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 this TV movie is tied into the popular series iCarly and offers more of the same wacky -- if fairly unrealistic -- fun that the show's tween viewers have come to enjoy. There's some mild flirting, a few instances of bullying (Sam likes to pick on Freddie for his crush on Carly), and not much in the way of realistic, responsible adult supervision -- but little of this will surprise tweens. The subject of Internet safety is raised when Carly hastily accepts an online invitation from a stranger to travel overseas for an awards show, so be sure to follow up with kids about your family's rules concerning the Internet. On a positive note, while the movie includes frequent mention of iCarly.com, viewers aren't encouraged to visit the site for blogs or downloads as often as they are during the series.
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What's the story?
In IGO TO JAPAN, webcast stars Carly (Miranda Cosgrove), Sam (Jennette McCurdy), and Freddie (Nathan Kress) are ecstatic to learn that their show has been nominated for an international iWeb award. Hoping for victory over an impressive comedy duo from Japan, the teen trio heads overseas for the competition -- but their journey is plagued by mishaps from the start. And when their supposedly friendly competitors, Kyoko (Ally Matsumura) and Yuki (Harry Shum, Jr.), abduct them and deposit them in the middle of nowhere just before the contest begins, it's up to Carly's older brother, Spencer (Jerry Trainor), and Freddie's overprotective mom (Mary Scheer) to join forces and save the day.
Is it any good?
If your kids are already iCarly fans, they'll surely enjoy the crew's first movie, which offers more of the same hilarious (for tweens that is) slapstick antics. Cosgrove and McCurdy in particular continue to be a delightful comedic team, and if parents can overlook the story's notable shortage of realistic material (a misunderstanding forces the crew to fly overseas in a cargo plan and parachute into Tokyo, for instance), they might actually enjoy tuning in with their tweens for this mostly worry-free fun.
That said, be read to talk about Internet safety with your tweens after the credits roll. In particular, one scene shows Carly consenting to reservations for an overseas trip after a stranger invites her to an awards show over the Internet. While Carly's situation is spun for adventure and fun, be sure to remind kids of the very real dangers that exist online, and discuss your family's rules about surfing the Web.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Internet. What do you use the Internet for? What kinds of things have you seen that you weren't looking for?
How do advertisers get your attention while you're online? Have ads ever enticed you to visit other Web sites? If so, which ones?
How does the Internet change how you can communicate with your friends? Do you think it's a good thing that anyone can post anything on the Web? Why or why not?
Have you ever known anyone who was bullied or intimidated by someone in this manner? Remind your kids to never consent to any offers they receive -- or give out personal information of any kind online.
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