Disclaimer: The writer of this blog entry does not identify exclusively as a Creddie or Seddie shipper. Please do not consider any content of this entry an invitation to debate Creddie vs. Seddie, or otherwise ignite new life to any ship war.
Creddie & Rily: 2 BFF Ships Scorned?
In 2003, when TeenNick was a channel only recently split between two time slots called "Noggin" (Children Block) and "The-N" (Teen Block), a series called Radio Free Roscoe premiered. I was just about 14 at the time, and if you're around that age now, iCarly probably is for you what RFR was for me...the first show I was so emotionally invested in that I lived in the fandom and considered it an obsession. The premise of the show was actually quite similar to iCarly, except instead of friends forming a web show in America, these friends formed their own underground radio show in Canada. Like iCarly was considered ahead of its time in advancing the significance of web shows, Radio Free Roscoe was actually a little behind its time in using radio technology after the medium lost much of its former popularity.
So what does any of this have to do with Creddie, you ask? Well, let me tell you. (Fair Warning: This blog will contain series spoilers for Radio Free Roscoe, but it doesn't even syndicate anymore, so that shouldn't matter).
Radio Free Roscoe, the name of the radio show (and not just the series), was run by a group of four friends (Lily, Ray, Robbie, Travis). From the beginning, we learn early on that Ray has a crush on Lily, and it makes sense considering they have a history going back to toddlerhood. While Carly and Freddie lack the same history, it is still made clear from the beginning of the series that Freddie has a crush on Carly, and that is where similarity begins.
In the cases of both Ray and Freddie, it can be argued that the writers expect their audience to feel at least some sympathy for their character's “girl situation”. Ray is too afraid to tell Lily he has a crush on her, so he spends time dwelling on the possibly unrequited feelings and experiences jealousy when other guys enter the picture. Obviously, Freddie has the opposite problem. Carly is more than aware of his crush on her, but she doesn't reciprocate the feelings, so he lives on standby hoping something will eventually change. These are the types of things that writers string along, and usually it builds some kind of anticipation, but there is always that risk that a point in time will come where if nothing significant has happened yet, many viewers replace anticipation with a stronger feeling of frustration.
How did the writers of Radio Free Roscoe and iCarly choose to initially resolve the anticipation they had built up in their viewers over the relationship of two main characters? Surprisingly, in a manner very similar and dare I say unsatisfying.
If you're reading this blog, then I think it's safe to say you know what happened with Creddie and the episode iSaved Your Life. Freddie rescued Carly from pancake doom by pushing her out of the way of a taco truck, a self-sacrifice he had been willing to make without a moment's time to think it over. You know how actions speak louder than words...well that action screams LOVE (Friendly? Romantic? Irrelevant!). This wasn't news though, because he had been telling her he “loved” her for years. So what went wrong? Their potential graduation from friendship to relationship was suffocated by two words: “hero” and “bacon.” Anything Carly thought she might feel for Freddie, which she either didn't realize or didn't feel at all before, was delivered as a product of the realm of superficiality. And from there the viewers are essentially asked to wait, again, for any further pro-ship resolutions.
The realm of superficiality had already claimed another ship victim before in my book, and that was Ray/Lily. Just like iSaved Your Life was sketched out to be the episode where feelings finally show up mutual for Carly/Freddie, Pig-malion was the time for Rily to shine. Lily agreed to teach Ray how to be the “perfect boyfriend,” and in doing so she fell for the guy with newly-trained manners and made-over looks that she created. It backfired though, because just as she was ready to share these new feelings with him, another girl entered the picture and became his girlfriend. It felt like square one all over again, and the viewers were basically asked to wait the same as with iCarly.
“Makeover Ray” and “Hero Freddie” are two incarnations of the same person to me. The boy who, on an average day, wasn't successful at getting their best female friend's attention as someone who could be worthy of something more. And when they both finally do get considered for the first time, it turns out miserably.
I bet at least someone is wondering right now what happened to Rily at the end of Radio Free Roscoe, especially since I have shown how they began very similarly, so maybe they progress and turn out similarly as well. To this I reply: “God, I sure hope not!” For the record, in the final episode of the series Ray and Lily do get their endgame kiss. Before you go accusing me of strongly opposing Creddie as endgame after connecting those last two sentences though, I'd like to offer an explanation that will help you withdraw these possible accusations.
Not five minutes before Lily bursts into the RFR studio to confront Ray for their endgame moment, she was at their school dance with another guy (who she had been dating for a while). Earlier outside the dance Ray outright asked Lily to choose between him and River (the other guy). River wasn't one of the main characters, so him being ditched for the closest friend at the last minute may not seem as weighted as if the iCarly trio got into this situation, but I still think I would feel just as ripped off either way.
We know now that Sam and Freddie are going to have their chance to date, and there's an even guess right now as to whether they will become a couple too. In the event that they do become a couple, the chances of an endgame between Carly and Freddie becomes almost nonsensical, because anything given would be a weaker ending for the two than I believe they would deserve if they were meant to have one. Obviously Sam and Freddie wouldn't be breaking up in the last five minutes with Freddie running off to tell Carly she's “the one” or anything like that, because that's not how the trio dynamic works or how a tween comedy works even in its most dramatic moment.
However, the relationship between Carly and Freddie would seem tainted by Sam in the same way River tainted the relationship between Ray and Lily. What I mean by tainted is that they basically pollute the flow to endgame for the pairing that was being stringed along from the beginning by blatantly existing as the largest in a series of other frustrating obstacles that holds off on giving them their moment until almost the last second possible. By then, you're tired of the run around, and while that doesn't change the excitement of endgame for everyone, it somehow manages to makes it feel less meaningful to me (Note: I fully acknowledge that some people don't care how their endgame comes to be as long as it gets there, and I respect this and any other difference of opinion regarding the process of shipping).