Photo Credit: Nickelodeon
Jokes about killing prostitutes, slurs against Native Americans, gays and the elderly, and references to venereal diseases—everything seems to be fair game in Glenn Martin, DDS, the first animated TV show from former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Now would be a good time to mention that Glenn Martin DDS is, technically speaking, a comedy…for kids. And the show was just added to Nickelodeon’s primetime schedule, Nick at Nite.
My oldest brother trusts his 11- and 9-year-old children to Nick at Nite. Right or wrong, he relies on the network to provide a daily dose of family-friendly entertainment, and he’s not alone. I’m sure tons of parents assume that anything on this channel is appropriate for kids.
My girls, being 5 and 2, have tastes that skew to the younger side of the kids' television spectrum: Maisy, Caillou, Jane and the Dragon, and Curious George. I’ll have no problem keeping them far away from the traveling dentist Glenn Martin, but I recognize that the time may come when they will see more objectionable programs. I think I’ll know when my daughters are ready for more mature television content based on the conversations we’ll have as they grow up. I'm also banking on them being witty and having an appreciation for well-written books when they're older, and that those things will help them see tasteless entertainment as trite and not worthy of their time.
There are so few violence and sexually free zones in the world—you’d think you could rely on a kids’ network to be one of them. Thankfully, I’m not worried about my 5-year-old learning how to stick her head up an elephant’s rear end (as Glenn Martin’s son does). For now, my biggest worry is that she wishes I were as perfect as Caillou’s dad.