The Saddle Club (season 3)

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The Saddle Club (season 3)
Saddle Club season 3.jpg
You know the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? This season should say goodbye world instead.
Genre: Comedy-drama
Family
Running Time: 21 – 23 minutes
Country: Australia
United States
Canada
Release Date: September 7, 2008 - April 10, 2009
Network(s): YTV (Canada)
ABC TV (Australia)
Created by: Sarah Dodd
Distributed by: Protocol Entertainment
Discovery Kids
Connecticut Public Television
American Public Television
Starring: Victoria Campbell
Ariel Kaplan
Lauren Dixon
Marny Kennedy
Aisha Dee
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 26


The Saddle Club is an Australian-Canadian children's television series developed by Sarah Dodd, based on the books written by Bonnie Bryant. Like the book series, the scripted live action series follows the lives of three best friends in training to compete in equestrian competitions at the fictional Pine Hollow Stables, while dealing with problems in their personal lives. The third season aired between September 7th, 2008 to April 10, 2009 on the ABC network in Australia and on YTV in Canada.


While the first two seasons (2001-2003) were well-received, the same cannot be the same for season three (2008-2009), which garnered negative reception and are considered non-canon due to the highly radical changes.

Bad Qualities

  1. Executive Meddling: The main problem with this season is that all of the original cast members from the first two seasons we're not invited back to this season due to them getting too old.
    • To make matters worse, the original actors weren't told that season 3 we're in production in fact, Lara Jean Marshall (Lisa's original actress) explain in a interview.
    • Wasted Potential: The series wasn't a Pine Hollow adaptation carrying on with the original cast, which is a shame because rather then having a new cast, we could've seen the main characters going to school, making good or bad decisions, and having the audience grow up with them.
  2. Another issue is that this season start exiting main/major characters with no little to no explanation as to why they left or having abrupt departures:
    • Ashley was the best friend of Melanie, however she's replaced with Jess.
    • Another character been thrown out is Kristi, although she is mention in a few episodes, her where about is unknown, it could be that she moved away to another country, due to Veronica saying she's lucky that she's not in Pine Hollow dealing with The Saddle Club.
    • While Scooter is not a main character, he had a major storyline with Veronica, as they had the "will they, won't they" relationship. The show decided not to mention his character again, completely ignoring a significant storyline.
    • Deborah who is Max wife in season 2 is not mentioned where she is.
    • Other characters like Red, Drew, Dorothée, and Liam never came back for guest appearance.
  3. The overall vibe is vastly different because it moved to a channel for much younger kids vs the original show being more for teens, for example this series didn’t have romantic relationships aside from little hints of crushes and the drama was less serious.
  4. The producers should've kept most of the adults from the first two seasons, like Catherine Wilkins, Brett Tucker, and Cathy Godbold.
  5. The ages are very odd because Carole is supposed to be 14 in Season 3, but Carole's actress (Victoria Campbell) is 11 years old. In fact, a lot of the actors look slightly younger than the original cast.
  6. The characters make situations dramatic when they shouldn't be.
  7. The writing and humor have slightly downgraded from clever and hilarious to unfunny and stale in a few episodes.
    • Some of the jokes are not as good as the jokes that played in the first two seasons.
  8. The conflicts between the saddle club girls can be ridiculous at times.
  9. Some of the characters have been flanderized.
    • Veronica went back to her old ways in season 1, and the fact that she saved Pine Hollow for getting shut down, she would at least become vunulrable.
    • Phil has gone from a fun-loving, sarcastic boy to the comic relief troublemaker.
    • Although Lisa has the same personality as the first two seasons, she started to become very petty and lost the hopeless romantic personality that she had.
    • Mrs. Reg lacks the mother figure that the original seasons had, and she can be unlikable sometimes.
  10. Some characters can be unlikable sometimes, such as Veronica, Phil, Murray, and Lisa. Speaking of Murray, there's no apparent explanation as to why he rides at Pine Hollow as in season 2 he wasn't a student there.
    • Sometimes Veronica is not a good friend to Desi. It's kind of shown in later episodes that Desi doesn't really want to be friends with her.
  11. While Marny Kennedy does a good job portraying Veronica, she isn't quite as charismatic as Heli Simpson in terms of line delivery.
  12. Several continuity errors that ignore events that previous seasons established:
    • Stevie and Phil, who were dating during the second season, is not acknowledge/
    • In the episode ''Breaking Up Is Hard To Do'' Stevie said that Lisa can't do the cross country, however in the episode ''Herdbound'' in season 1, Max said that Lisa can do cross country very well, and will let her do it more often.
  13. It can stale occasionally.
  14. Some of the acting can be cringeworthy.
  15. "Back in the saddle" the first episode started this season on a bad note.
  16. A few bad episodes, such as: ''The Duchess and the Donkey''.
    • The Saddle Club's actions in this episode are extremely suspect. Stevie can't ride because of a broken ankle, so Lisa and Carole decide out of solidarity. Veronica bets her new saddle that they can't stick to it; if they ride, she gets to be their leader. Lisa and Carole try to ride a visiting horse in secret, but Veronica catches them. Somehow, this is portrayed as Veronica being sneaky, and the Saddle Club making up a nasty initiation ritual to get her to decline to join is treated as a happy ending. But given that they'd likely have claimed her saddle if they hadn't been caught out, it's hard not to see Veronica as the one who's been hard done by.
  17. Trouble the donkey can be annoying at times.
  18. There is little to no connection to the first two seasons, making this season seem non-canon to said seasons.
  19. It completely lost the charm that the original seasons had.
  20. This season can be pretty immature and lacks the intresting storylines unlike the first two seasons.
  21. These got a ton of backlash from the fandom’s older audience, who grew up watching the original series, and they happen to much prefer the classic series over this season.

