Sunday, November 18, 2012

TV – Goodbye Carly

This Thanksgiving weekend marks the end of an era as iCarly concludes five and a half glorious seasons as the most popular show in Nickelodeon history. The series has been so successful that its reach has expanded well beyond its niche network fan base and demographic, ensuring its place in the annals of pop culture.
The show revolves around teenage friends who produce a popular Internet variety show. However, the focus is not so much the Web program as it is the friends themselves, as well as their peers, family members, and schoolteachers. This is why the show is so relatable to kids and adults. Also, the fact that the main characters produce a Web show is far from far-fetched in this day and age. Not many people can relate to attending a performing arts high school or living on a cruise ship. But anyone can have a Web site or a blog – even me.
The show’s widespread success is also due to the fact that it is actually funny. This is no surprise considering that the series’ creator and executive producer is Dan Schneider, who starred as one of the high school students in the 1980s ABC sitcom Head of the Class before becoming one of Nickelodeon’s most successful writer-producers. In fact, I dare say that iCarly is far superior to most of the sitcoms on network television today.
It has been a pleasure to watch these talented kids grow up. And the show wouldn’t be what it is without the excellent grown-up actors as well, especially Jerry Trainor (who resembles Jerry O’Connell and has the comic elasticity of Jim Carrey) and Tim Russ (who played Vulcan security officer Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager and who here as Principal Franklin implores his students to “study hard and prosper”).
Even though two of the teenage actors will continue playing their characters in two new Nickelodeon shows, it just won’t be the same. The kid and adult ensemble cast have a unique chemistry that will be hard to replicate, if ever.
Farewell, iCarly, and thanks for the laughs.
--Raj Manoharan

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