Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship with iCarly

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Well, to be honest, there is little love on my part for the popular teeny-bop show. Oh, it began magically. I was tickled to death with it, in fact, and went out and bought two seasons on DVD for Beauty. But now the honeymoon is over.
 Let me explain.

 First, I loved the show: 1. because it does bring a good chuckle, especially the episode with Jack Black and 2. it was the first so-called "age appropriate" phenomenon in which Beauty took an interest. Anything to finally rid your home of that big purple dinosaur, right? 

That is where the love ends, I'm afraid. The more I began to watch it alongside Beauty, the more I found myself having to "talk" with her about it. I would have to point out that what "Sam" just did was wrong, and we should never do that....that sort of thing. Well, here goes:

Reasons I do not allow iCarly in my home:

1.Their portrayal of adults is disrespectful and misleading.  Big whoop, you say. All preteen/teens think adults are idiots. So what.
           Well, I for one do not think it is okay that children learn to consider adults as "uncool" or unnecessary. Not every 13 year old girl is embarrassed by her parents, only those who have somehow been trained to think that the opinions of their peers and/or the world matters. But I digress. This isn't really what I am talking about.

Let's look at the parents of the three main characters.
Carly's dad is absent, being away in the military-which of course it is wonderful that he serves in the military, but he is absent nonetheless.  The insinuation? Parents, particularly fathers, are unnecessary.  Sam's mom is portrayed as negligent, promiscuous and as "trashy". Sam is highly disrespectful when speaking to or about her mom.  No idea where her dad is.  Freddie's mom is prissy, strict, irrational and a germaphobe.  Once again, no idea where his dad is.

There is an episode where the air conditioning goes out in the entire apartment complex but Carly and Spencer's.  Freddie's mom brings the elderly of the building to Carly's apartment to help them remain cool.  The kids, particularly Sam, proceeds to whine and be disrespectful to these people, insisting they massage her shoulders in exchange for time in front of an air vent.

There are some adults who are deemed acceptable by the kids.  First being Spencer,Carly's adult brother and substitute guardian.  While there have been moments when he steps up and acts responsibly, mostly he is a goon.  Quite frankly, his foolishness and antics are not what I want my son to learn as acceptable behavior from a man.  Spencer is always goofing and often causes one mishap after another. Carly usually has to be his voice of reason.  This is indicative of most sitcoms today-where the male is portrayed as a buffoon.  Kids like Spencer because he isn't much different from them and, portrayed as a free-spirit, he is cool.

2. the stunts pulled by the kids (and Spencer) is not appropriate for a child who has difficulty separating fantasy from reality.  This is not an issue for most kids Beauty's age, but it is for her.  Whatever happens on iCarly, must be real and okay for her to try too. At least, that is what she thinks.  Some of the skits and pranks can be dangerous when seen through such eyes. For example, the episode where Carly's bedroom burns down?  Well, what would it be like if Beauty's bedroom was to catch fire?  Yeah, this almost happened. After snooping and finding a random lighter in the junk drawer (from the days when I could actually burn scented candles), she decided to set fire some junk mail in her room. Fortunately, it was contained within a metal box and Hubs was able to extinguish it before any damage was done.  When confronted (and scolded of course), Beauty's reply was: "Like iCarly's!". That was the final straw and iCarly was bid adieu.

There are several other issues I have with the popular Nick show, but these are the two biggies.  Looking on the bright side, it did give us a glimpse into Beauty's mind-what she finds entertaining and the important fantasy/reality thing.

All parents must decide for themselves what they deem appropriate for their children.  We have found that we must be even more diligent and particular with what we set before Beauty's eyes.


  1. I agree 100%!! I hate shows that show parents in such a bad light! YES, our kids pick up these trends! My husband hates all Disney cartoons for that very matter...the "hero or heroine" all come from broken homes..a missing parent or no parents at all. It showcases the very image that you don't need your parents, you don't need a mom or a dad, you don't need a family unit you can have friends who support you! Isn't that the same message that gangs try to portray?

  2. My pastor has made his own distain with the show known and honestly, I didn't see anything wrong with it, until you broke it down like you did. I did see the fault with Sam's mom and Sam herself, but it was like an "Aha" moment with the other parts. We don't much of it, but we do watch it when there is "nothing" else on we like. Thanks for this Marcia!

  3. Marcia...I could not agree with you more!! Now-a-days it seems like WE HAVE TO sit with our kids to make sure the programming is acceptable and life-like... What ever happened to shows like the Brady Bunch or even the Partridge Family. I was trying to think back if there were any inappropriate episodes and I really can't think of any. Regardless... getting rid of cable sounds more and more appealing (although I would have to give up on watching the Food Network, OWN and DIY... so instead tv is limited for my daughter... VERY LIMITED.

  4. I know what you mean Carla and Karen. I hardly watch anything on the satellite, we mostly have it so Hubs doesn't miss a minute of basketball or his deer hunting shows! :)

    We've replaced iCarly with Victorious, which is better, concerning both my points above, though the parents are close to irrelevent in it as well.

    Thanks ladies for taking the time to read and comment. Love you guys!

  5. My girls are 16 & 22 & I understand the concerns, but you can use these moments as "teachable" moments. I used TV shows to talk to my girls about sex, smoking, drinking... I didn't intentionally set out to let them watch shows with sex, smoking, drinking or drugs, but they do appear more and more on so-called "family" shows. And it is so much easier to bring up the subject when it's on TV. I would just ask them, "what do you think about ______?" And the conversation would go from there.

    Stopping by from VoiceBoks!

    P.S. I don't watch ICarly too much, but I do watch Sponge Bob!!