Good Qualities

  1. While this season is weak compared to the first two seasons, it's still enjoyable regardless, as the original creator and executive producers are involved.
  2. Thankfully, most of the characters haven't been flanderized in this season.
    • Most of the characters have the same personalities and have kept most of their charm.
  3. The new actors do a very good job at portraying the characters.
  4. Even though he's in two episodes (Moving on parts 1-2) Carole's dad, played by Chris Kirby, is the only original cast member to appear in this season, and Kia Luby (Kristi actress) was a representative in the video journals during this season, which was nice to see her again.
  5. The acting is still decent, even from the new cast.
  6. Max is way more friendly in this season than he was in seasons 1 & 2.
  7. The new characters are likable, such as: Desi, Simon, Jess, and Jack, even for people who don't like season 3 tend to like them.
    • Desi for becoming a friend of Veronica but not being a jerk to the Saddle Club.
    • Melanie and Jess friendship.
    • Simon for his character arc throughout the series.
  8. Unlike the other former characters, Kristi is mentioned in a few episodes.
  9. There are many heartwarming and funny moments in this season.
  10. One of the few kid comedies to instruct on important morals at self-love. relationships, and friendship.
  11. Spawned several awesome music videos at the end of most of the episodes with songs include:
    • Home
    • Being A Girl
    • A Question A Style
    • Together We Can Win
    • Feel The Beat
    • It's My Life
  12. It still stays faithful to the Saddle Club books.
  13. Like the first two seasons, it has amazing set design and decent lighting.
  14. It's nice to hear the lyrics from ''Hello World'' in the theme song.
  15. There are a lot of good episodes such as:
    • Moving On (parts 1-2)
    • Cut to the Quick
    • Itchy
    • Lisa's Choice (parts 1-2)
    • Out Foxed
    • Breaking Up is Hard To Do
    • Happy trails
    • Riding To England
  16. Some Saddle Club fans enjoy this season regardless the original cast aren't in this season.
  17. ''Riding To England'' was a good way to end the series.
  18. This season transitioned the series to high-definition.

Reception

Season 3 of The Saddle Club received a mixed-to-negative reception from fans, with many criticizing them about the recasting of all the major roles and that it wasn't made with the original cast, especially after the death of Jessica Jacobs (Melanie's season 2 actress). Few fans pointed out the disappearance of Ashley, Kristi, Deborah, Scooter, Red, and Drew with their replacement with Desi, Simon, Jess, and Jack. Another criticism from fans was that the series wasn't a Pine Hollow adaptation carrying on with the original cast. Other fans complain how this season was immature and lacks the intresting storylines that was present in the first two seasons. However, some fans who were just happy to see the show on the air again, and even new people who didn't know the original series, got to experience this era of the show.

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