As a community, I think we can simultaneously agree that iCarly was one of the best TV shows that Nickelodeon had to offer our generation, which is why I had to see Jennette McCurdy when she came to speak at Macky Auditorium. In a world that lacks societal norms, logic, and parental supervision (besides Mrs. Benson of course) where hard shell tacos can stay perfectly intact when poked by a stick and teachers are obsessed with Randy Jackson, iCarly was the dream life for anyone between the age of 6 to 25.
Michael Jackson’s look alike Carly Shay was funny, pretty, and more mature than her older brother Spencer, who was supposed to be her parental figure while her father was at war? I might’ve made that up but war seems right. Did Carly’s father single handedly invade Iraq in 2007? Did he kill people? Had he actually been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay? I digress – I want to say Carly fits the classic trope of the main character who has no personality but is attractive (pretty privilege), but honestly having gone back and rewatching episodes, I find myself giggling at Carly and her spunky personality. But no one compares to Sam Puckett.
Sam Puckett, in my humble opinion, is the best tween TV show supporting side character. Sam is the hilarious and witty, tough character who always winds up in trouble but is shamelessly herself. Some people aspired to be like Carly, but I think deep down everyone wishes they were bold enough to be Sam and have an incredibly sexual and toxic relationship with their best friend/target of bullying, Freddie Benson. I knew I had to be at Macky to witness my favorite character in the flesh.
However, something very strange and unexpected happened. Sam Puckett isn’t the witty and intimidating character that we expected, she’s actually a therapist. The event in Macky was disguised as a conversation between two students on the Distinguished Speakers Board and Jennette to discuss her new book I’m Glad My Mom Died. It is obvious that CU purposely chose two students who had no public speaking skills or sense of humor to host Jennette so that she was literally forced to give therapeutic advice to her crowd of patients.
Students on Yik Yak were absolutely shitting on the moderators, saying that Jennette was fighting for her life and that the moderators shouldn’t pursue a career in public speaking. However, I seem to be the only person who is aware of the underlying intentions of this terribly, awkward planned out conversation. Especially when Jennette begged the crowd if they had any questions for her before the moderators could open up a live Q&A, I knew that I had been tricked.
A girl flew in from Kansas City to tell Jennette about her crippling OCD and depression in front of the whole audience and asked for specific advice on when she should go back to therapy – this is actually true. I was shocked when Jennette actually pulled out her phone and gave this girl her number so they could continue their therapy session in a more private environment.
Jennette discussed the struggles of childhood stardom and her complex relationship with her mom. I appreciated her candidness and advice for navigating through tough and relatable situations through life, I was just confused when CAPS literally put her as a contact on their website. I’m definitely not mad I got a free therapy session from the best TV character ever, but I am mad about the crowd. When someone got up and asked Jennette McCurdy how she feels about Ariana Grande, I felt embarrassed and ashamed on behalf of CU Boulder. Is our student body incapable of asking deeply intellectual questions about Jennette, rather than asking the pop culture questions everyone secretly wants to know? Sure, I was fighting every urge in my body to not raise my hand and asked what’s good with Miranda Cosgrove, but I know better.
If you weren’t at Macky getting free therapy non-consensually, then I truly feel bad for you because you missed out. Although it was one of the most unearthly discussions CU has ever hosted, I discovered how quickly people are willing to open to a famous person. Maybe the world would be a better place if we all had celebrities as therapists. Thank you Jennette for fostering an auditorium of openness and acceptance and thank you Sam Puckett for being a bad-ass feminist who takes shit from no one.
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, there are ways to get help. Use these resources to find help for yourself, a friend, or a family member:
(212) 434 – 4375 (24/7 support)