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TV Series Review

This popular Nickelodeon staple diligently encourages young viewers to watch and click and "friend" and "follow" and, essentially, engage with all things iCarly, both on television and online. The story's pinned on the antics of two regular kids who moonlight as Internet celebrities, so that level of interaction ends up not feeling out of place. At least not while watching. The Internet can be a launching pad for celebrity, iCarly says. Come and join us, and maybe you could be one too!

At the center of this reality-bending series and accompanying interactive website is Carly Shay, who is both a regular girl and budding Internet superstar. Her admirers obsessively tune in to her wacky Web-based show, also called iCarly. This vivacious little do-gooder shares the Internet stage with best friend Samantha Puckett, a lemon-tongued detention magnet. Freddie, a tech-savvy classmate with a crush on Carly, mans the webcam and endures a steady drip of abuse from Sam.

If iCarly was a real online show, of course, Sam would demand a change in the title and Freddie would have grounds for a lucrative harassment lawsuit. As it is, iCarly is little more than a silly and snarky diversion: The girls film turtle races, showcase recurring segments such as "Another Pathetic Play," and run random features like "Who's That Weirdo in My Neighborhood?" and "Hey, What Am I Licking?" One webisode shows an elderly man, being filmed surreptitiously, yelling at a stop sign.

Off the webcam, Carly's life is just as random. Her brother and sole guardian, twentysomething Spencer, clearly cares for his little sis. But he can't keep a goldfish alive for more than a day, much less monitor a teenage girl, so she's pretty much on her own. Other onscreen adults exhibit varying degrees of humanity, but all are unfailingly clueless. And the kids watch them as if they were a pen full of clumsy puppies.

iCarly does contain some watered-down morals: Be a good friend, follow your dreams, don't bootleg DVDs. But, as befitting a Nick comedy, it leans toward crazy, not careful. And the kids sometimes play practical jokes on, or swipe things from, one another—albeit mostly with an air of silliness, not malevolence. A semi-recurring character scalps tickets and sells illicit burritos. Sam's bad attitude is legendary.

The kids misuse God's name in just about every episode, and they try out a handful of other creative crudities such as "doof butt," "pimple butt," "jerk face," "shiz" and "wiz pants." Adult women show cleavage. Teen girls often wear short shorts and short skirts along with shirts that reveal their midriffs.

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Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

iCarly: 4-21-2012
iCarly: 5-1-2010



Readability Age Range



Miranda Cosgrove as Carly; Jennette Mccurdy as Sam; Nathan Kress as Freddie; Jerry Trainor as Spencer; Noah Munck as Gibby






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On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay Meredith Whitmore

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