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TV Series Review

It's appropriate that Glenn Martin, DDS, is about a dentist. Because watching this show feels like a trip to one—circa 1830. Half an hour with Glenn Martin will have you begging for Novocain, if not general anesthesia.

The premise of this Claymation Nickelodeon sitcom sounds promising enough—or, at least, not overtly offensive. It's set up like an extended road trip, with the titular character and his family traversing the country via Winnebago. So it's a sitcom based on a family seeing more of America while seeing more of each other.

Alas, the show's creators (former Disney CEO Michael Eisner among them) apparently read somewhere that traditional family entertainment is … lame. People don't gravitate toward entertainment that inspires or teaches values or even tells good stories anymore, they must think—tripping, perhaps, on a DVD copy of Up as they pontificate. Sweet? Substantive? Nurturing? Fun? No one likes that stuff.

And so Glenn Martin drives off in the opposite direction. And before it even gets past the opening credits, it's gone too far—we've already seen Glenn tied down to his bed (in his underwear); we've already seen him caressing his apron which is emblazoned with a life-size, bikini-clad woman; we've already seen his naked 13-year-old son, Conor, ogle girls; and we've already seen a close-up of his dog's inflamed anus.

The subsequent show is loaded with foul language, graphic cartoon violence, sexualized humor and fart jokes. Glenn Martin makes The Simpsons look like the Huxtables by comparison, and King of the Hill like Leave It to Beaver. Setting aside language, it's a cinch that I've seen cleaner episodes of South Park. I've seen cleaner R-rated movies. I've seen cleaner outhouses.

This soul-crushing weight of Glenn Martin isn't felt on Comedy Central or FX or HBO, by the way.

It crashes down on Nickelodeon.

Yes, Nick—home to Dora the Explorer, The Penguins of Madagascar and iCarly. And it typically airs at the very beginning of that segment of prime time known as the family hour, sometimes right after SpongeBob SquarePants. Nick typically slaps a PG rating on the show, marking it as suitable for children as young as 7. It trumpets Glenn Martin's ratings—that children between the ages of 6 and 11 make up the lion's share of the show's viewers. It collects all sorts of money from companies advertising to children during the show—from the film  Planet 51 to Garanimals' children's clothing.

Garanimals' slogan is "Let kids be kids." What an awful irony.

As reported by Multichannel News, Cyma Zarghami, the president of Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group, positions Glenn Martin like this: "This show is going to walk the line between what's appropriate for Nick at Nite and what's typical for Nickelodeon, but in order to get the family together, the humor has to be a little more sophisticated. The hope is that it will bring the right Nickelodeon kids to the show who will then bring their parents and level off with the right mix of viewers."


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Episode Reviews

GlennMartinDDS: 382010



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Kevin Nealon as Glenn Martin; Catherine O'Hara as Jackie Martin; Judy Greer as Wendy Park; Jackie Clarke as Courtney Martin; Peter Oldring as Conor Martin






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Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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