No two shows are more iconic to Nickelodeon’s lineup than iCarly and Victorious (except maybe Spongebob Squarepants, The Fairly Oddparents, Rocko’s Modern Life). The list goes on, but I digress. Now, an iCarly vs. Victorious debate may seem trivial, and it is, but it’s crucial to me and my honor to discuss why Victorious is greater than everyone’s favorite cheesy young adult sitcom.
Victorious is ridiculous. Every episode just spawns from sheer ridiculousness. The plotlines are ludicrous, and that’s part of the charm and humor. Take, for instance, one of my favorite episodes, “The Great Ping Pong Scam.” This episode is about the cast of characters creating a fake ping pong team to get funding from their school, so they can take the money and buy a fake trophy and a fancy dinner. At this fancy dinner, one of the characters ends up ordering so much caviar that the bill is beyond budget and the team can’t pay for it. The episode takes a strange idea, then expands on it.
Another classic episode, “Survival of the Hottest,” also shows the show’s humor through ridiculous setups. This episode features cast members getting trapped in an RV with no water during a heat wave. What follows is plenty of gags involving the cast at each other’s throats as they fight for water and freedom from their sweltering coffin.
The characters in Victorious stand out more than in iCarly as well. The main characters of the show each have unique personalities and all compliment each other very well. The main protagonist is Tori Vega (Victoria Justice), a young, slightly naive, and eager girl trying to make her way through her new performing arts school. Many episodes revolve around Tori’s lack of knowledge of her new surroundings, but she becomes more confident in herself as the show progresses. Tori’s best friend is Andre (Leon Thomas III). Andre is an amazing musician and just a cool guy in general. He’s the nice guy that everyone likes, but he has his fair share of crazy (like his grandma). Robbie (Matt Bennett) is the oddball of the group. He’s a big dork and a ventriloquist. He’s rarely seen without his puppet, Rex. Robbie is constantly on a search to be popular, but his weird personality always seems to get in the way. Next we have Jade (Elizabeth Gillies). Jade is the bad girl, she dresses goth and has a dark sense of humor, along with a slight frenemy in Tori, yet they remain friends. Jade’s boyfriend, Beck (Avan Jogia), is also just a cool guy, but Beck remains cool-headed most of the time and stands out as cooler than Andre. Finally, there’s Cat (Ariana Grande), who’s incredibly naive and doesn’t understand what’s going on most of the time.
Together, these characters play off each other in ridiculous ways and add to the ridiculous plots and subplots of each episode. The show stands apart from iCarly in the way that it doesn’t necessarily always use a more random sense of humor to get laughs. It gets its laughs from character interactions and funny setups. The characters all seem to be slightly out of their element everywhere they go and the reactions they have to each setup is what pushes the show forward.
Victorious, while maybe not being remembered as fondly as iCarly, stands out against the slew of dumb young adult sitcoms coming from Disney and Nickelodeon as being funny, original, and just off-the-wall crazy.