the upcoming holiday as “the Vietnamese Fourth of July, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, all rolled into one. We can sense the magic of the new year.”

Then the shooting starts. Beckett (Michael Boatman) is held hostage by his lady friend’s VC brother; McMurphy is stuck at headquarters with the strung-out K.C. (Marg Helgenberger); Dr. Dick (Robert Picardo) and Dodger (Jeff Kober) are at an Evac Hospital; and Red Cross worker Cherry (Nan Woods) is caught in a bunker. Morning finally breaks, and all have survived. But then Cherry, stepping outside the bunker, is killed by a bomb. It’s an unflinching look at the indiscriminate ruthlessness of war, one that viewers would not soon forget.

Original Airdate: January 25, 1989





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