The OG influencer is back for a second season! The iCarly revival series at Paramount+ is premiering its second season this week and Carly Shay and the gang are definitely in for more shenanigans for the show’s sophomore run.

Season 2 picks up right where the first season left off, as Carly refocuses “her attention on her friends and family following her romantic complications, all while working to boost her revived web channel. Spencer and Harper must also navigate new personal and career developments, while Freddie balances raising Millicent with a new app and a new girlfriend.”

Shadow and Act spoke to series stars Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress, Laci Mosley, Jerry Trainor and Jaidyn Triplett about this new season, how they felt about the way fans received the first season and more.

Cosgrove says she was actually surprised to see the warm reactions from fans.

“Definitely hoped [for], but no, didn’t expect [it] at all,” she told us. “I mean, Jerry and I had so many conversations on the phone about what it could be like before we even decided to actually try to do it– like what it would be and how we would make the people that were the fans of the original show happy? It seems like so many revivals or reboots, people are disappointed in [them]. That was a lot to take on for a second there because it was just kind of nerve-wracking waiting to see what people’s reactions were going to be. But we had a really good time this season because everything was already established and people were so nice about it the first season, I think it just made us feel even freer to get a little crazier with it and have more fun.”

Kress added, “The internet loves deeply to tear things apart and to be negative and critical and find ways to not like something, especially something that’s bringing back this old, beloved property and taking it in a totally new angle. It’s just the thing like ‘sequels suck,’ and ‘it’s never, it’s never the same.’ I was just thoroughly expecting that it was just going to be that because that’s what everyone says about everything. The fact that it’s the exact opposite of that was was pleasantly shocking. The relief from that was massive and it made just finishing the rest of the first season so much better. We were able to say, ‘Oh my gosh, you guys, it’s working. People are responding to this. We’re doing it, let’s keep doing it.’ And then that reaction just kind of continued all through the rest of the first season, so we were able to have kind of a roadmap for the second season, say, ‘OK, this stuff worked, people really responded to this.’ Social media is our focus group. We were able to get feedback all the time on what people really, really liked. So we were able to say, ‘Let’s take this stuff, amplify it and figure out ways to keep going with it, but in a new fresh way.’ So it was very motivating, very relieving, and ultimately, yes, shocking that people liked it as much as they did. Not for the fact that it wasn’t good, but just that it just seems like that’s a sport for everybody. So, I was over the moon. It was awesome to see.”

As for the things going on in season 2, all of the characters have a ton of exploring and discovering that they are going through within themselves and their relationships.

“Freddie gets into one of his first long-term relationships with a girl and I think that kind of puts my character in a new position,” said Cosgrove. “She’s watching him with his girlfriend from afar, and I think that might bring up just some feelings that she maybe never realized she had, and I think that was fun to get to play that. Then all of our characters are kind of going on a journey this season in kind of becoming more successful because they’ve all kind of figured out what they want to do, especially Freddie’s character. He had like no wins the first season [laughhs]. He’s doing a lot better.”

Mosley, who plays Harper, told us, “The the difference between Harper and season 1 and season 2, as far as exploration, is like season 1 you’re meeting this girl…what are her hopes and dreams…how does she fit into the iCarly universe that we all know and love from the original…so there’s a lot of establishing of like who this person is and what they want, her goals and fashion. Now, we’re seeing Harper take that big leap. She doesn’t work at Starbucks anymore, she doesn’t have the side hustle to rely on. So now her main hustle is her passion. You’re seeing her have these big successes and also some failures, you’ll get to see her wallow, but she always you know, so pick yourself back up, get her hair done and give it another try. But that’s the fun thing that you’ll get to see about Harper. And you’ll get to see her explore a lot of different things in terms of like relationships and hr sexuality in the second season. And it’s really fun. And I love the way that the writers did it.

The first two episodes of iCarly season 2 are now streaming on Paramount+.