A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like the regular iCarly series, this TV special features plenty of plugs for the show's website, including a strong sales pitch that tempts viewers with promises of extra clips. That said, if kids and parents watch together, this show could prompt great discussions about Internet rules and safety, as well as issues like how fame impacts values and maintaining the integrity of your personal beliefs. Content-wise, the special is quite tame, with negligible boy/girl dynamics and virtually no iffy behavior -- although the few authority figures in the show are cast in a pretty negative light, coming off as over-protective, out of touch, and, in one case, happy to take advantage of the teens.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In ICARLY SAVES TV, a TV station takes an interest in iCarly, the popular Web-based show created by Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) and her friends Sam (Jennette McCurdy) and Freddie (Nathan Kress). Though the prospect of crossing over to TV is exciting at first, the teens soon grow disenchanted with the changes the new producers make to the show's format. Eventually Carly is forced to decide between her new fame and the values she holds most dear.
Is it any good?
For tweens already familiar with the characters and format of the regular iCarly series, there's very little about this TV special that will jump out as new. The special's content is still tween-friendly, and Cosgrove and McCurdy are again at their witty best. The only point of contention for parents may be the somewhat jaded way the special treats its adult characters, presenting them as exaggerated extremes -- an overly protective mother, an irresponsible older brother/guardian, and a TV producer who scams the naïve teens.
If this is your tweens' first introduction to this Web-integrated series, know that they'll be bombarded with reminders -- both audio and visual -- to visit the show's website for information, character insight, etc. Take the opportunity to have a discussion about your family's Internet rules and Internet safety in general.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Internet. How does it impact the way you meet and relate to people? Do you have any friends you met online? Do you and your friends communicate that way? How does using text messages, IM, email, etc. change our personal relationships? How has the Internet changed people's access to fame? Is it any easier to become famous -- or notorious -- with the Internet? Why or why not? Also, what are some of the dangers of the Internet? Do you know anyone who's been bullied or otherwise treated badly online? How did they handle it? How can you protect yourself? Remind your kids that they should never say anything online that they wouldn't say to someone's face, and make sure tweens understand your rules for using the Internet, especially regarding uploading videos and providing personal information.
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