iReturn to Television
As the previous decade turned into the era of remakes, the new decade isn’t appearing to shy away from remakes, reboots, or revivals. On June 17, 2021, the ‘iCarly’ revival series premiered on Paramount+. This version of the original series follows Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) as she decides to revive her old web show along with the help of her friend Freddie Benson (Nathan Kress) and her brother Spencer Shay (Jerry Trainor).
iBlast to the Past
It’s time to go back in time to 2007. You may be asking, “what’s significant about this year?” It’s the year that the original ‘iCarly’ premiered on our small screens on Nickelodeon. The teen sitcom was created by Dan Schneider who created other shows that take us back to our childhood like ‘Drake and Josh’, ‘Zoey 101’, ‘Victorious’, among a plethora of others.
The original series debuted on September 8, 2007, and ended on November 23, 2012. Its premise focuses on Carly Shay (Cosgrove), a teenager who creates her own web show called iCarly with her best friends, Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy) and Freddie Benson (Kress) in the apartment loft that her brother Spencer Shay (Trainor) and her live in. As the web show becomes an internet phenomenon, the three teenagers must learn how to adjust to their newfound fame while balancing normal lives.
The iconic theme song, “Leave it All to Me” was sung by Cosgrove and Drake Bell, whom she previously worked with on ‘Drake and Josh’ when she was younger.
The show became very popular with Generation Z. Many of them were still kids at the time that the show came out. It made most of them want Sam’s remote. It controlled the sound effects and random dancing for the web show. It also made many of them want to start their own web shows. The modern-day web show could be compared to being a YouTuber because it’s similar to hosting a web show in the sense that the individual is in charge of creating their own content for people to watch.
Paramount+ ordered a revival of the teen sitcom with Cosgrove, Kress, and Trainor reprising their respective roles. The announcement came on December 9, 2020. Jay Kogen and Ali Schouten signed on to develop the revival series. In February of 2020, Kogen left due to creative differences with Cosgrove. The show officially went into production in March of this year. Unfortunately, it was announced that McCurdy wouldn’t be returning to reprise her role as Sam Puckett due to personal reasons.
On June 17, the first three episodes premiered. The first episode ‘iStart Over’ explores Carly as she navigates her 20s, moving past a failed relationship, and reinventing her old web show while Spencer tries to impress Harper (Laci Mosley) with his art. The second episode ‘iHate Carly’ has Carly meet a man who claims that he’s never watched her web show while Spencer asks for Freddie’s assistance when he sprays himself in the eyes with pepper spray. The third episode ‘iFauxpologize’ features a couple of cameos of familiar faces and has Spencer on edge due to a picture of him and Carly that spreads on the internet for the wrong reasons. The fourth episode ‘iGot Your Back’ has Carly enlisting Harper’s help to style her for a red-carpet event which tests their friendship while Spencer sets Freddie up on a date with a woman who is not who he thinks she is.
So, why was now the right time to revive the show? While there is no clear reason or explanation for this question, we can tell you that Paramount+ ordered a revival of the show for a reason. The past year or so has been something we never thought we would experience and it’s been a stressful time for many of us. We believe now was the right time to revive the series because the original show made many Generation Z, as well as other generations, laugh and smile. The revival takes a look into where the characters are 10 years later from when the original show ended. It was time to bring that joy back into people’s lives.
The series will consist of 13 episodes and episodes are to be released weekly.
iGive a Cast of New and Iconic Characters
The revival series has brought back three iconic characters from the original series and introduces us to new faces.
Carly Shay (Cosgrove) is nice, friendly, smart, and caring. She has stayed true to who she was as a teenager but has slightly matured since then. Carly is not a fan of confrontation but can be inventive when it comes to getting her way.
Freddie Benson (Kress) is intelligent, calm, even-tempered, and an occasional nerd. He is the tech producer for iCarly. Along with Carly, Freddie has matured quite a bit since we last saw him. While Freddie may be innocent, he does have a devious side which we see in older episodes of the original show.
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Spencer Shay (Trainor) is Carly’s older brother. In the original series, he is an amateur artist but rises to fame in the 2021 series. He is caring, eccentric, and funny. A recurring gag with Spencer is that any object that he touches or fixes spontaneously bursts into flames and the new series has continued this running gag.
Harper Raines (Mosley) has a dream of becoming a fashion stylist. She is outgoing and not afraid to tell things like it is. She is Carly’s roommate and best friend. Harper is openly pansexual which makes her love life interesting and all over the place. She is the first character in the Nickelodeon universe to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Millicent Benson (Jaidyn Triplett) is Freddie’s adopted stepdaughter. After Freddie’s divorces, they moved in with his overprotective mother, Marissa (Mary Scheer). Millicent is snarky, ambitious, manipulative, and obsessed with social media. Her personality can be compared to Cosgrove’s Megan Parker from ‘Drake and Josh.’
iHave Made an Impact
‘iSaved Your Life’ was the 35th episode from season 3 of the original show. It racked up 11.2 million views and became the second-most viewed episode in Nickelodeon history. The show had its share of guest stars like Michelle Obama, One Direction, and Emma Stone. It also gave us the iconic crossover episode with ‘Victorious’ called ‘iParty with Victorious’. The show was nominated for many awards at the Kids Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards during it’s six-season run.
A spin-off series called ‘Sam & Cat’ was created. It starred Jennette McCurdy as Sam Puckett and Ariana Grande as Cat Valentine from ‘Victorious’. The two played roommates and started their own babysitting business. It ran from 2013 to 2014.
The original version of the show received mixed reviews but became popular with audiences quickly. It became so popular that a major streaming service wanted to revive it so we could see where the characters are now. They believed that people wanted to see where Carly, Freddie, and Spencer were at this point in their lives and they were right.
For more than a decade, ‘iCarly’ made waves when it was on and off-screen. Now that the show is back, it gives fans a sense of nostalgia and pure joy in seeing the characters they grew up with on their screens once again.
‘iCarly’ is available to stream on Paramount+ with episodes that will be released on a weekly basis.
Cast: Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress, Jerry Trainor, Laci Mosley, Jaidyn Triplett
Created by Dan Schneider
Produced by Ali Schouten, Miranda Cosgrove, and Phill Lewis
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