Decemberween: iCarly

Pause to take a drink while you wonder what the hell I’m talking about.

Okay, look.

It’s a December where we’re not necessarily going anywhere. You’re gunna have some time off, hopefully. You’re going to start scrolling through Netflix until you find the boss screen, and after that, you’re going to start trying to find whole new channels on youtube to watch because everyone else is taking a break, and you may be kinda fed up with people wringing lore explainers out of the Rankin Bass tv specials or whatever.

What if, instead, you watched a grown adult explaining in absolutely incredible detail, the entire narrative, structure, and phenomenon of the story of the Nickelodeon TV series, iCarly?

What if I told you it’s all there, and it’s, in total, eight hours long?

Part one, and:

Part two.

I didn’t watch iCarly. I did not know, before this series, that iCarly was like, a distinct thing. I mean it was cable TV, and I don’t think I’ve ever been friends with anyone who had cable TV. I don’t think I’ve known anyone with cable TV. Cable TV is not a thing in Australia the way it is in America. Turns out there’s a complex and really weird collection of what I can only really describe as ‘live action star vehicle shovelware’ media produced on channels like Disney and Nickelodeon and just thanks to the kind of structural power you can have if your audience is functionally captive and meritocracy is fake, these series are really important to people who are right now turning into a generation of the internet’s voices.

Oh but wait, we’re not done, we’re not done, because at the end of the iCarly video, he promised to cover the followup series, Sam And Cat, but the problem is Sam and Cat is a spinoff of iCarly but also Victorious and well, Quinton could just dive in and go without talking about Victorious, but that would be quitter talk and now we have a five hour video on Victorious.

The Failure of Victorious

But, and this is absurd, this and we’re not done yet, is that thanks to a creator called FD Signifier, I got recommended a video by a effervescent words-doer and chaos gremlin, CJ The X, about the specific performance of one character in the series Victorious, Cat Valentine, who is played by an (at first) seventeen year old Ariana Grande who is now, as it turns out, somewhat important.

The Neurosis of Cat Valentine

I watched all these videos.

That didn’t make sense to me, because I never saw iCarly, let alone that it crossed over with Victorious and from what I can tell, it’s really mediocre and you kind of need nostalgia to hook into you to keep you watching past the arch presentation. There’s this thing with kids media that’s, like, it’s typically made with no meaningful view of quality. It’s like this weird thing where we go ‘well, it’s for kids, so it’s okay that it sucks ass.’ And I say that as a lifelong fan of the Transformers.

And Quinton does have that nostalgia.

Quinton does a relentlessly self-reflective, courageous examination of this series and how he reacts to it. It’s funny because, let’s face it, it is funny, but it’s also watchable and sincere and sweet and seeing him connect to this work, and explain why he connects to it is really, really engaging.

I watched these videos multiple times.

And yes, they are eight hours long together.

I think, maybe, part of this is because I find Quinton genuinely interesting as a media commentator. I know I recommended you check out his work last year, in general, and… well yeah. I still like it and I like this really long form dive. He makes eight hours of iCarly analysis really interesting. And then five hours of Victorious. And then CJ the X adds ninety minutes. Point is I have lost basically a day of my life to this franchise I’m not interested in and it’s just because these people make it interesting.