In honor of tomorrow night’s premiere of “iLost My Mind” (which I’m super psyched for; I’m a “Seddie” shipper), let’s pay tribute to a “kids show” that puts many a grown up sitcom to shame. It’s got a great cast (Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, Jerry Trainor, and Noah Munck) as well as a supply of clever scripts peppered with improvised comedy (and not every show gets the First Lady as a Special Guest Star). Sure, it’s on Nickelodeon, but here are the top 5 reasons why iCarly isn’t just for kids:
- Gotta love the ambition on display: While we rarely see Carly, Sam, Freddie, and Gibby obsessing over their schoolwork (unless it’s connected to the plot), these kids work hard to put on a kick ass web show. Whether they’re writing Pathetic Plays (like The Prisoner who Just Wanted Some Soup, and the Man who Refused to Give Him Some) or enabling marriage proposals, the iCarly team works to give its fans within the show what they want on a variety of levels. And they’re not about to sell out, as evidenced when a TV producer promises to bring the show to a wider audience with an infinite amount of strings attached. How we wish we had been this dedicated and invested in something when we were that age. Of course, given what and where we are now…
- Spencer Shay: Carly’s big bro is what and who we want to be. Adult and carefree, rarely having to act his age, occasionally practicing his art, and just enjoying his second childhood vicariously through Carly and her friends. He still manages to be a protective guardian to Carly when it counts most, and, more often than not, Spencer saves the day. In short, Spencer is a fresh spin on many a clueless grown up featured in kid-centric shows.
- The recurring universe – think Twin Peaks: The Early Years: iCarly is populated with an array of eccentric characters. In more perverse hands they would be utterly terrifying. But in this world they’re relatively harmless but strange and entertaining nonetheless. From Lewbert, the perpetually screaming doorman, to Principal Franklin, the coolest educator going. From Freddie’s hygiene obsessed mother to Chuck, Spencer’s preteen nemesis. Did we all have people like this in our childhoods? Or do we just remember it that way?
- The Apartment: You want it; you know you do. Brightly colored, decorated with Spencer’s abstract art, and with an attic space that doubles as a studio. The computer on the kitchen counter is nothing compared to Carly’s outrageous bedroom. Spencer set out to design a space that was a teen girl’s dream. But a blow dryer built into the mirror? A rotating closet with a touchpad clothing selector? A gummy bear chandelier (okay, that last one makes me a weirdo)? But what I wouldn’t give for those digs.
- It’s actually funny!: Remember those shows that you loved as a child, that your mother watched with you, and you were pretty sure she was also enjoying them? Years later, you see them again and think, “this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. And my mother was a saint for enduring it” (off the top of my head, seen any Full House episodes lately?). By comparison, I know parents who await each iCarly installment with equal, if not greater, anticipation than that of their kids. Why? Because the show is an escape with heart that rarely reverts to sticky sweet moralizing when tying up the loose ends. Rather, iCarly functions like many a traditional sitcom (simple setup, zany complications, and a resolution that stays true to each character). Throw in pop culture references, impressive bits of physical comedy, and an ever-increasing list of talented guest stars (Jack Black and Jane Lynch to name a few), and a fun time is had by kids of all ages.
Hope you all get to watch tomorrow night, and feel better, Miranda!