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Featured TV on DVD Review: iCarly: iSpace Out

August 26th, 2010

iCarly: iSpace Out - Buy from Amazon

iCarly is one of the most popular kids shows around and it is constantly among the highest rated basic cable shows every single week. It's not surprising that Miranda Cosgrove got a raise and is now the highest paid kid actor on TV. ($180,000 an episode.) iSpace Out is the sixth iCarly DVD to come out, and the third in a row that's a mixed episode release. I vastly prefer full season sets, but that's not happening. But are the six episodes here worth checking out? Is the price per minute low enough that it's worth picking up? And are there any extras?

The Show

The six episodes presented here start with...

  1. iSpace Out
    After debuting a new segment called, "Dancin' With Cameron", which includes live video calls, the team meets Richard Blanton, an eccentric billionaire that is a huge fan of iCarly. He wants to make history by making iCarly the first webshow to broadcast from space. However, it's not as simple as hopping on a rocket, they have to go through a myriad of tests to make sure they are fit for space travel. And if that wasn't pressure enough, there's competition from another webshow. Meanwhile, Spencer meets a strange little girl who has wandered into the apartment and refuses to say who she is or why she is there.
  2. iWas a Pageant Girl
    The featured guest on iCarly is beauty pageant contestant, LeAnne Carter, who is about to win her 100th beauty pageant in a row, which causes Sam to freak out. It turns out Sam used to be a pageant girl as well, but she always came in second place to LeAnne Carter. At least that used to happen, till she was banned for an "incident". Now she's roped Carly into taking her place in hopes of dethrowning LeAnne before it is too late. The B-story has Spencer and Freddie going on a double date, but while waiting for their rock-climbing reservation, they become obsessed with a board game and can't quit till they win.
  3. iEnrage Gibby
    The gang meets Gibby's girlfriend, and she's hot. Way too hot to be his girlfriend. When Freddie gets caught in a totally innocent, but compromising position, Gibby challenges him to a fight, live on iCarly. Meanwhile, the newspaper prints a negative review of Spencer's art, as well as an article on his unfortunate passing. At first he's really mad, then when his art starts selling for four or five times its value, he decides to keep up the charade.
  4. iFix a Pop Star
    A while back in the episode iRocked the Vote, the gang created a music video for a selfish pop star, which became a huge hit. Meanwhile, former teen pop sensation, Ginger Fox, is looking to make a comeback and hire the trio to direct her. The B-plot for this episode has Spencer dating a hot woman and things are going great, till he finds out she's Gibby's mother. Then when she finds out he's Carly's brother, it really makes the relationship awkward.
  5. iWont' Cancel the Show
    Carly's dad is a sailor living on a naval submarine. Because of this, he's never been able to see the show. However, this week that's changed. Unfortunately, this week is the week Sam chooses to assault a diplomat with a chili dog and will have to spend the night in juvie. So it is up to Spencer to take her place. But he's got a big date with a classy lady, and iCarly is far from classy.
  6. iBelieve in Bigfoot
    After a Bigfoot sighting, the school, and the city, is abuzz with Bigfoot mania. In order to set the record straight, Carly decides to interview Bigfoot expert Sydney Van Gurbin live on iCarly. When that doesn't work, they head into the woods to catch incontrovertible evidence once and for all.
Basically this DVD has episodes 11 through 17 from the third season, minus the bloopers show, but not in chronological order. This is nearly impossible to understand. Also, the first episode on the DVD, iSpace Out, is arguably the weakest. (I should point out that while it is the weakest on the DVD, it is still average for the show and far above average compared to most shows with the same target demographic.) The show maintains its strength, including the charm and dedication of the main cast. It also has the same weaknesses, including an oppressive laugh track and situations that go beyond over-the-top at times. The latter I don't mind too much, but the former drives me nuts. Also, more than a few times, the B-plot is the more interesting of the two storys. This is not really a complaint, just an interesting note.

The Extras

There is a pop up trivia track on the titular episode, which is filled with information, some of which is only tangentially related to the episode or the show.

There is also the pilot episode for Victorious, which stars Victoria Justice as Tori Vega. In the first episode she helps her sister, Trina, rehearse for her big show at the performing arts school she goes to. However, just before Trina is set to perform, her tongue swells due to a Chinese herb gargle and Tori has to take her place. Of course she's fantastic and she's offered a place at the school. (No, this is not really a spoiler, as it happens less than 10-minutes into the first episode.) I don't know if this will be a good show or not, but the pilot wasn't exactly a strong selling point. Then again, a lot of shows struggle to find their footing early on and this could be the case here. Or, it could be a problem of relying on too many quirky characters and not focusing on real people and situations.

The Verdict

I really hope iCarly goes back to full-season sets, or at least the split-season sets they used to put out. iSpace Out has six episodes, most are quite strong. The pop-up trivia track is fine, but the bonus episode is just advertising for a new series and not really adding value here. It's a fair value for the previous single-disc releases, but pricey compared to what a full-season release would be.

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