Victorious‘s ending could not have been more different than iCarly‘s. Where the Miranda Cosgrove headliner was given a special-length episode that brought resolution and catharsis to the show’s long-evolving relationships and character dilemmas, Victorious comes to a close prematurely, albeit with an episode that parallels some of its best work and showcases its particular brand of manic expressionism. Read the rest of this entry »
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One of Victorious‘s biggest themes is fame: the acquisition of it and the effect it has on the people in its immediate glow. The pilot, after all, is about Tori getting into a prestigious Californian high school for the arts after wowing a crowd she wasn’t even supposed to perform for. The show as initially pitched, with Tori as the protagonist, thus defines each character by their reactions to her both as an outstanding performer and as the new kid in school. Victorious hasn’t been that show in a while, of course, not since it began developing better purposes for its main cast, plus coming up with new situations to place the main cast so that they’ll be forced to work together in order to accomplish a goal. But occasionally, the original DNA of the show’s pilot peeks out from its hiding spot, if only to draw a line between where the show was when it started in 2009 and where the show is now, with all of its developments intact. Read the rest of this entry »
Part of having one show end and two spinoffs begin is being able to celebrate the qualities of the characters that the audience has come to know over the past few years. It’s a more challenging prospect for Victorious given that Cat Valentine has only existed for a couple of years at most, but Sam Puckett entered the public consciousness with iCarly‘s success, and she has maintained high status both within and without the show for a variety of reasons, some of which are on display in “iRescue Carly.” However, it’s also worth noting the selfish desires on display, as those are often the ones that highlight character, particularly in sitcoms. Read the rest of this entry »
Victorious being what it is, it can sometimes feel like the show is out of touch with high schoolers (and with their predecessors, the tweens). But more often than not, it’s succinct in employing its plots in ways that bring the characters to the limits of their insanities without crossing the line of disbelief. Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight’s episode of iCarly is rather slim, focusing primarily on the iCarly team’s attempts to find Spencer some grown-up friends for his birthday. But it highlights two important aspects of the show’s growth over the past five years worth mentioning. Read the rest of this entry »
Victorious could well be considered a master-class in the art of the multi-camera sitcom. One of its biggest assets is in finding ways to fill up small, enclosed sets with a story so ready to be told that it’s bursting at the seams of the television. Read the rest of this entry »
iCarly may be approaching its final episode, but it still has a few balls in the air that it can use to churn out a few good stories a week. Case in point: this week’s episode “iGet Banned” returns to T-Bo living with the Bensons as a plot point. Read the rest of this entry »
Things were going well in “iShock America.” Two very funny segments involving a back-and-forth love-fest between Jimmy Fallon and iCarly led to the latter being invited onto the former. They travel to New York City (and travel is always one area where iCarly derives plenty of humor). Things go smoothly on the show, with everyone, including Freddie’s mom, watching and cheering. And then… Gibby’s pants malfunction. Read the rest of this entry »
So it would appear I was wrong. News came today that Victorious will be coming to an end alongside iCarly in the fall. The show seemed on track for a fourth season (the third season picked up an additional 13 episodes somehow, because Dan Schneider says there are 15 episodes remaining and two of those are part of the first batch of third-season episodes); then news broke about the spin-off shows Sam & Cat and Gibby (tentative titles). Now we don’t have a “Cat conundrum” because Cat’s parent show is disappearing.
I am deeply saddened to see Victorious go — though it sometimes frustrated me, more often I was fascinated by the show’s attempts to stretch the boundaries of its multi-cam sitcom format, finding interesting ways to tell well-worn stories. It’s not by accident that I just kept writing about the show as I was discovering it; I simply couldn’t resist. And I will continue to write about the show right up to its last soaring note.
Cheers to you, Victorious cast and crew. Make it shine!
I find it harder and harder to write about iCarly even as sister show Victorious continues to blossom into an excellent television sitcom. Part of this stems from my fear that the show is increasingly coasting on its success and ascent into pop culture ubitquity. Recent episodes like “iMeet the First Lady” and “iGo One Direction” in particular seemed to be designed around allowing the latest fads to take over the show at the expense of letting the show find new directions (pardon the multitudes of pun) in its waning era. Though to be fair, I felt like “iMeet the First Lady” had a strong emotional basis, and the Obama family’s love of iCarly is well-documented, so having Michelle on the show, political cachet aside, was pretty smart.
“iPear Store” doesn’t find new stories to tell in the iCarly universe, but it does use recognizable iCarly storytelling structures in a way that elicits discussion. Read the rest of this entry »