The traumatic news hit in late spring that iCarly would be coming to an end in the fall. What brought the hit series to the bittersweet end of the line? The same culprit that claims so many tween shows: Time. Star Miranda Cosgrove is almost 20. Co-star Jeannette McCurdy has already celebrated the fateful 20th birthday. Nickelodeon didn’t need to them playing goofy high schoolers like the elderly cast of Beverly Hills 90210. iCarly: The Complete 4th Season takes us back to the time when kids thought Carly and Sam would be posting iCarly videos until they outlasted Gunsmoke.
The series focused on Carly (Cosgrove) and her best friend Sam (McCurdy) making goofy bits to post on the web. Sometimes their work gets them into a little trouble. Other times they get into major trouble. Their pal Freddie (Nathan Kress) videotapes the action. Carly’s goofy brother Spencer (Jerry Trainor) is supposed to be the responsible one, but he’s a bit of a dofus. He provides even more comic relief with his bad sculptures. The show is a throwback to ABC’s TGIFriday programming.
“iDate Sam & Freddie” reminds us of the horrors of relationships in the workplace. Sam and Freddie hook up, but it quickly gets bumpy. The duo keep coming to Carly for help. It’s driving her nuts. She doesn’t want to date them. “iLost My Mind” locks Sam up in a mental hospital. Was she suffering from exhaustion? Was substance abuse? Nope. It was wondering why she’d date Freddie. Carly can’t stand her friend being stuck in a padded room. She’s got a show to produce. Not to spoil the last episode, but “iCan’t Take It” has a third party eager to bust up Sam and Freddie. Can their rocky love survive being rocked? “iLove You” gets weird when Spencer takes his old babysitter out on a date. Who’s gonna be a good boy and go to bed at the right time?
“iQ” finally gets back to Carly’s dating life. Now she’s acting extra smart to impress her new boyfriend. Will he know she’s not a nerd? “iMeet the First Lady” really does pay off. After years of sitcoms with fake encounters, they really landed Michelle Obama as a guest star. “iStill Psycho” is the two parter that shocked the world. Well not a shock so much as glued eyes to the screen with the return of Nora Derschlit. She’s out of jail and might be ready to kidnap Carly and the kids again. “iToe Fat Cakes” becomes an international incident. Sam can’t back into the USA after a quick trip to Canada. Can Carly get her over the border? “iBalls” isn’t as dirty as it iSounds. Freddie turns the webcast into a 3-D event. Watch Sam come straight at you. “iBloop2: Electric Bloopaloo” wins me over on the title. Although do tweens understand about saving the center using Boogaloo Shrimp? It’s just a clip show with those times they blew their lines.
iCarly: The Complete 4th Season explores the lust between Sam and Freddie. Can these two really keep up their relationship this long? Can it survive to the end of the series? Such is the fate of maturing on camera. It’s also nice to have a payoff when teased about the first lady appearing on the series. This should keep the tweens happy even with the end approaching.
“iLost My Mind,” “iDate Sam & Freddie,” “iCan’t Take It,” “iLove You,” “iQ,” “iBloop 2: Electric Bloopaloo,” “iStill Psycho,” “iBalls,” “iMeet the First Lady” and “iToe Fat Cakes.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer is fine for a show shot on HD. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. They do a decent enough mix so that the laughter doesn’t step all over the lines. The episodes are Closed Captioned.
Five Episodes of How to Rock. This is Nick’s news series based on the book How to Rock Braces and Glasses. It stars Cymphonique Miller as a girl that loses her popular clique when she gets her teeth and eyes fixed. Can music make her cool again?
iCarly: The Complete 4th Season maintains the fun and charm. McCurdy grows as the new Vivian Vance. The kids are growing up, but they haven’t outgrown the series yet.
Paramount and Nickelodeon present iCarly: The Complete 4th Season. Starring: Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, Jerry Trainor and Noah Munck. Boxset contents: 10 episodes on 2 DVDs. Released: July 10, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.