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Featured TV on DVD Review: iCarly: iFight Shelby Marx

March 27th, 2010

iCarly: iFight Shelby Marx - Buy from Amazon

After three two-disc, split-season releases, the latest iCarly DVD is a four episode release spread throughout the last half of the second season and even the first half of the third season. I'm not a fan of splitting TV on DVD releases into two volumes per season. However, this is a lot better than releasing DVDs with random episodes, which is what iFight Shelby Marx is. It's disappointing that they didn't continue the chronological releases, but did they at least pick four good episodes? And is the price per minute reasonable?

  • iFight Shelby Marx
    Carly, Sam, and Freddie are watching a MMA match featuring Shelby Marx, who easily defeats her opponent, becoming the youngest woman to be a champion in that sport. The next day Carly jokingly challenges Shelby to a fight. When some on the internet take the challenge seriously, Freddie becomes worried what might happen. When Shelby arrives at Carly's door, Carly goes into full panic mode. However, Shelby isn't there to beat her up... well, technically she is, but she wants to do it for charity. Her manager figures that since Carly and Shelby are the same age, it will be great publicity for both ladies. At first Carly likes the idea. Actually, she's petrified of the idea, but she's talked into it when Shelby assures her that no one will get hurt in the fight. However, when Carly accidentally tackles Shelby's grandmother at the pre-fight press conference, Shelby decides that the fight is on for real.
    Meanwhile, Spencer is determined to get rid of his allergies for good, so he's taking some experimental medication that's only been approved in Cuba and some parts of Canada. While his allergies have cleared up, he has to deal with a series of bizarre side effects, from itching to short-term memory loss to muscle spasms.
    A solid two-part episode that should please most fans. Using the "Fight's on!" / "Fight's off!" plot point was used once too often and caused the show to lose steam in the middle. Also, the fight scenes were obviously not exactly professional quality, but what can you expect for a kids show? On the positive side, Victoria Justice was great as Shelby and it was fun seeing Freddie fawn over her.
  • iDate A Bad Boy
    Someone stole Spencer's motorcycle. But when it turns out that it was their new neighbor, Griffin, Carly falls for his bad boy charms, much to the horror of Spencer. He grounds Carly until college. Of course, Carly thinks he's overreacting (I'm with Spencer on this one) and this just drives Carly to Griffin. However, Carly finds Griffin has a softer side, specifically a side that collects plush animals. Yeah. That could kill a relationship faster than any overprotective brother could.
    Meanwhile, the B-story has Freddie helping Sam with her website. Freddie's not willing to do the work for free, so he makes Sam sign a contract. However, Sam's demands grow so high that Freddie snaps and rips up their contract, which turns out to be a mistake when Sam sells the site for big bucks.
    What is it with shows aimed at 'Tweens that perpetuate the myth of the bad boy? Nine times out of ten they are not misunderstood sensitive guys, they are just jerks. Because Griffin is a jerk, it's hard to enjoy this two-part episode.
  • iLook Alike
    The iCarly show has a lookalike contest with pretty amazing results. But not a amazing as what they find out after the show. The gang gets an e-mail from the son of Jackson Colt, who invites them to do a behind-the-scenes bit at an MMA event and even interview his father. Freddie's mother adamantly forbids him from going (no surprise there). But Spencer also puts the kibosh on the plans, which is a little out of character for him. (It is also more than a little confusing considering the events of iFight Shelby Marx, but this is actually the earliest episode on this DVD, at least chronologically.) So the gang comes up with a plan: use the winners of the local look alike contest to pretend to be them while they sneak out. I know, it doesn't sound like it would work. When you see it in the show, it seems even less likely to succeed.
    I think this episode was chosen because it dealt with MMA, just like iFight Shelby Marx. Not because it was a stellar episode. The behavior of Carly and Spender seemed out of place, as if the writers needed them to act differently than we've come to expect in order to move the plot forward. It's something I call "Plot Induced Personality Change." It happens a lot, and it is never a good thing. Also, because this show originally aired before iFight Shelby Marx but comes after it on this DVD, it really messes with the continuity. It's not a bad episode, only average.
  • iCarly Awards
    The gang decides to host an awards show honoring the best fan-created content. However, they asked Spencer to create ten one-foot tall statues to give out and instead he creates one ten-foot tall statue instead. So now he has to enlist the help of European swimsuit models to help him build the statues while the awards show is going on. (It sort of makes sense in the context of the episode.) However, Spencer doesn't have nearly as much fun as he should have, given that set up.
    Not much of a plot. It's just a clip show, but instead of clips from past shows, they show clips sent in by fans of the show. If you like the fan-generated content, then this will be one of your favorite episodes. Otherwise, it is skippable.
There is also a bonus episode: the hour-long pilot to Big Time Rush, which is about a group of boys from Minnesota that are trying to become the latest boy band. It reminded me of Jonas. No, that's not a compliment. The attempts at humor are way too over-the-top, as is the acting. This could be the fault of the writing. Or it could be intentional and I'm just not a fan of the style. Maybe the show just got off to a slow start, which is a common problem for a lot of shows. There are more than a dozen lead and main characters, which means too much time is spent introducing them and not enough time is spent getting to know any of them in detail. Maybe future episodes will be better when they can get into character development, but I'm not optimistic.

There are two other short extras: a 2-minute interview with the actor that plays Lewbert (Jeremy Rowley) and a 3-minute featurette with Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor answering viewer questions.

The Verdict

Recently, iCarly was renewed for a fourth season after its star, Miranda Cosgrove, signed a seven-figure deal. As far as kids shows go, this is one of the best on TV, but iFight Shelby Marx is not one of the better releases. There are two two-part episodes, two regular episodes, and the two-part pilot for Big Time Rush, plus a couple of very short extras. This is not bad on a price per minute basis, but not great either. Personally, I would wait for Season Two, Volume Two.

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