Well, I've been gone for awhile. But I'm back, and I've got to get some thoughts out there...
I'm not really sure how I feel about the series' direction following the iOMG storyline. Although I still feel the elevator scene in iLove You was/is the most amazing three-plus minutes of television Nickelodeon has ever broadcast, I can't hide that the show feels, well, different now. I commend Dan for how he has handled Sam and Freddie's interaction since iLove You, I think he has done very well at making their moments together as believable as a situation like theirs can be. They are noticeably awkward around each other, but seem to be growing as individuals, and also, perhaps, growing closer to getting back together again. The only moment between the two I really didn't like (bearing in mind I still haven't seen iMeet the First Lady, or the middle of iToe Fat Cakes) was in iStill Psycho and Freddie yelled at Sam about how Carly "cares" about him. I thought then--and still do-- that that line was extremely off, like it had been lifted out of season 3 or something. It didn't feel right, and I don't know if it ever will. Butr then, their scenes together in iBalls, particularly following the Fredbot fiasco were actually pretty touching and reminded me of how Dan was slyly reminding us that they are still in love and still care about each other. It was really nice to see Sam comforting Freddie, and to see Jennette portray Sam's internal struggle over her continued feelings for Freddie. I feel foolish for admitting this, but I'm finding myself REALLY missing Sam and Freddie as a couple. I know the show's focus is not relationships, but I thought once the iOMG arc was concluded, we would get to see Sam and Freddie together and happy. Instead, we get them in love, but seperated and awkward. I understand it's an opportunity to explore character growth for them both, but on a personal level, I just miss them together as a couple. And for all the Seddie-haters, please give it up, Carly is NOT interested in Freddie, and Freddie is NOT interested in Carly. I don't see Freddie or Sam dating anyone else besides each other for the rest of series' life, however many more seasons that may be. Remember, Carly is a Seddie Shipper, and I don't think Dan could have made it any plainer or more simple than he did at the end of iLY. The hating gets old. Jennette just continues ot amaze me, between her amazing comic timing, channelling of Sam's hurricane of emotions, as well as her unparallelled non-verbal acting, she is truly the brightest diamond on the show, no question. I find I'm liking Carly more, whereas I found her whiny and annoying early on. Miranda's performances dating back to iOMG have really been stellar, and Carly has grown on me, though of course she'll never come close to Sam's rented room in my heart.
On a sadder note, I really feel like season 6 will be the final season. This year, Jennette and Nathan will both turn 20, and Miranda will turn 19. I know I've read and heard quotes from Miranda and Jennete both saying they'll do the show for as long as it's popular, even spinning it off into iCarly: The College Years if warranted, but I don't see Nickelodeon doing that. It didn't work for Saved By The Bell, and it doesn't feel like something Nick would do. Even with cable channels becoming more and more simlar, and less distinct, Nickelodeon has always been first and foremost "the kids' channel," even though I'd argue most of their programming now skews more to teens than younger kids, but I digress. It's the same problem the Harry Potter films encountered, with the child actors getting older and having to play younger getting less and less believable. I'd love for the show continue on and on and on, but I really just feel the final bell approaching. I THINK season 5 was set during the crew's junior year of high school, so they really only have one more year in high school, and possibly the summer breaks before and after said senior year to work with before the show comes to that major crossroad, and I just don't see Nickelodeon continuing the show past high school, nor do I see them farming it out to another station to broadcast if it DID go to college. It's a sad thoguht, but I can't get past my gut feeling that season 6 will either be the last or second to last season for iCarly. I guess we'll know when we know, but it's a sad thought, nonetheless.
Finally, there REALLY needs to be a part 2 to iTFC, b/c we need to know how Sam gets back to the States!!!! I'm not sure I'll be able to deal with the next six months (i'm guessing that's how long it'll be before we see the next new episodes)! What a cruel cliffhanger, Dan!