The new coach at Elmore Junior High is encouraging the students to get more active, which leads to a confrontation between Gumball and Jamie.
While I greatly enjoy The Amazing World Of Gumball, I haven’t always liked every episode. Most of the episodes that I’ve had problems with were due to specific things: a character being misrepresented or a joke being pushed too far. “The Coach”, however, just didn’t work for me as an episode. I had expected it to be a Jamie episode, but it really wasn’t. She was in it, and she spoke more in it than she did in the two previous seasons combined, but it didn’t feel like she got anywhere near the same level of characterization that characters had gotten in their episodes during season two. Or even season three for that matter, with all of the characterization that Sarah received in “The Fan”. Instead, this episode was mostly about a new character, the coach, who I just didn’t find funny. The character’s voice was grating and too much dialogue was written for her. And yes, it’s “her”. The episode ended in an anticlimax where the boys were stunned to learn that the coach was a woman, which I assume is why so much time was spent on the coach. It’s as if they wanted that revelation to be a very big joke to end the episode on, but I felt that they swung out on that one.
There were a few jokes that worked. I liked the brief flashbacks where the boys talked about some of the horrible things Jamie had done, like biting off Teri’s foot and shooting it back at her in the form of a spitball. The scene where the boys do awful cartwheels through a yard filled with angry dogs was also amusing and seemed like a nice throwback to “The DVD”. Both Jacob Hopkins and Terrell Ransom Jr. continued to do well as the new voices of Gumball and Darwin, although I did feel that the voice direction for Jamie was slightly problematic. I know Jamie is a bully, but having her speak like a stereotypical bully just felt a bit forced. I think I would have preferred it if she had a more natural voice. On the old website, it was said that Jamie wasn’t originally a bully, but instead became one after Miss Simian flunked her and made her lose all of her friends. It was also said that she joined Tina’s gang. Both of these things seem to have been dropped, with Tina not even showing up in this episode, but I can’t help but wonder if Jamie would have been more interesting had they stayed in place. Perhaps we’ll see if they explore those things in the many episodes yet to come.