We’re Retiring!

stock-footage-tv-static-with-stereo-white-noiseWe’re incredibly sad to announce that, as of today, Pond Hopping Girls is going on indefinite hiatus.

We’ve been struggling for a while, now, to juggle real life, PHG and our rapidly dwindling social lives. Something had to give. Regretfully, that something is PHG. As we became more and more busy, and as the list of reviews we were late on piled up, we became more guilty and more stressed. We know that, hard as it may be, leaving PHG behind is the only way we can find that work-life balance we hear people talk about so much. And, possibly, the only way for us to retain the last vestiges of our sanity.

But all is not lost, faithful viewers. The sites (pondhoppinggirls.com and pondhoppinggirls.tumblr.com) will remain active in the hopes that, one day, someone will be willing to pay us to review TV and we can quit our day jobs. Our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter) will also stay up and they may actually see some action – we know that, retirement or not, sometimes we’re just not going to be able to restrain ourselves.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who tuned in to our stuff. Thank you to everyone who commented, followed, liked, shared, retweeted… you name it. And thank you to our regular (and irregular) contributors, J(ohn Carey), Eoghan Dalton and Bridget O’Flynn. It’s been special, guys.

Until next time… – K

Pond Hopping Girls Open for Submissions

This post will be Pond Hopping Girls’ 300th. As we’ve come closer to that milestone (wow, that’s a lot of words behind us), we’ve thought a lot about expanding beyond our existing schedule and bringing some diversity into the site.

To that end, if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at writing, are an out of work journo looking for some (unpaid) work to beef up your CV, or even just really love TV, and you want to review anything that we’re not already reviewing, get in touch with us at pondhoppinggirls@gmail.com and we’ll get you started. 

We are a professional site, so we will be looking for some writing samples, or at least for proof that you can use English well. This is the only requirement for becoming a Pond Hopping Girl (or honorary girl – we’re not gender biased). 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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“A Kiss Before Lying” – The Lying Game

This episode was more about the romance than previous weeks. We’re not sure that’s a bad thing, but we’re not sure it’s particularly good, either. There was a smidgen of intrigue – Alec going to great lengths to drive Rebecca insane with guilt, Emma almost finding out about Rebecca and Sutton, and Rebecca’s possible revelation to Sutton at the end of the episode – but the rest was all about the relationships. Laurel giving Mads the go ahead to do what she wants with Jordan, Ted, Kristin and the girls in family therapy, Alec and Rebecca on their honeymoon, Emma ditching Ethan to visit Thayer in LA, Sutton warming to Kristin and not being a total bitch, and Ethan kissing Sutton (he seems to be playing some sort of positive reinforcement game with her and we can’t help wondering if it would work in real life).

The most interesting moment came at the very end of the episode. Mads is talking to Emma in LA, tells Laurel she’s talking to Sutton, Laurel grabs the phone, chats away to ‘Sutton’ for a few seconds, hands the phone back, Mads leaves the room, Sutton walks in. Is Laurel about to figure out what’s going on? We hope so, ‘cause that’s going to make things just a little bit exciting. – B+K

Quoteworthy:

“This creepy motel room isn’t exactly the ideal place for studying Faulkner.”

“Yeah. Maybe if we talk louder the hookers next door will learn something.”

– Ethan, Emma

“The Astronaut and the Ballerina” – Bunheads

This is the Bunheads I’ve been missing for the preceding two episodes. Which pretty much cements my belief that the High School elements are dragging the show down. “The Astronaut and the Ballerina” stayed entirely clear of those dreaded halls. While many of the component parts stayed the same – Cozette and Frankie were still players, as was Ginny’s bizarre jealousy – the overall effect was vastly different. When the action stays away from school corridors, something shifts and the show becomes far more watchable. This episode saw Boo and Carl dealing with becoming acting-parents, Ginny crumbling into insanity as her father’s re-marriage crept ever closer, and Melanie taking on roller derby (with her new alter-ego, Cleosmacktra) and branching out into a tentative friendship with Cozette. It must have been Julia Goldani Telles’ week off, because Sasha was nowhere in sight (she was ‘apartment hunting’). It also saw the rekindling of Michelle’s romance with Godot and the arrival of Michelle’s brother, Scotty (Sutton Foster’s real-life sibling, Hunter). Some funny moments, and some cute ones. Even a little drama and heartache. Vast improvement on last week’s offering. – K

Quoteworthy:

“They look up to me.”

“They’re isolated kids. You’re this strange, exotic creature. You’re a mermaid. You’re Tinkerbell.”

