After five years on the air, iCarly will end its run tonight. The teen sitcom will be put to bed with a special episode called “iGoodbye,” which will air at 8 pm on Nickelodeon. I have to say that I’m a little sad about it.
As a new parent close to 11 (!!!!) years ago, I worried about TV and my kid. I had no interest in abstaining from television entirely, but I did want to make careful decisions about what he would watch. We mostly held off on letting him watch any TV until he was about two years old and then we would let him watch a few programs here and there.
I’m a firm believer that you have to choose what you consume when it comes to media, but it does get a little tough keeping your kid from the irresistible glow of that magical boob tube and then finding something for him to watch that doesn’t make you want to move to an ashram. I soon realized the value of appropriate and quality programming. When I was little, PBS was pretty much the only game in town. By the time I became a mom, there were a lot more options and a good number of them sucked. They were either obnoxious, or stupid, or unbearable for me to watch along with my kid, or littered with advertising for questionable products.
Finding out about Noggin was a godsend, since the channel provided a number of great programs that I enjoyed watching and advertising was kept to a very bare minimum.
As my kid got older and his tastes matured beyond Backyardigans, Maisy, and Wonder Pets (*pours a little out*), it became even tougher to find programs that weren’t…well…total shit. iCarly started appearing in my kid’s rotation a few years ago and I came to realize what a gem it was.
The trials and triumphs of Miranda Cosgrove’s Carly and Jennette McCurdy’s Sam have always been a treat to watch. Carly has had some rough times in life with her parents not around, but she has an amazing guardian and friend in her older brother, Spencer. He’s a male role model that I don’t mind my son looking up to. I loved that two very human and flawed girls were the heroines, blunt about their weaknesses but unwilling to be defined by them. They’re creative and ambitious. I love that my son gets to see girls portrayed in this way that is fun and relatively real.
It’s going to be really tough to fill the void that will be left by Carly’s spunky personality and the hilarity of Sam’s blunt attitude about her dysfunctional mother and insatiable appetite.
Farewell, iCarly! I’m going to miss you even more than my son will.