Photo by: Brenden Cowan
Anyone that grew up during the late 2000s most likely watched the popular American Nickelodeon teen sitcom, iCarly. Created by Dan Schnieder, the show ran from Sept. 2007 to Nov. 2012.
The show also had a spinoff series, called Sam and Cat, which starred one of iCarly’s main characters, “Sam,” and a main character from another Nickelodeon teen sitcom that ran around the same time, “Cat,” from Victorious. Both shows were also created by Dan Schneider.
Starring Miranda Cosgrove as “Carly Shay,” Jeannette McCurdy as “Sam Puckett,” Jerry Trainor as “Spencer Shay,” Nathan Kress as “Freddie Benson” and Noah Munck as the memorable “Gibby Gibson,” the beloved childhood show came back in 2021 with a reboot on Paramount+.
Although it’s exciting to hear the news about a childhood favourite coming back, it’s tough to judge whether or not the show’s revival; iCarly (2021) should exist. There are seemingly equal amounts of pros and cons.
iCarly’s 2021 revival has still managed to be a fan favourite. The original sitcom won several awards including the 2009 and 2010 Kids’ Choice Awards for favourite TV show. Now, a decade later, the show’s revival won the 2022 Kids’ Choice Awards for favourite family TV show. iCarly’s ability to remain successful even after the original audience is all grown up proves that the show has a loyal fanbase.
The show’s main cast now have executive roles on the reboot. Cosgrove and Trainor are now producers of the show and Kress directed one of the first season’s episodes, “iCan Fix It Myself.” It’s ideal that the cast now have executive roles as they can implement their own ideas to the very show that they starred in when they were younger.
However, the reboot hasn’t all been easy going. McCurdy refused to reprise her role as “Sam” on the reboot, and the show feels overall different without her. McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, details how an early childhood acting career was forced onto her by her mother, and how that led to a lot of personal issues, leading her to formally step away from acting. The absence of Sam in the reboot removes a lot of the comedic elements and the new characters have not been able to fill that hole.
Munck also didn’t come back to the show’s reboot as “Gibby.” Munck has also talked about some of the negative impacts being on the show as a child had on him in the past.
Apart from all of this, the reboot doesn’t have the same vibe as the original sitcom. It has worse production than the original show. For example, a running gag in the original sitcom is that Spencer always manages to set things on fire and the synthetic fire always looks real but in the reboot, it’s obviously fake fire. It’s also very easy to tell all scenes are shot on one set because of the oftentimes awkward blocking by characters and how fake every background prop looks.
Also, the characters aren’t all that developed. For example, Spencer, Carly and Freddie all live in the same apartments they lived in when Carly and Freddie were in high school. The absence of Schneider, the original sitcom’s creator, is obvious in the show’s writing. Nickelodeon and Schneider parted ways in 2018. Schnieder, who is the creator of several nickelodeon sitcoms, has been accused of misconduct during his time at the network.
All in all, iCarly (2021), still thrives off the reputation of its original show. As of now, two seasons of the show are available on Paramount+ and a third season is already in production.