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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Bradys and iCarly

When you have three kids, you tend to watch (or hear) a lot of Nickelodeon, so I am currently an expert on iCarly. This show is about a teenager who lives with her older brother, who is an artist/sculptor. Her father is in the military and I think her mother is dead, they don’t talk about her. Carly and Spencer live in a cool, contemporary loft and she hosts a web show (with her two best friends) from her bedroom. They are always going out for smoothies and Carly’s brother makes them things like fish tacos for dinner.

The Brady Bunch was a sitcom from the late sixties/early seventies that showcased a blended family. They lived in the suburbs with their parents and a live-in housekeeper. Their home was very traditional and all of the kids shared bedrooms. The father worked and the mother stayed home. They had big sit down dinners every night that was prepared by the housekeeper.

Both shows are made of white all-American teenagers and there is little ethnic diversity in either of the cast. The Brady Bunch has more of the stereotypical characters with Marsha being the most popular girl and her younger sister living in her shadow. iCarly has characters that have more individual personalities. The biggest difference that I see between these two shows is how the kids are parented. The Brady parents oversee and guide their children through every situation that they encounter. Carly does not have a parent in the home and her brother pretty much lets her do whatever she wants.

There are some similarities in the subject matter on these shows, such as fighting over boys, first kisses, school related issues, such as school projects and detention. There is a very diverse and colorful cast of characters on iCarly compared to the Brady Bunch, but the biggest difference is the family unit in each household and how the kids are parented.




  1. Good observations, Kim. You chose a similar type of show from two different eras. I have only seen 2 or 3 episodes of iCarly, but like The Brady Bunch, the issues don't seen to be too terribly deep... just minor bumps that we all experience from time to time. Both shows are more idealistic than realistic, and the issues are happily resolved by the end of the half-hour episode. Both shows focus on relationships between friends and family, rather than dissonance and unresolved conflict. -Mike

  2. Kim - I would have never thought to compare iCarly to The Brady Bunch, but you did an awesome job. I too watch iCarly with 2 of my nieces who spend time at my house. You made some great observations especially about how kids are parented in both shows. Seems like kids nowadays are sometimes left to raise themselves from what I see. Good job!

  3. Thanks Mike. You are right, neither show is very deep, just clean, fun entertainment for the kids.

    You are right, Janet. A lot of kids are raising themselves today. It is sad, isn't it?

  4. Kim,

    I never thought of comparing these two shows together. I agree, it is a big culture change with families. One show is showing a mother and father raising their children and then iCarly is showing the opposite by having her brother raising her. It just shows how things have change in the years that have passed. Great Post!

  5. I love iCarly my 5 year old watches it all the time so Iam an expert on the show. You are correct on how the Brady kids have a sterotypical upbringing with the mom and dad raising them and Carly looking after herself her brother and her friend Sam who is always in trouble. It is amazing how things have changed in 30 years. kids are more responsible for themselves and I believe it is becuase parents are more self absorbed and interested in themselves...just a thought good post

  6. Sarah-I guess I picked strange shows to compared, didn't I? Things have really changed since the Brady Bunch days.

    Mr. Cowboy :-) You are right to some degree. People are more self absorbed, but I don't think that most kids have a stay-at-home mom AND a live in housekeeper. That show is unrealistic for an era.

  7. Kim H,
    Good job!I considered shows like iCarly, and some of the Diseny shows. They are always on at my house to, I have a young son who crushes on Carly. I was going to compare them to the Wonder Years though, Good Job!Nice Comparison

  8. Really good post!! I actually watch icarly, I will deny that in public...lol but I used to watch The Brady Bunch alot too and I love the way you compared the two.
    Again, great post!