In the 90s sitcom Coach, Hayden Fox is the epitome of manhood. This 40-something is a head football coach at a university, a divorcee whose role as a father has only just begun and he lives alone in a cabin. This man is as much of a guy as you can get. His life is football and he has a strict set of rules in which to live by. He has a very set view and definition of masculinity. Hayden Fox is Generation X’s Archie Bunker, only not quite as much of a bigot, just a traditional manly man set in his ways. Much like All in the Family, Coach didn’t do very well at first and attracted negative reviews of critics. In a Los Angeles Times review of the first two episodes, Howard Rosenberg writes about “the wit-less story burdened by hackneyed, brain-versus-brawn characters”. This is quite harsh after only two episodes but it seems the brain-versus-brawn mentality rings true especially between Hayden and his daughter and wife. Despite the similarities between All in the Family and Coach, the main point of Coach is not that of relevance TV in the 1970s but is more of a way to attract male viewers in a TV genre watched mostly by women. Coach Hayden Fox is an ideal man and a character that men can relate to or aspire to be just like women with all of the female TV role models of the past. Coach’s main character Hayden Fox simultaneously plays two main roles: a model of masculinity for male viewers and an old fashioned man to both love and hate similar to Archie Bunker.
One example of Hayden’s “Coach Fox’s” manliness is when he meets his daughter’s new boyfriend, Stuart (“I’m In Love With A Boy Named Stuart” 15 March 1989). Stuart is the antithesis of Coach Fox. Stuart is artsy, sensitive and a professional mime. At the end of the episode, Stua...
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...ional girlfriend who is always there for him. Hayden’s definition of masculinity and ideal manhood is clear. He believes that being a man is earning more money and never showing feminine emotions. Because of his manly and traditional ideals, Hayden parallels Archie Bunker. However, Hayden is much more likeable and all of the supporting characters stick by him even when he is wrong about something. Hayden Fox at least tries to accept new ideas. By having a male role model like Hayden Fox, Coach becomes a great sitcom for men to watch and is probably quite appealing to that demographic.
Klumas, Amy L., and Thomas Marchant. “Images of Men in Popular Sitcoms”. Journal of Men’s Studies 2.3 (1994): 269. ProQuest. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
Rosenberg, Howard. "Television Reviews." Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File): 1. Feb 28 1989. ProQuest. Web. 28 Jan. 2014 .