In five, four, three, two … Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) is back with her wacky adventures in the “iCarly” revival. The original television series premiered in 2007 and explored what it is like to be a teenager with a successful web show. In 2021, the show came back to show what it is like to be an adult with a successful web show. The first season of the revival exceeded my expectations. It was able to keep the goofy sitcom vibes that we love about the show, but geared towards a more mature audience. Before the first season was even finished, it was renewed for a second season. On April 8 of this year, the show came back for that second season. As of the time that I am writing this, the first four episodes have been released. The season will have 10 episodes in total, culminating on June 3. Even though the season is not even halfway done, I can already tell that this will be a great season. So far there have been goofy hijinks, and characters that are a blast from the past. I was chuckling every couple of minutes as the writing on the show is terrific, and that is not just the nostalgia talking. Whether I am nine years old or 19 years old, I will be watching “iCarly” as this is a show that knows how to make a classic sitcom format feel creative.
We have some of our favorite characters from the past, web show host Carly, tech genius Freddie Benson (Nathan Kress) and hilarious artist Spencer Shay (Jerry Trainor). We also received some terrific new characters: Carly’s wild child best friend and roommate, Harper (Laci Mosley) and Freddie’s precocious adopted step child from a previous marriage, Millicent (Jaidyn Triplett.) Just like the first season, the second season put these characters in wacky situations. While the main focus of the show is putting on a web show, there are a lot of fun plots outside of that focus. This includes Carly stepping out of her comfort zones, which includes kissing strangers, Spencer starting a new restaurant, Harper going on dates and Freddie developing an app. Freddie also uses the phrase “Penis Parasite,” which felt weird to my inner child that watched the original “iCarly.” This season was also chock full of nostalgic cameos from the original series. This includes the group’s doorman Lewbert (Jeremy Rowley), Spencer’s enemy Chuck (Ryan Ochoa) and Carly and Spencer’s grandad (Greg Mullavey). Since this is a sitcom, there is no serial plot that connects every episode, so every episode brings a new and hilarious plot. It has elements of the beloved childhood show, but with an adult twist. Characters are cursing, getting drunk and having sex. At the end of the day, all of the characters have each other’s back and have fun while working hard on their web show.
I appreciate how this show knows its target audience. This is a show for people who grew up watching “iCarly” and are now in college or early adulthood. This show still has the elements of a classic Nickelodeon sitcom. There are still characters with extreme personalities, the fun little gags in the form of harmless injuries and everything being wrapped up with a happily ever after in less than 30 minutes. Some of the plots are predictable, as is the case with a lot of multi-cam sitcoms these days. I’m not going to spoil what happens in the episodes so far, but I think there were some moments and jokes that I could see coming. Despite that, this show still feels very comforting. It seems that drama series are the hot new item in television these days, and that can get depressing after a while. The “iCarly” revival is just fun. It feels like I am a child again, laughing with my favorite characters. I liked seeing my favorite childhood characters as adults. Instead of seeing them deal with detention, they are dealing with going to court. Instead of Carly working on a homework assignment, she is getting a tattoo of a bunny with a gun. I also like what Harper and Millicent add to the show as new characters. Harper shows the wild side of a cool adult life while also bringing the pansexual representation this show wouldn’t have 10 years ago. Carly’s original best friend was the daredevil Sam Puckett (Jenette McCurdy) who decided not to appear in the revival. Sam left a memorable mark on the show that Harper may never fully replace, but she still does an excellent job at bringing energy and fun into Carly’s life and I am glad she is there. Millicent shows a layer of maturity for children of today, as she is able to hold her own in a room full of adults. She shows intelligence, such as fluency in foreign languages and having business savvy, and she has great one liners. She feels equal to her counterparts that are over twice her age. Every character is wildly entertaining, particularly Spencer who was a wacky adult during the original show and he still is one. I think this season had a better start than the first season, but I think I liked the later episodes of the first season more than what we have so far of the second season. The early episodes of the first season were finding their footing, but the later episodes were strong with creative plots and character development. The second season is definitely creative already, with the guest stars and Spencer’s new restaurant, but I think they can go bigger. Like I said, the first season did not start strong but it picked up later on. I think that can be true for the second season.
It can be hard to make a successful revival. Many shows have tried, and they are often forgettable, a disgrace to the original or targeting the wrong audience. The “iCarly” revival manages to succeed on all fronts and makes a great show that has a lot of respect for its original. Some shows lose steam by the second season, but I think this second season was great. We are seeing a lot of fun adult adventures this season, and I look forward to more. If you were an “iCarly” fan back when it was first on, go on Paramount Plus to watch this revival, and catch up as more episodes of the great second season come out every Friday.