Sunday, July 22, 2012


Episode 9: iWill Date Freddie
Episode 10: iWant a World Record
By: Carlos Uribe

iCarly is a show about a girl who does a weekly webcast with her two best friends. It runs on Nickelodeon.

Spoilers Ahoy!

The first episode I'm reviewing this week focuses on Freddie and his relationship with Sam. It begins when a girl asks Freddie out on a date in the middle of a webcast. While he isn't sure if he wants to go out with her, he is eventually persuaded by everyone to do so. It should come as a surprise to the characters that his first date seems to go well and Freddie seems to be pretty happy to be in a new relationship. After a week of dating, he's persuaded to leave iCarly as the technical producer and to produce the webshow of his girlfriend. This disappoints Carly and Sam, but Sam's constant mistreatment of Freddie makes it difficult for them to convince him to stay on. Freddie's replacement is a kid who is always sick. The show tries to play this for comedy, but I couldn't help but feel bad for that character. He has to constantly live with a cold and that must be terrible for him. Freddie's absence makes Sam realize just how valuable Freddie is to the show. They can't really do anything until Freddie's girlfriend reveals the real reason she is dating Freddie.

That reason being that she was using Freddie to sink iCarly so that she could have the most popular webshow on the internet. She even tried to get Sam to betray Carly and join her as co-host. Freddie's girlfriend used immoral tactics in an attempt to destroy her would-be competition. She was jealous of the popularity that iCarly had and hoped to steal it by going after the talent. While Freddie doesn't want to believe this at first, his friends are able to convince him. He decides to quit her webshow, but will only come back to iCarly if Sam is nice to him. She manages to be for a few seconds (and then gives him a wedgie) and the status quo is reset. Sam's behavior doesn't actually change in future episodes, but it's the first one that truly explored how Sam and Freddie thought of each other. It's known to any viewer that Sam is mean to Freddie, but this is the episode that revealed what Freddie thought of the other when they weren't in the same room. Freddie excuses Sam's behavior, stating it's in her nature to be vicious and still considers her to be a friend. Sam acknowledges that the show needs a good technical producer in order to work. The episode was okay.

The second episode to be reviewed is iWant a World Record, and it uses the series premise to tell a traditional sit-com story. That story being a world record. The characters realize that there's a world record for longest webcast and they decide they want to break it. The episode becomes about breaking the world record. Most of the episode has the three characters trying out new segments, trying to stay awake, and setting up obstacles in their way. Like any other television show who has tried this story, they only fail in the last minute. The power goes out for a few seconds and it renders all their hard work for nothing. It's not a new story and iCarly doesn't really try anything new or to add a new perspective on why people want world records. The characters simply want to be in it and there's no real question on their motivation. The episode does end with them going into the book anyway, when Spencer accidentally breaks a world record for how many moving parts are in his sculpture. The episode decided that having them fail the world record wasn't a happy ending and decided to give them one regardless.

This makes sense. There are some comedies that are more about presenting reality and they aren't that scared of leaving the characters off as disappointed. There are also comedies that are meant more as escapism, showing the fun lives of it's characters and making the viewers wish they lived in that world. This show is trying to be the latter. I'm sure that at least some kids would love to be in the iCarly world. The series is clearly trying to be escapist, and it wants the characters to generally be happy and successful. This is why the show never really depicts them having trouble getting viewers (except for that one episode) and why they're webshow is considered to be very popular. This series is all about the struggle but the destination is always worth it for the characters.

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