Picks and Pans Review: Martin
Martin Lawrence, host of HBO's raucous summer stand-up comedy series Def Comedy Jam, stars in the season's first new sitcom as a Detroit radio talk show host who shoots off his macho mouth on the air and in front of his friends, then has to eat his words at home with his girlfriend (Tisha Campbell). Also included in the cast are Tommy Ford, Tichina Arnold and Carl Payne.
The comedy has the most uncompromisingly black dialogue and attitude of any series on TV. What it lacks is wit, depending instead on Lawrence to do shtick. He overacts terribly, hammily mugging for the camera. Making matters worse, Lawrence plays (and overplays) two other roles in drag: his oddball mother and his bizarre blowfly girl neighbor, Sheneneh.
Martin is a better follow-up to The Simpsons than the rank Drexell's Class was. But not by too much.