Disclaimer:  DVDs were provided at no cost by a PR firm.  I say that not so much to say that this didn’t sway my opinion one way or the other, but more because I didn’t want folks thinking I sit around buying and watching iCarly sets.  Even for my kids.

For those unfamiliar with the wildly addictive (well, addictive for the tween set) show iCarly, its premise is pretty simple.  Three friends, Carly (Miranda Cosgrove), Sam (Jennette McCurdy), and Freddie (Nathan Kress), put on an internet show known as iCarly, which Carly and Sam host.  Carly, perky and fun; Sam, her rough and tumble counterpart; Freddie the guy eternally trapped in the “friend” zone.  Carly lives with her brother, a free-spirited artist, Spencer (Jerry Trainor).  So the show follows their misadventures at school and home, as well as episodes of their internet hijinks.

With the I <3 iCarly Collection, we have basically what we can call the iCashgrab, as most of the episodes in this collection could be had in the previously released set, iCarly Season 2 volume 3.  The only episodes not available on that set are:  “iFight Shelby Marx”, “iDate a Bad Boy”, “iLook Alike”, and “iThink They Kissed”.  This collection is also thin on the extras, with them being limited mostly to behind-the-scenes extras.  Also we get “bonus” episodes of Big Time Rush and Victorious, which certainly isn’t about getting your tween watching those shows and buying those sets.

We must live in the midst of a caring community. Love must be shared. Life must be shared.  The friendship demonstrated by the trio of BFFs illustrate how friendship is a beautiful and unique form of love, one that truly provides a genuine opportunity for our need for intimacy to be met apart from family and romance.  Friendship is a protection against isolation and loneliness that many of us, especially the tween and teen sets, battle against.

Friendships are a blessing from God, opportunities to both share and receive His love through another. All relationships have a measure of inherent risk to them and sometimes it can be tough to maintain friendships with the opposite sex (thus the dilemmas of “ISaved Your Life and iThink They Kissed”).  Good friendships, like those seen on iCarly, have several characteristics:

Loyalty. Relationships are built on trust. Defending your friend. Supporting your friend in good times and in bad.
Communication. Listening. Speaking. Accepting. Understanding. Forbearing.
Challenging and stimulating. You ever hear the phrase “iron sharpens iron” (actually, it’s a proverb: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17)?
Fun. What’s the point of spending time with people whose company you don’t enjoy?
Self-sacrificing. Putting your needs above their own.
Loving. All of our relationships should be characterized by love.

The I <3 iCarly Collection is fairly innocuous stuff.  Were aliens to pick up this collection, it would be labeled “Mostly Harmless”.  And this would be a fine starter set for those wanting a taste of the show.