iCarly: iSaved Your Life (2009)
|Other || NR - 149 minutes - $16.99 || June 8, 2010|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-06-10|
Writer(s): Dan Schneider (created by)
Cast: Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, Jerry Trainor
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Nickelodeon seems to have always been second to the powerhouse that is Disney and all the tweeny-pops that get churned out from Britney to most recently Miley (aka Hannah Montana). But given how excruciating their tween comedies tend to be, one day I decided to give Nick’s “iCarly” a shot for a couple reasons: 1. I was bored and 2. it was the right time given that the Fall programming was over and Summer shows hadn’t yet started. But something interesting happened: the show was actually funny.
Now, Paramount has been releasing the show in various sets. For instance, season 1 was fairly normal by splitting it into two parts and the second season is the same; then they released “iJapan” which contains the 60-minute episode plus a few others and now they’ve done the same here with “iSaved Your Life”.
This DVD contains an “Extended Director’s Cut” of the episode, ‘iSaved Your Life’ in which Carly (MIRANDA COSGROVE) is almost hit by a taco truck while performing a dare for her web show, iCarly, but is saved by best friend Freddie (NATHAN KRESS), who has always had a crush on Carly... and now she’s infatuated with him, much to chagrin of Sam (JENNETTE McCURDY), a tough-as-nails girl who makes it her duty to pick on Freddie. Although I actually already watched the episode (in HD), I didn’t notice a whole lot different despite the extra few minutes, so it doesn’t make for better or worse entertainment but I guess a bonus for fans to get the DVD.
The other episodes on the set include ‘iQuit iCarly’ TV Movie where Carly and Sam compete against one another over a video contest helmed by two aspiring filmmakers; ‘iThink They Kiss’ in which Sam, under heavy medication, reveals that she and Freddie had kissed (this occurred in a previous episode after Sam embarrassed Freddie on-air that he had never been kissed); ‘iTwins’ when Sam’s twin sister comes for a visit but Freddie, thinking Sam is trying to play a trick on him, doesn’t believe it and tries his all to disprove it; and ‘iMove Out’ where Freddie gets tired of his mother babying him and moves out into the high-rise’s upper room.
These episodes, like other “iCarly” shows, provide some funny moments plus some one-dimensionally cute scenes but unlike other shows such as “Degrassi” and to a certain extent, “Hannah Montana” (from what I’ve seen), it’s less serious and for the most part, one-off storylines. The show also doesn’t delve very much into Carly’s personal situation of her father being overseas, living with her older brother and what happened to her mother; though given the light-natured tone of the series, writers don’t seem to want to get into the subject matter of death or parental abandonment.
Personally, I kind of like the innocent nature of the show. No, it’s not a great tween show like the aforementioned “Degrassi”, not by a mile, but it is a show I can click on and just watch without a) having to know anything about previous stories and b) can turn off my brain and have some fun, even with some of the ridiculous moments, most of which involve Carly’s older brother (JERRY TRAINOR).
Obviously if you can’t stand any of these Nickelodeon/Disney tween series, then “iCarly” will no doubt annoy you but for me I enjoyed it a lot and will probably catch more of it in the future if I find it on the grid.
The DVD has four very short (6:52 total) and mundane featurettes: Welcome to My Boat (1:59), Window Stunt (1:36), Birthday (1:48) and Meet Chuck (1:29). Don’t even bother with these...
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Unfortunately even though the series airs on Nickelodeon’s HD channel in widescreen, we don’t get that treatment here. I wasn’t expecting HD quality, of course, but they certainly couldn’t given the 5 episodes anamorphic widescreen transfers rather than 2 episodes in letterboxed widescreen and the other 3 in full frame format. The picture on each is alright but the fact none of them are in anamorphic widescreen, drops the rating down quite a bit.
The audio is also just OK with a basic Dolby Stereo track which is fine for a show with mostly dialogue, sound effects and an average comedic score.
“iCarly” is one of the better tween comedies, although when your main competition is “Hannah Montana”, that’s not a hard accomplishment. In all seriousness, I’ve found the few episodes that I have watch to be pretty funny and light-hearted. As for the DVD, the lame features and disappointing video makes this a difficult recommendation, but I will say that if you can get this for $10 or less, then go for it, otherwise check your local listings as, looking now, Nickelodeon seems to air 2-4 episodes a day.