Friday, November 30, 2012


Over Thanksgiving weekend, the long-running children’s sitcom iCarly aired its final episode.  At GoofManor, we’ll miss it.

The story is about teenaged Carly who lives with her adult brother Spencer (who is the least mature character – he brings an ostrich home in one episode).  Her dad is in the Air Force, hence the odd living arrangement.  Her best friend is Sam who is a tomboy and almost juvenile delinquent.  Together with Freddie (who lives across the hall from Carly with his insanely over-protective mother) they make a webshow.   Hilarity ensues – really (I just said there was an ostrich, that alone is comedy gold).

It was a pretty good show.  First and foremost – and this is kind of crucial for a sitcom – it was funny.  MamaGoof and I would sit and watch it with the little Goofs and laugh.  We enjoyed the foibles of the characters.  And while the show wasn’t completely chaste – the characters dated – it was on the whole innocent.  Adult viewers laughed for the same reasons as the kids – the sheer absurdity of the situations.

It was, I’ll come right out and say it, about a thousand times better than Hannah Montana.  On iCarly the kids weren’t rich pop idls, contending with the challenges of mega-stardom.  Hannah Montana was the entertainment equivalent of pixie sticks, while iCarly was more like a good slice of pie.  Neither is really good for you, but maybe there is some nominal value in pie – pixie sticks are just sugar with artificial coloring and flavoring.

The iCarly crew had a modicum of fame due to a web show (the eponymous iCarly), but they were not terrifically wealthy.  The kids were regular kids who went on adventures and showed some initiative.  It harked back to the Henry Huggins stories I grew up reading where the kids got together to do something interesting for its own sake and garnered positive attention.

Another thing – the clothes and bling on iCarly were unremarkable.  Stoking covetousness in children is all too easy and I was grateful for a show that did not do that.  Probably the only thing the little Goofs really desired that they saw on iCarly was the autonomy.  The kids went off to the mall, to restaurants, and to one another’s homes with tremendous freedom.  Also, MamaGoof approved of how the girls dressed – not a small thing.

As a kid I remember watching sitcoms with my parents.  Now, most of the prime-time fare is simply too raunchy.  I’m no prude, and there are exceptions, but most of it requires me to pre-watch and really, I have other things to do.  Fortunately, there are now a number of shows that are not insipid or “after-school specially” and, most importantly, are funny.  But now there is one less – ByeCarly.

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