iCarly has officially returned, and we can all rest easy because it's wonderful.
It has the exact same charm of the original show, and we can say this with authority after having binged the original show over the past week. The characters drink gold leaf martinis and occasionally dress up like rabbits in the bedroom, but it's still iCarly, and maybe even better.
Of course, as much fun as the revival is, there will always be a hole in our hearts in the shape of Sam Puckett (Jennette McCurdy). McCurdy chose not to return to acting to participate in the show, though Miranda Cosgrove told E! News that each of her castmates called Jennette to ask her to join. Carly has a new best friend and roommate now (the sharp and funny Laci Mosley), but Sam is not forgotten. Carly says multiple times that she wishes Sam were there to restart iCarly with her, but the butter sock-wielding meat lover is living her best life, traveling the country with a biker gang called the Obliterators.
We already miss her, but there's simply no more perfect explanation for where Sam could be.
In the first episode, Carly is inspired to return to her web show when her relationship goes horribly wrong. Instead of asking her to start one of those obnoxious couples channels with her, her boyfriend Beau breaks up with her, and of course Carly was livestreaming the whole thing. When Beau reveals he's got a new girlfriend and he's starting an obnoxious couples channel with her, Carly feels she's got to compete.
After a new potential relationship with a cute mouth feel expert turns sour (due to a meal of Bavarian goat whey), she decides to try out iCarly all on her own, with Freddie (Nathan Kress) back behind the camera (which is now just a Pear phone) as her producer. Her first episode involved trying out a new skincare routine on Baby Spencer (Jerry Trainor). And thus, iCarly is back, complete with its ultimate psychotic stalker Nora Dershlit (Danielle Morrow), whose 10 years of therapy did not stick.
The first three episodes also offered some (somewhat clunky) backstory for what had happened over the past 10 years.
After Carly went to Italy with her dad in the original series finale, she worked as a host of Italian QVC. Then she went to college, but she didn't love it, and how she...watches Law & Order? It's not clear if she has any other job.
Harper (Mosley) is Carly's roommate and best friend, is from a very rich family that lost all of their money. Now she works at Skybucks (fake Starbucks) and has dreams of being a stylist. They live just down the hall from Spencer and Freddie.
Spencer is now very rich, partly thanks to a sculpture of the White House made out of marshmallows. His art has really taken off, and has only slightly improved since we saw it last. He's a bachelor and frequently wears a fancy robe, though he still lives in the same, though updated, loft. He's also still causing a lot of fires.
Freddie is once again living next door with his still-insane mother after two failed start ups and two divorces. He adopted Millicent (Jaidyn Triplett) while married to her mother, but now they share custody of the budding social media maven. We've got a lot of questions about this due to the fact that Freddie is supposed to be 26 and Millicent is at least 10 years old. Was she born to a teen mom, or did Freddie marry a much older woman? Will we be meeting the mother who took all of Freddie's nice shirts in the divorce? Or is this just another iCarly parent we'll never ever meet?
Speaking of which, our favorite payoff for longtime fans came when Luke (the mouth feel expert) was asking Carly about her parents, who were almost entirely absent from the original show. Her dad spent most of his time on a submarine and appeared in the series finale, but her mom was never once mentioned.
Luke: "What does your dad do?"
Carly: "He's in the air force, but was somehow on a submarine? And...I'm not exactly sure."
Luke: "OK, what's your mom like?"
Carly: "Uh...I...let's go back to my dad!"
Good to know that this is a mystery that will continue to live on.
New episodes of iCarly hit Paramount+ on Thursdays.