The production auspices are more interesting than the show with “Glenn Martin, DDS,” a semi-raunchy stop-motion animated comedy from former Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s company for Nick at Nite. Alas, the project works a little too hard at “Family Guy”/Adult Swim-style irreverence, especially with a premiere that riffs on the Amish — a relatively safe-to-offend group, since at least you know they aren’t watching. Despite the contributions of Eric Fogel (MTV’s “Celebrity Deathmatch”), “Glen Martin” isn’t as bad as visiting the dentist, but isn’t much better than sitting in the waiting room.Positioned as a spoof of classic sitcoms, “Glenn Martin” gets off to a bad start by incorporating a laugh track, which only highlights some of the deficiencies in the writing.
The episodes are apparently being presented out of sequence, since the premise — not entirely clear from this later installment — is that dentist Glenn (voiced by Kevin Nealon) packs his family up in an RV and takes off to discover America, theoretically paving the way for a series of hilarious hijinks.
Hilarity, however, proves elusive. Glenn decides to deprive his technology-crazed teenage kids (Jackie Clarke, Peter Oldring) and his wife Jackie (Catherine O’Hara) of their cell phones and gizmos, seeking to teach them a lesson by dragging them to Amish country.
Among the non-sequitur-type bits, Glenn’s daughter has her own “assistant,” Wendy (Judy Greer), who seems to have unrequited feelings for her. In a below-the-belt gag, a flashback shows Jackie coming home early and catching Glenn watching movies more commonly associated with Spice than Nickelodeon.
If there’s anything new here — from the clueless dad to the anthropomorphic dog — it’s not immediately evident. Nor is the look distinctive enough to stand out amid the ocean of inexpensive animation that now populates primetime and latenight.
“A family adventure gone dental,” reads the ad slogan, as if dentistry alone was enough to elicit howls. Dentists can indeed be funny, but not when they’re as toothless as “Glenn Martin, DDS.”