Picks and Pans Review: Coach

updated 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Wednesdays, 9 P.M. ET)

A-

It took a week, but Coach grew on me. Or perhaps it simply took a week for me to believe that Craig T. Nelson—that super-sincere patriot-pilot from Call to Glory—could turn out to have such a comic knack. Nelson is a master at deadpan. He plays a Neanderthal college coach who is surrounded by terribly dumb jocks, an almost-as-dumb assistant coach (Jerry Van Dyke), a bunch of snooty professors, a daughter (Clare Carey) whom he tries to save from adulthood and a very tolerant girlfriend (Shelley Fabares). The coach suffers trendy fools badly. When his daughter orders brown rice at a restaurant, he suggests, "How about some white rice and gravy?" When the daughter's boyfriend says that men are 49 percent female and 51 percent male, the coach turns red and insists, "I think I'm in the high 90s, babe." Coach shows more promise than any of the other springtime series. Coach is a kick.

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