DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    Miranda Cosgrove as CARLY SHAY
    Jennette McCurdy as SAM PUCKETT
    Nathan Kress as FREDDIE BENSON
    Jerry Trainor as SPENCER SHAY

    Not Rated
    Studio: Nickelodeon

    Created by: Dan Schneider

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Nickelodeon’s hit kids sit come “iCarly” moves into its second season, with some success under its belt. Carly (Miranda Cosgrove) and her best friend Sam (Jennette McCurdy) continue their popular web show iCarly.com. This season, they face new challenges, including boy trouble, kissing and fighting over the hot guy in school. They also welcome annoying guests characters like Lewbert and the wildly popular YouTube star Fred. Also included in this two-disc set is the “iCarly” movie “iGo to Japan.”

For the past few years, I have found myself routinely defending children’s sit coms. Shows like “iCarly” and “Hannah Montana” might be annoying to some adults, but they’re a riot for kids who are just looking to be entertained for a half hour. However, when it comes to “iCarly,” I will fight to the death. This is a funny, funny show with a strong wit and some really hilarious characters.

In the second season, the show struggles a bit with its own success, just as “Hannah Montana” did. And it’s weathering the storm. The kids are growing up, and with the stars pushing closer and closer to adulthood, they need to deal with some more interpersonal topics. Hence, we get to see the girls fight over boys while Freddy (Nathan Kress) feels like a dork for not ever having kissed anyone.

Overall, the series is still funny, and my favorite character is Spencer. Maybe it’s because of his slapstick humor, or maybe its because of his thirtysomething immature parental nature that I relate to. Either way, he’s as much a part of the show as the title character.

“iGo to Japan” was a neat diversion, even though it was just a ninety-minute episode with a higher production value. Like “Seinfeld,” “iCarly” doesn’t work as well in the long form and fits that 22-minute format so much better.

The biggest danger when a show becomes too popular is that everyone wants a piece of that success. It’s no longer just a funny little show, but it becomes weighted down with guest appearances and such. “iCarly” falls victim to this with “American Idol” star David Archuleta shoehorned into an storyline and YouTube sensation Fred (Lucas Cruikshank) given his own episode. This becomes cheesy television from the 1970s at the best, and it is excruciating to watch at worst. (Yes, I declared that Fred is annoying. Maybe he’ll start a war with me now.)

Yet even with all of its weaker guest stars, this volume of “iCarly” is a hoot.

This two-disc set includes nine episodes plus the full-length “iGo to Japan” movie.

Special features include a making-of featurette for “iGo to Japan” and some behind-the-scenes interviews with Jennette McCurdy.

Anyone under twelve years old... and their parents.

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