iCarly: iSell Penny-TeesPosted: April 16, 2011
iCarly, Episode # 74, iSell Penny-Tees (October 2, 2010), TV Program. Producer: Dan Schneider for the Nickelodeon. Actors: Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, Jerry Trainor, Noah Munck. Series dates: 2007 – present.
Plot Summary: The premise of iCarly is that the main character, Carly Shay has her own online video show that she creates with her two best friends, Sam and Freddie. Sam is her co-host and Freddie produces, directs and does all the technical work for the show. Gibby, another friend, is also featured in the program performing odd stunts. Carly’s older brother, Spencer, cares for her while their dad is away on military duty. Carly was a tween when the program started in 2007 and is now a young teen. In the iSell Penny-Tees episode, Carly and Sam realize that they can make money by selling “penny-tees” to the iCarly show fans. The tees are basic tee –shirts with quirky sayings on them. The photo to the right has an example of a penny tee on the mannequin with Carly on the left and Sam on the right. Carly and Sam had heretofore made the penny tees themselves, but when orders start rolling in, they realize they need help to fill them Sam creates a sweatshop-like factory in the basement, while Carly and Freddie create a fun and supportive work environment for a group of fourth graders from a neighborhood school. Who can get the fourth grade workers to produce more shirts? Will the workers protest their harsh conditions or will they do anything to make a buck? Will the iCarly show be able to fulfill ALL of the penny tee orders?
Review: This program is cute. The plot was simple, without much depth and fairly predictable, but it was presented without a heavy hand and was funny and entertaining. Carly is goofy, but clearly confident, smart and kind, a strong female character of the ones available on tween TV, and not a bad role model. Sam is also a strong female character, though her behavior on the show and references to her visits to juvenile hall suggest she is not necessarily a great role model, though she is talented on the iCarly show and seems dedicated to the show. Freddie is nice, smart, technologically savvy, and a great team member. Spencer is a shallow character, a young man in his 20’s, interested in the superficial qualities of women. In this particular show he is shown kissing his latest love interest, a stereotypically beautiful blonde woman, with whom he is unable to communicate, as she only speaks Uzbek and he only English. An interactive website for the program parallels the interaction that fictional fans of the fictional iCarly show engage with, so tweens have the ability to do more than simply watch the program. This particular show presented brief lessons about labor conditions for workers, leadership, the power of numbers, and entrepreneurialism.
Genre(s): Comedy, Family
Viewing/Interest Level: 8 – 13 years
Available in: Cable TV Nickelodeon, DVD, online at http://www.nick.com/shows/icarly
Similar Programs: That’s So Raven, The Wizards of Waverly Place, Good Luck Charlie, Hannah Montana
Subjects: Internet, online social networking, friendship, team work, labor rights, ethics, leadership, business skills, entrepreneurialism