Anyone who grew up during the early days of social media knew what Nickelodeon’s iCarly was. The web show within the show gave birth to meme-worthy humor, including Spencer Shay (Jerry Trainor) dressed as a baby, George the Bra telling ghost stories, and One Direction questioning what a “butter sock” was. With iconic moments and a stellar lineup of characters, it’s no surprise that a revival was in production.
Now, 14 years later, the show introduces Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) to a new audience as she takes over the ever-evolving online world again. With high expectations to continue the iconic show in today’s setting, the producers went all out in assuring that the show can attract old and new fans alike.
Wake up the members of my nation
The iCarly revival brings back Carly, Spencer, and Nathan Kress’ Freddie Benson as the show’s central trio. Rounding out the bunch is Carly’s new roommate, Harper Raines (Laci Mosley)—a fun-filled and sassy aspiring fashion stylist. But what surprised audiences were Freddie’s snarky yet tech-savvy stepdaughter, Millicent Mitchell (Jaidyn Triplett).
Fans were saddened when the original gang didn’t get back together, as Jennette McCurdy didn’t reprise her iconic role as Sam Puckett. However, the invigorating chemistry between this new lineup is undeniable. The show’s trademark comedy was executed well, with the cast bouncing their jokes and sarcastic quips effortlessly. On top of that, they bring a genuine mix of millennial and Gen Z perspectives, making each character relatable to a broader audience.
And since the show loves its callbacks, it’s only fitting that iconic characters from the original show would make a cameo or two. Nevel Papperman (Reed Alexander), Marissa Benson (Mary Scheer), and Nora Dershlit (Danielle Morrow) return to the small screen for kooky-antic-filled guest appearances.
Live life, breathe air
Another strong aspect of the iCarly revival is that it doesn’t shy away from more mature themes, a refreshing departure from the original. Mentions of sex, a few curse words, and even the involvement of sugar babies in one episode were peppered in. This change doesn’t feel forced; just like us, the characters in the show are simply trying to figure out how to navigate their twenties.
Much like the original series, Carly explores romance with several men while juggling her web show. Meanwhile, Freddie proves his self-worth by escaping the repercussions of two divorces and numerous failed tech ventures, learning to have fun while being a role model to Millicent. Ultimately, these two have learned to accept more responsibility, making them more endearing for growing up with their audience.
Unfortunately, continuity is thrown under the bus. Carly and Freddie’s storylines are the only ones that carry from the original show, frustratingly enough. Even Spencer’s quirkiness and eccentricity were dialed down, disappointing many fans. There was absolutely no mention of the romantic tandem, Seddie—Sam and Freddie—and the cast talked little about how their past decisions may have affected their present.
Leave it all to me
These blunders make one think, is this show simply banking on nostalgia in a time where we are stuck inside our homes?
While no reboot is perfect nor necessary, the iCarly revival does one thing right: it feels like coming home. It’s that coffee date where you catch up with longtime friends you haven’t seen in so long—naturally falling back into step like no time has passed.
While the first season ended on a cliffhanger, there’s a lot of hope for the show. The humor we know and love lives on, and hopefully, it does so through all the future seasons. Although many die-hard original iCarly fans may disagree, all of the characters still have much growing up to do. Given time, this show can be just as great as the original. All we have to do is watch, and leave the rest to iCarly.