Sandwiched between “Roseanne” and “NYPD Blue,””Coach” holds its high ratings spot as it winds its original programming for the season, but script by Oliver Goldstick and Phil Rosenthal doesn’t much help. Craig T. Nelson’s coach Hayden Fox has turned into an overly eager buffoon who doesn’t know when to use the cleats.
Hayden’s 49, and he decides to
do something he’s always wanted to do — drive a race car. He enrolls in a three-day course with three other students, all considerably younger than he, and proceeds to make a fool of himself.
The sight of Hayden dressed clownlike in a racing suit his first day, pushing himself on Bobby Unser and Rick Mears when they come into the classroom, or pounding on Mears’ room in the middle of the night are anemic plot ploys, and nothing actor-director Nelson can do saves the situation. One student (Yul Vasquez) rooms with him in the dorm, but that doesn’t last long.
The laughs at his birthday party are feeble, and the remainder of the program doesn’t amuse. “Coach” always had a robust, over-the-top humor, but the program’s lapsed into silliness, with Hayden leading the way.