A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, even though Nickelodeon is touting this animated series as "a new twist on the classic family sitcom that tweens and their parents can both enjoy," it's pretty iffy viewing for kids. For one thing, it's a little cheeky when it comes to sexual references (a scene shows a character watching porn while he's babysitting an infant, for example -- although no sensitive body parts are shown). For another, characters occasionally use words like "bastard" and "whore," and there's also some blood-inducing cartoonish violence.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A suburban dentist (voiced by Kevin Nealon) takes his family on the road in GLENN MARTIN, DDS, a stop-motion animated series executive produced by animator Eric Fogel, who brought the world Celebrity Deathmatch. From the comfort of his RV-turned-mobile dentistry office, Glenn travels the country with his wife, Jackie (Catherine O'Hara); his 13-year-old son, Conor (Peter Oldring); his 11-year-old daughter, Courtney (Jackie Clarke); and Courtney's 13-year-old "assistant," Wendy (Judy Greer). Their dog, Canine -- whose anus is both "oversized" and prominently featured -- is also along for the ride.
Is it any good?
Teetering on the line between family entertainment and edgy adult humor, Glenn Martin, DDS, signals a bit of a departure for Nickelodeon's "Nick at Nite," an after-8 p.m. programming block that also includes clear-cut family fare like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Nanny. But while some parents might welcome the show's reliance on pop culture jokes that are clearly aimed at them (a Sex and the City bit is particularly funny), some might consider it a bit too cheeky for what's ostensibly a children's channel. And the thing is, they'd have a point. It's less appropriate for kids than, say, The Simpsons. But it certainly isn't the most obvious viewing choice for "tweens and their parents," as the network has suggested in its promotions for the show. Teens, yes. Tweens, no.
In terms of comedic quality, Nealon and O'Hara are solid choices to voice the heads of the Martin household, and the show is funny enough to make its use of a canned laugh track seem a little bit lame. Still, it seems doubtful that Glenn Martin, DDS, will become an animation classic that stands the test of time. It's not the funniest thing on television -- or even in its time slot. But for parents and kids who prefer their family humor with a little kick, it delivers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not this is really a "family show." Do you think it's OK for tweens (kids ages 8 to 12)? Why or why not?
Glenn and his wife struggle with luring their kids away from their cell phones and other portable technology long enough to participate in family activities. Do families spend less time together as a result of technology, or does technology help keep families more connected?
Why do you think the show's creators chose an animated format? Would the series work equally well as a live-action sitcom?
Teens: Do you think Glenn's son and daughter act like a typical 1- and 11-year-old?