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Tag Archives: icarly

Sam & Cat: “#Pilot”

As expected, Sam & Cat is the perfect continuation of both the iCarly and Victorious universes, which is the most unusual move Dan Schneider could have made after the end of both shows.

The big clash in crossing over two characters from different shows is specific to how those two shows ended. iCarly, a long-running generation-defining sitcom of the late ’00s, was given a satisfying conclusion full of emotional catharsis and releasing the characters from their various internal conflicts at long last. Victorious, on the other hand, is incomplete, lacking a conclusion for Tori Vega and thus for all of her friends. As a result, while one universe is over, another continues, which makes a crossover of the two inherently disjointed. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Sam & Cat, The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iRescue Carly”

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 »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iFind Spencer Friends”

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 »

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iGet Banned”

iCarly: iGet Banned courtesy Nickelodeon

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 »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iShock America”

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 »

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iBattle Chip”

In multi-camera sitcoms, continuity usually comes in the form of running jokes, on-going comedic plot developments, and the always-legendary “brick joke.” In the case of iCarly, much of this kind of continuity has thus stemmed from Spencer, who plays at being an adult but is really still a kid figuring out his life alongside the iCarly crew. This led to one of the show’s favorite recurring characters: Chuck, the delinquent kid from upstairs who has tormented Spencer for years. But the joke about Chuck stemmed mainly from the fact that everyone else only saw a sweet little boy where Spencer saw a tormentor/bully. And as the truth became known to more characters, it became harder to justify reusing Chuck again. It would have been a shame not to revisit him at least once before the show’s ending in November of this year. Fortunately,iCarly found a way, and in so doing gave new life to a long-standing rivalry. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iPear Store”

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 »

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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Victorious/iCarly — “April Fools Blank”/”iApril Fools”: Shut up and dance!

I can imagine someone tuning into tonight’s episodes of Victorious and iCarly and feeling lost at sea. While fourth-wall-breaking antics and meta-textual episodes aren’t entirely uncommon, they’re rarely used to great effect (two outliers being Supernatural, a show that always finds room for a silly episode amidst the angst, and Community, which will be important here in a minute) and are often deemed to be too silly for the show’s tastes. Fortunately, Victorious and iCarly both exist in that wonderful 13-17-year-old demographic in which the only explicitly stated goal is to put on a great show as often as possible. That brings us to the April Fools Day episodes of the two shows, which were both completely absurd as only both shows can be. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in The Archives, Victorious

 

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iCarly – “iLove You”

Sitcoms are universally resistant to change. I mean, it’s in the name, for pete’s sake — it’s a show that draws laughs from a situation. (Situation comedy. See? WORDS!) They can bounce characters off each other all they want, but pushing those characters forward in their lives is often a slow, agonizing, season-long process. (And then one of your actors goes bat-s*** insane and you have to replace him with Kelso from That 70s Show. Miraculously, nothing changes even after all that! Also, you should totally watch That 70s Show because it has Mila Kunis. I know these things.)

American shows aimed at younger demographics can be even more resistant to change due to the patronizing assumption that children just don’t get how life works, man. So when iCarly took the leap of faith and committed to one of its two primary relationship possibilities, I pumped my fist in the air with glee. Now, put aside your shipper arguments. I frankly don’t care if it was Sam or Carly who kissed Freddie. What matters is that the show took a chance on shifting the relationship dynamics between two characters in a way that was meaningful and will definitely be remembered in the weeks and months to come. This isn’t just the hero worship of “iSaved Your Life” or the first-kiss debacle of “iKiss”. The girl who kicked Freddie around for years turned around and kissed the guy. There’s no coming back from that!

And over the past few weeks, we didn’t come back from it. Starting with “iLost My Mind”, iCarly managed to strike a balance between its sitcommy setups (a mental hospital, for serious?) and a realistic depiction of two people trying to figure out if they can make a relationship work. As we find out in “iLove You”, they aren’t quite there yet. But in just a few short weeks, iCarly has moved so far away from its delightful little pilot.

Part of what’s been fun about Sam and Freddie dating is how much new stuff we get to learn about the characters. “iLove You” is no different. Carly’s Mother-Hen nature continues as she tries to nurture the “Seddie” of it all and encourages Sam and Freddie to take an interest in each other’s hobbies. Naturally, the show plays up one basic trait apiece: Freddie’s nerdiness brings us to “The Training Bros.”, a… model train club. (No, seriously, a model train club. iCarly is not a normal sitcom by any stretch of the imagination.) Sam, of course, has a family tree locked up in prison, and she tries to get Freddie to meet them… and help her smuggle some ham to them.

Meanwhile, the show downplays Jerry Trainor’s physical comedy, which stinks because that guy is a walking cartoon character who should not be contained. He gets the B-story, when he starts dating an old babysitter Jenna (which… okay) and they immediately fall into old patterns — she being the controller, the power-holder, and he being the little man-child that he, well, actually is.

Ultimately, I think it’s this last part that’s the real issue of the episode (as opposed to Carly’s little bit about how Spencer and Jenna are trying to force their old relationship into something new). Change is scary! And sometimes, in the process, you get scared and fall right back into old patterns and habits. Put Sam in a room full of model train nerds, and she’s going to blow something up. Try and use Freddie as a ham smuggler and you know he’s going to mess something up. That’s just who they are, fundamentally, and the best relationships will challenge those fundamental aspects of your personality.

In the end, of course, the relationship doesn’t work out. Sam and Freddie break up at the end. But then something cool happens. Freddie says, “I love you.” And Sam says, “I love you too.” And somewhere between them, you believe that there’s finally some truth to those words. Just as Jennette McCurdy and Nathan Kress are no longer the squishy young actors from “iPilot”, Sam and Freddie are no longer the children they once were. They’ve grown, and challenged each other, and become — against even the odds of the situation at the heart of the show, the conceit of an amateur web series that artificially threw them together — friends.

The “Seddie” shippers out there are going to cry foul on me. (I can almost hear the feral screams of Goopy Gilbert now…) They’ll say that Dan Schneider has trolled them once again, that he’s pulled the rug from underneath THE ONLY TRUEST LOVE IN THE UNIVERSE. But that’s not true. Because, first, the only truest love in the universe is Amy Pond and Rory Williams from Doctor Who. (Again, I know these things.) And second, it’s because he was willing to make meteoric strides with two of his most beloved characters, and he did it with less episodes than most sitcoms usually take to achieve the same effect. Whatever views you ascribe to with regards to this show, you have to know that this really means something in the grand scheme of iCarly and its place in sitcom history.

And if you don’t believe me, believe in Gibby. Gibby will never ever change, because I have pitchforks with “GIBBAY!” etched into the handles if he does change, and I am perfectly okay with sharing.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2011 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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