Ike Oden couldn't be clever and put an "i" before his name in this blurb due to an obvious redundancy.
Our reviews of The i<3 iCarly Collection (published July 17th, 2011), iCarly: Season 2, Volume 3 (published June 12th, 2011), iCarly: The Complete Fourth Season (published August 5th, 2012), iCarly: iSaved Your Life (published June 10th, 2010), and iCarly: Season 2, Volume 1 (published September 2nd, 2009) are also available.
"…But she slapped me with powdered nuts."
You've probably heard of iCarly by now. The Nickelodeon sitcom has become something of a pop culture phenomenon since first airing in 2007. The show follows the exploits of Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove, Despicable Me), a wealthy albeit average Seattle teenager/host of the fictitious viral web show iCarly. The fictitious internet fodder can only be described as a kid's variety show co-hosted by Carly's overaggressive, meat obsessed best friend Sam (Jeanette McCurdy, Minor Details) and directed by the geeky, button-down Freddie (Nathan Kress, Gym Teacher: The Movie). Along for the ride is Carly's older brother Spencer (Jeffry Trainor, Crossing Jordan), a wacky twenty-something artist and law school drop-out that acts as Carly's guardian while their parents are conspicuously absent (or something like that). Together, they all get into crazy misadventures while maintaining iCarly and the notoriety that comes with it iCarly: iSpace Out packages together the titular TV special and five extra episodes of the popular series.
If you're reading this and you happen to be over the age of 18, let me start by saying this show isn't for you. It will never be for you. iCarly isn't dazzling all-ages entertainment in the vein of Pixar, or (God help me) Dreamworks films. It's a Nickelodeon sitcom in the vein of Drake and Josh, Kennan and Kel, or, for us old timers, Hey Dude!.
To the adult eye, the show can be construed as crude, obnoxious, lame, and more than a little mean-spirited. To anyone ages 6 to 17 (yes, I know college freshmen who watch the show), it's twenty-two minutes of innocuous, hi-larious antics. In order to give the show an even shake, I've constructed an experiment utilizing the keen observation of my stepson, who for the sake of anonymity we'll call Luigi. Why Luigi? Pixel Verdict fans can take a stab at guessing his other obsession (and no, it isn't his Italian lineage).
Luigi is a massive iCarly fan, much to constant chagrin of his mother and myself. He was seemingly brought into the world a SpongeBob Squarepants aficionado, a label and encyclopedic knowledge he continues to cultivate with great amounts of 8-year-old pride. However, in the past three years, iCarly has overtaken said nautical nonsense, ascending the mantle of his favorite ongoing show on television.
Luigi wanted iCarly: iSpace Out. I wanted to make Luigi happy. Everyone gets everything he wants. I requested the assignment, and for my sins Chief Justice Michael Stailey gave me one—sent it to my mailbox like it was room service. It was a real choice Nickelodeon DVD, and when it was over, I never wanted another one. Of course, Luigi still did, but that's beside the point.
To make the harrowing experiment fair, I've decided to gauge the number of times Luigi laughed per each episode to counterbalance whatever pointless criticisms I highlight in my capsule reviews.
• "iSpace Out"
Luigi was more caught up in the "B" story, wherein Spencer finds a little girl he may or may not be imagining torments him around the apartment. Unlike the rest of the cast, Jeffry Trainer has a knack for hitting comedic beats seamlessly. His Spencer is played like the test tube child of Jim Carry, Jack Black, and Will Ferrell, but without the effortless traits that make those comedic performers so memorable. That said, it's perfect for Luigi, who is only passingly familiar with the derivative nature of his performance. How I envy his innocence.
Luigi Laughs: 7
• "iWas A Pageant Girl"
Luigi Laughs: 15
• "iEnrage Gibby"
Luigi Laughs: 43
• "iFix A Pop Star"
Luigi Laughs: 35
• "iWon't Cancel The Show"
Luigi Laughs: 35
• "iBelieve in Bigfoot"
Luigi Laughs: 8
Overall, the DVD proves to be an uneven set of episodes. Nickelodeon has a bad habit of cashing in their shows based on 'special episodes', as evidenced by the countless SpongeBob Squarepants DVDs released into stores every month or so. If you're a thrifty parent, you might want to check out the season sets. If your kids can't wait, give it a rent if you haven't already DVRed the episodes. If not, it's a cheap DVD (around $13 on Amazon), and Luigi seems to think it's a deal.
As far as technical specs, the video looks about on par with your usual television sitcom. The audio is a clear and balanced Dolby Digital surround mix. Special features are slim—"iSpace Out Trivia" is a Pop-Up Video style trivia track that could potentially appeal to older iCarly fans. A bonus episode of the Nick sitcom Victorius is included, but Luigi refused to watch it because, well, he said it's horrible. When an 8-year-old who just sat through two-and-a-half hours of iCarly he's already seen "a thousand times" and calls a similar sitcom "horrible," I say take his word for it.
Man, my kid loves it. I speak for the hundreds of parents who suffer for their children' s happiness when I decree: Not guilty.
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Scales of Justice
• Trivia Track
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