iStart a Fan War

 
Jack Black spices up otherwise lackluster special.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

The movie is far from a realistic commentary on teen life, since the main characters are Web stars who enjoy their status and have little responsibility to speak of. That said, they're generally worry-free kids who might act silly but don't get into too much trouble.

Positive role models

The characters lap up the attention that being Web stars brings, and Freddie especially enjoys being the object of female fans’ affections. Adults are scarce, and Carly’s authority figure is her older brother, who’s more immature than she is. But it's all in good fun.

Violence & scariness

One obviously choreographed scuffle yields no visible injuries, though the combatants do use weapons like a long staff, chlorine gas, and balls attached to their wrists.

Sexy stuff

Carly has a crush on a cute classmate and sometimes acts silly and gets tongue-tied in his presence. A main storyline centers on iCarly fans’ heated debate over whether Freddie is romantically involved with Carly or Sam.

Language

Words like “oh my God,” “butt,” and “damnation” are audible, as is name-calling like “idiot.”

Consumerism

The movie is part of the extensive iCarly franchise, which includes a popular TV series, CDs, and a full product line of clothing, games, and accessories.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this special offers more of the same witty banter and zany adventures that fans have come to expect from the iCarly group, so nothing here will be a surprise to established viewers. Little about the movie could be considered realistic, since the main characters are stars among their Web fans and clearly enjoy the attention, and there's a decided lack of responsible adult influence on the teens. The story dabbles in teen crushes and can’t avoid promoting its parent series and like-named website (although there aren’t any direct plugs), giving parents a good reason to talk with their kids about Internet safety and the media’s power of persuasion.

What's the story?

In ISTART A FAN WAR, Carly (Miranda Cosgrove), Sam (Jennette McCurdy), and Freddie (Nathan Kress) are off to WebiCon, where they host a Q-and-A session with fans and inadvertently ignite a firestorm between the “Seddies” (who believe that Freddie and Sam are hiding their affection for each other) and the “Creddies” (who back a romance between Carly and Freddie). Unfortunately, the fallout disrupts the conference and, even worse, threatens Carly’s hopes for a relationship with Adam (Max Ehrich). Meanwhile, Spencer (Jerry Trainor) engages in his own war of sorts when he arrives at WebiCon dressed as an avatar from his favorite online video game and encounters his character’s arch-nemesis, Aspartamay (Jack Black), setting off an epic battle between the two warriors.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

iCarly’s devoted tween following surely will want to tune in for this latest installment in the series, and for the most part, there’s no reason they shouldn’t. If they’re familiar with the show, then they’re used to content that departs from the reality they likely know. These characters enjoy freedom and star status that most kids can’t relate to, but it’s clear the intention is just plain fun.

By far the high point of this otherwise fairly lackluster movie is the addition of Black, who brings his trademark eccentric humor to the talented cast. There’s no reason to worry about your tweens tuning in, but because the show integrates with a partner website that kids may want to visit (if they haven’t already), it gives you a good reason to start a discussion with them about using the Internet safely. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the Internet. What rules does your family have for using the Internet? What do you like to use it for? How can it be used as a learning tool? How does the Internet make stardom a reality for more people?

  • What are the dangers associated with the Internet? Have you ever known anyone who was cyberbullied? How does social networking change how you relate to people? What safeguards exist to keep kids safe online?

  • Kids: Did you like this movie? How did it compare to the series itself? Do you think this movie contributed positively to the iCarly story?

TV details

This review of iStart a Fan War was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byUSCTrojan June 28, 2012
age 10+
 

Everyone 10+

I say it is OK for kids 10+ because on this episode, Sam called someone "Man Boobs", which is inappropriate for an 8 and 9 year old.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bymrbookworm01 July 8, 2011
age 7+
 

Nice show

This is a good TV special. It has good messages and role models, like the TV show. Violence: The fighting fans Sex: Carly and Adam flirt a little Language: The word "damnation" is used. But it's good for kids 7 and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old March 19, 2011
age 2+
 

FUNNY!!!

One of the best icarly movies yet, but in a couple scenes, carly has a crush on a boy named "Adam"
What other families should know
Too much sex
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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