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TV Review: Nick at Nite's 'Glenn Martin, DDS'

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'Glenn Martin, DDS'
Two stars
7 p.m. Monday, Nick

When I learned that Michael Eisner created this stop-animation series, and that the voices of Kevin Nealon, Catherine O'Hara and Judy Greer would be involved, I confess that I raised my expectations. Besides, what's funnier than a dentist traveling the country in an RV with a giant toothbrush on top?

And then I learned that one of the recurring jokes would be about a dog's oversized anus. I'm not sure my expectations will ever recover.

The setup is that a dentist (Kevin Nealon) is yearning for a deeper connection with his family, so he gives up a life in the suburbs to force his family on a road trip. Catherine O'Hara is his wife. There's also a 13-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter, and I will say this: stop-animation is remarkably effective in capturing awkward adolescents.

Judy Greer, who's played the sidekick in everything girly film from "The Wedding Planner" to "13 Going on 30" to "27 Dresses," is relegated to sidekick status again as the ambitious daughter's personal assistant. She's a bit more open about her intentions than Smithers on "The Simpsons." "I worship you," she announces to her "boss."

The good:

It's admirably fast paced, and the comic potential is limitless. In the premiere episode, the Martins visit an Amish community. There will be future trips to a roller derby, a circus, and a self-sustaining eco-village. And there's always the oral hygiene humor to fall back on.

The bad:

The laughtrack set my nerves on edge, and the pop culture references are a bit dated. A "Sex and the City" parody? Really? The show is clever in parts, but it's just not that funny.
Remember when Claymation used to be something special? Another reason to look forward to Christmas, when the Heat Miser would make a rare appearance? The California Raisins forever cheapened the genre. These days you can see the technique on "Bob the Builder" and the funnier "Robot Chicken." Either of those shows would be a better use of your time.

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This page contains a single entry by Paige Wiser published on August 15, 2009 9:40 AM.

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