Guide recommended age: 11-16 yrs.
Episode length: Approx. 30 minutes
iCarly - Overview
In this live-action, integrated website/TV show, Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) is a bubbly teen who lives with her twenty-something older brother, Spencer (Jerry Trainor). After footage of her and best friend Sam (Jenette McCurdy) bantering back and forth accidentally winds up on the Internet, viewing kids clamor for more from the comedic duo, and a whole new web show is born.
iCarly follows Carly and her friends through hilarious adventures in teenagerdom as they grapple with school, friends, teachers, and Carly and Sam's role as online celebs. Filmed by their friend Freddie (Nathan Kress), Carly and Sam do the weekly iCarly web shows from the upstairs loft in Carly's apartment, and her artistically minded brother, Spencer, is often a source of comedy and inspiration.
On their iCarly web show, Carly and Sam encourage viewing kids to send in video of themselves showing off their talents, silly tricks, and more. In real life, kids can go to the iCarly website and submit videos for a chance to be seen on the TV show as part of the show within a show. The companion website allows kids to interact with the show, stars and other viewers through clips, music, blogs, games and more.
iCarly - Guide Review
Carly's parents are overseas in the military, so parents are out of the picture in this sitcom for kids. Sam spends most of her time at Carly's, but we do see Freddie's mom on occasion. For being so unsupervised (she lives with her brother, but he's more like a big kid), Carly is a fairly good girl. She does get into some trouble (things like being breaking into a vacant apartment to film her show or making fun of teachers), but she is usually trying to get Sam out of trouble.
While Carly can be sassy and disrespectful, she is nothing compared to her BF Sam, who rarely has a nice thing to say about anybody or anything. The two often make jokes at others' expense, and their little web show got started because kids thought it was hilarious watching online as Carly and Sam make fun of their teacher's "cone-shaped boobs."
The show's comedic elements don't all rest on the irreverent, though, there are some clever storylines and even a few touching moments. Overall, the show has some great comedy, interesting stories, and fun actors; however, parents may have some concern over the idea that the kids rule everything without much need or regard for authority figures, and much of the comedy centers around rude remarks and put-downs. Some episodes of the show also contain significant content around dating and relationships, with Carly kissing a boy in at least one of them.
It is also important to note that the characters in the show encourage kids to log on to the website and submit videos, ideas, or pretty much anything else they want. Some of those submissions could even end up on the TV show. Kids will have a lot of fun taking such an active part in the show, but a good discussion about internet safety and your family's online-related rules is warranted, especially if kids are going to send in videos of themselves.*If you would like to preview the show before your kids watch, the iCarly website contains webcasts of the characters that are similar to watching the show.
iCarly - Topics and Themes
- Carly and Spencer's parents are overseas in the military.
- Teenage crushes are a big subject on iCarly. Freddie's crush on Carly comes up often in the early shows, and Carly and Sam develop crushes and even compete for the same guy in some episodes.
- Carly and Sam have a general disdain for school and their teachers.
- Carly and Sam are Internet celebrities, and they sometimes interact with their viewers. In at least one case, they bring a viewer to their studio in Carly's apartment.
iCarly - DVDs
- iCarly: Season 1, Volume 1: Collection of episodes from season 1 of iCarly, including the pilot episode, the Halloween episode, and the episode introducing Carly's grandpa. (Compare prices)