Sam and Cat: Was it that Bad or Were We Just Confused?

The iCarly/Victorious Sequel Had Shoes too Big to Fill


The Not-So Hit Nickelodeon spin-off Sam and Cat

Nickelodeon hit us hard in the winter of 2012-2013. The beloved hit iCarly, developed from the cast of Drake and Josh, ran from September 2007 to its eventual end in November of 2012. At the same time, they were winding down Victorious, a parallel hit that ran from 2010 to February of 2013. But Nick (Nick Nick Nick na Nick Nick Nick Nick-el-o-deon) gave us something huge instead. A crossover series starring secondary leads from both prior series, Sam and Cat, which premiered in July, 2013. The new show accelerated quickly, starting with a twenty-episode first season, that was later rumored to be upped to forty. However, in April of 2014, the series went on hiatus with just thirty-three episodes aired and released just two more that spring. Ariana Grande (Cat) had a suddenly emerging music career (weird how that turned out) and Jennette McCurdy (Sam) was embroiled in controversy. And that was it; the show lasted just one year and thirty-five episodes, Grande became who we know now, and McCurdy has shifted out of the limelight recently. Likewise, we have yet to see much more from the series other three main cast members: Zoran Korach, Cameron Ocasio, and Maree Cheatham. Besides Ariana Grande, it seems the only person to survive Sam and Cat was producer Dan Schneider, but even he has since left Nickelodeon as this was his last hit with the generation that grew up with Schneider’s Bakery production company.

But was the show bad or just not as good as The Amanda Show, Drake and Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, and Victorious?

First we’ll look at the cast. It wasn’t bad but surely no slam dunk. Zoey 101 offered us names Jamie Lynn Spears, Victoria Justice, and Austin Butler, who if anything have all become more relevant with time. Both Drake and Josh remain relevant, and nearly any member of Gen Z knows the cast of Victorious. But Sam and Cat had just two faces: Sam and Cat. Jennette McCurdy was famous for iCarly while Ariana Grande was the dumb static character on Victorious, though they developed her character more in the new show. However, McCurdy has become somewhat irrelevant now, especially since Netflix has yet to pick up iCarly. Grande is of course a very well-known singer, but that’s about where it stops with cast notoriety. Ocasio, now 20, last acted on TV in 2016 with the never-picked-up Disney XD pilot Commando Crash, while Maree Cheatham’s last major credit was a recurring role on Baskets in 2017. Of course, the show has some notable guests like Eric Lange (Mr. Sikowitz), Elizabeth Gillies (Jade West), Nathan Kress (Freddie Benson), and Reed Alexander (Nevel Papperman) as well as Scott Baio and Kel Mitchell. That said, the main cast of the show was rather week, especially considering the success of Schneider’s past work.

Regardless, the most important criteria to look at is the quality of the actual episodes. Because the series was canceled after just one (thirty-six episode) first season, I wanted to watch them all. But this school thing kind of got in the way. Instead, I looked at what the internet said were some of the best and worst episodes and reviewed them each briefly below.

#Pilot (Episode 1)

The pilot was fine. We are re-introduced to the beloved Sam and Cat as well as a few supporting characters. The leads have a cool odd couple vibe, and the theme song is great, but it is clear that it lacks the off-the-bat spark of its predecessors.

Rating: 6.5/10

#TextingCompetition (Episode 8)

This one is okay. There’s not much to say here except to limit the props. I don’t know much about them, but Dan Schneider please don’t use hard-boiled eggs in high volumes (watch to understand what I mean). Otherwise, I really appreciate the moral lessons here about overbearing parents that we didn’t get as much of in previous series.

Rating: 7/10

#RevengeOfTheBritBrats (Episode 11)

Yeah, it’s no from me, dog. Of course, the title acknowledges a previous visit by the “BritBrats,” who are just two tiny British girls that Ellen fell in love with a few years ago. The writers of their episode use completely flawed logic by Sam and Cat in determining if they have pranked each other. In their prior visit, the brats had pranked the girls and Dice to a point where it seemed like they should be the first suspects. But no, we have to sit through fifteen minutes of arguing before what we already knew comes out. Thanks Dan!

Rating: 2.5/10

#Twinfection (Episode 16)

The best episode of the bunch. Cat, destined to show how smart she is, tricks Sam into thinking she’s going crazy by having two twins move around the house to be right in front of Sam when she thought she just left him in the last room. Sam, being as sneaky as she is, uses her own twin for revenge.

Rating: 8.5/10

Conclusion: They really made 36 episodes? It was not so great, and we were definitely not confused.