iCarly is one of the first kids shows to embrace modern society and reflect the everyday technology friendly lives of teens and tweens. iCarly is a TV show about Carly Shay, played by Miranda Cosgrove. Carly is a teen who has her own popular webcast show talking about issues that teens face and having adventures with her friends which then are broadcast online and watched by friends and classmates. Many of the adventures are related to school and include teachers and other students as well as Carly herself. Samantha Puckett, Carly’s best friend, is the co-host of iCarly and is a key player in the adventures that take place. Freddie Benson is also Carly’s best friend and he does all the technical work for the show. Unlike most of the teens on TV shows today Carly is looked after by her 26 year old brother, Spencer, who is her legal guardian. Also frequently appearing in the plots of iCarly webcasts is Nevel Papperman, Carly’s 11 year old nemesis who runs a website devoted to critiquing webcasts and singles Carly’s webcast out for criticism quite frequently because he has a crush on her.
iCarly first appeared on TV in 2007 and quickly became a huge hit. Kids loved the show because it accurately reflects their daily world complete with email, webchats, and webcasts of TV shows. Parents like the show because it reflects family diversity, which there is not a lot of when it comes to kids shows. Parents also like the show because it is a platform they can use to talk to their kids about Internet safety, how to protect themselves online, and what types of Internet communication are age appropriate. Because so many teens and tweens use the Internet as part of their daily lives it’s very important to parents to discuss Internet safety with their kids and the iCarly shows give them an easy way to do that. Parents can also use the iCarly website as a resource for information on protecting kids online, how to talk to kids about online security and privacy, and how to set up parental controls for the computers in the home so that kids don’t end up in places where they shouldn’t be.
iCarly also has an interactive website, where there are videos from all the cast members in character, a community chat and bulletin board, and a space for kids to upload their own videos and graphics. Since so many laptops and kids computers come equipped with digital webcams it’s easy for kids to take videos of themselves performing songs from the show, acting out the skits, or sending in their own story ideas and experiences. Miranda Cosgrove sings the theme song for the show as well as several other songs that have been featured on the show, and fans can get her music videos and other music on the iCarly website. There are also interactive digital books and ebooks that parents can download and read with their kids, and print books too for kids who still like to read paper books.