Craig T. Nelson never gave the impression he could do comedy (before this sitcom) but he and the rest of the cast were excellent on this show.
Since when is an extra episode considered a Special Feature?
I never watched Coach with any real regularity when it played in the Eighties and Nineties. I was familiar with it, heck, I even took a class field trip to watch an episode being taped, but I wouldn't say that it was part of my experience of growing up. In watching Coach: The First Season, I was quickly reminded why I always had a soft spot for this show. I may not have watched it all the time but I knew it was good.
As Coach elson was perfect. He could be hard and mean, yet he had the deadpan, comedy skills to add another layer to who his character was. The rest of the cast was very good as well, however most of the shows focused on Nelson and his relationship with the women in his life. Whether we are seeing coach trying to make things right with his daughter Kelly, or he's dealing with his football team losing (for the third straight time), or even when he tries to get more money for his team from a dead man's will, this show, like all great sitcoms, really straddles the worlds of comedy and decency.
Great 80s TV Flashback
As I have reviewed this before, I suggest reading this part of my Charles In Charge review to learn what it is.
Hayden and Luther (Jerry Van Dyke) manage to trash Christine's (Shelley Fabares) apartment and this show becomes one of them trying to clean up the mess. Sitcoms have many devices that they use across the board. Whether it's a character misunderstanding something and trying to solve a problem that isn't a problem, sitcoms have certain situations that we have gotten used to seeing. While this one is certainly familiar, the actors are all so capable that they make it their own.
Full Frame - 1.33:1. These shows seem to sparkle in this two disc set. I guess because Coach is a sitcom the compression of these discs probably isn't anything that elaborate, but it's still nice to see a company that takes pride in the work they present. With soft light and simple camera moves, I think the shows on these discs look better than when they played on TV.
English. Dolby Digital - 2.0 Mono. Subtitled in English. The audio was pretty normal for the 14 episodes that make up these discs. As I know from personal experience that this show was filmed in front of a live audience, I am assuming that that puts all of the audio on one track. Everything has been kept up rather nicely with all of the jokes remaining as clear as I remember the show being on TV and in person.
This has to be some of the coolest packaging ever created. It is put together like a play book with a puffy outer, football covering. It flips open and we even get a mock football play inside, two discs inside two binderlike sleeves and an episode index and description in the form of a play book. The only complaint I have is that the shape of the packaging might not fit that easily into your DVD collection.
Why did Craig T. Nelson's career never catch fire like it seems it should? For my money, he has just as much to offer as someone like Harrison Ford. I am not saying that one actor is better than the other but we really need actors like Nelson. Old school leading men that carry a certain swagger, yet can really act. Today, with Hollywood so fixated on youth, we seem to get actors like Orlando Bloom that are only half formed. He's good but he seems to only be able to hold his own in ensemble pieces. Someone like Craig T. Nelson is able to work within all the different facets of a role, and everything he does seems to generally emanate from somewhere within himself.
Coach: The First Season is a terrific DVD release and one that I am proud to submit to the collection.