– Michelle, Scotty

“Advantage Sutton” – The Lying Game

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Thank god for small mercies – we’re referring, of course, to Thayer’s departure. We knew he and Emma were so beyond wrong for each other and we’re delighted he didn’t stick around long enough to prove us right. This isn’t just because we’re team Etma. It’s because Thayer and Emma had exactly zero chemistry. But why did he leave, you ask? Because Alec has finally been released. And it was a little bit thanks to Thayer. He found a burner cell in the garage and brought it to the police to prove Alec’s guilt. It actually just proved his innocence. Then we the viewers find out that it was, in fact, Rebecca who framed him. In other news, Laurel goes on a date with Jordan, then catches him and Mads making out. Ted tells Rebecca nothing’s going on between them. Ted and Kristin are going to keep going to therapy. Rebecca tells Sutton to take her life back, and break up Ted and Kristin. So Sutton plays Emma at tennis for her life, wins by default, and confines Emma to the cabin for the foreseeable future. Sutton thinks this will make Ethan like her more, because it means Emma will be out of the way. But, as Emma is going to be tutoring Ethan, it just means that they’ll be alone far away from Sutton. Ha. Backfired. – B+K

Quoteworthy:

“My god, what did I do?”

“Me. Several times, actually.” – Ethan, Sutton

“She’s Better Now” – Pretty Little Liars

Pretty decent return for this ABC Family mystery. The girls were slightly less annoying than usual, the outfits slightly less terrible. We still had this single, overriding thought at the back of our minds, though – why are we still watching this?

It’s almost become too convoluted for its own good. Yes, it was interesting at first, not knowing who we could trust and who killed Ali and who A was. But now it just feels like the whole thing has gotten so wrapped up in its mysteries that it’s jumping at its own shadow. And we find we no longer really care who’s harassing the girls. We’re still curious about who killed Ali, but the A question doesn’t really bother us. We’re starting to see the mysterious texter and abuser as a narrative plot device, much like Gossip Girl. If there’s anything less threatening than a snide, teen gossip-monger we can’t think of it.

But, we have to admit, the action still moves along at a fair clip. And we do keep getting small glimpses into the secret world the girls are trying to figure out. This week we learned that the person Aria stabbed during the Halloween episode was Jason. And that Mona was his assistant. No surprises with that second bit. But did Jason and Mona know Aria was in the container or did they just think they were getting rid of Garrett? If so, who stuffed the unconscious Aria in there with him?

While we’re on that, was anyone else thinking that Aria seemed bizarrely unfazed by that whole ‘almost pushed off a moving train in a crate with dead-Garrett’ thing? Is this the A-fluence? Does mortal danger just not scare the way it used to?

Now that we think of it, this episode was quite Aria-centric. We also learn exactly what was going on between Ali and Aria’s dad (or do we) – bribery! Ali knew about Byron’s affair with Meredith (we think) and was asking for payment to keep it quiet. But that doesn’t exonerate Byron. He may not have been boning the underager, but he did have motive. And his next payment was due on the very same Labor Day weekend when Ali was killed.

Other things we learned: Mona’s out of the clink and back in Rosewood High, and possibly blew up Meredith to earn the girls’ trust (twisted, but it makes sense); TobAy tried to kill Lucas by running him down; Lucas is cautiously back on the girls’ team; Aria’s a little bit dumb, only stealing the pages of Ali’s DIARY that relate to her dad – because there couldn’t possibly be any other important secrets or information in there…

As the credits run, we learn that A is a prankster – (s)he loosens some randomer’s bike tyres. For shits and giggles, we presume. It’s so refreshing to see this fun-loving side of the sadistic gossip girl.

But, all in all, it’s exhausting being suspicious of everyone and everything. Yet we have to keep watching because we live in hope for the day on which it all suddenly makes sense. When it all comes clear. That day can’t come soon enough. – B+K

Quoteworthy: “Please stick a fork in my neck.” – Aria, after realizing that Meredith is her new teacher

“You Wanna See Something?” – Bunheads

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The spectacularly hilarious return of Bunheads reminded me what good TV was supposed to be, and only served to heighten the dissatisfaction I’ve felt with certain other offerings over the last half-season. Never predictable and always funny, the show simply does not disappoint. Most welcome of all was Amy Sherman’s trademark snappy dialogue, which, it has to be said, still zings with all the pizzazz of her Gilmore Girls days. More than anything about this consistently fantastic first season, I missed the clever and witty one-liners. A close second was the stellar and always evolving character development. Sherman has an incredible ability to really bring a character to life, pull them off the page, and turn them into someone you feel you could realistically bump into on the street. The show is nothing if not believable.

This episode’s action begins several months after that of the summer finale. Fanny has closed the dance studio and is redecorating her house with Truly’s help, Michelle is dancing behind a terrible magician in Henderson, Nevada, and the girls are all at loose ends – Boo is the perpetual babysitter as her newly pregnant mother is confined to bed rest; Ginny is picking up the slack for her own mother, who is in the midst of depression following her ex-husband’s marriage to his boyfriend; Melanie is looking after her grandfather; and Sasha has returned from Joffrey and is hiding out at her friends’ houses, refusing to return to her parents’ house until she absolutely has to. We’re left with an overwhelming feeling that balance will not be restored until Michelle returns to Paradise.

Luckily, in the meantime, we get a full helping of comedy – all the way from Emma Dumont’s excellent portrayal of Melanie (who’s quickly becoming our favorite of the girls) to the YouTube smash “Nutcracker Macer – It’s Time to Dance”. And, in typical Sherman style, any risk of the show becoming an all-out comedy (and thus losing its central appeal) is tempered by sweet but serious moments. Fanny arriving in Henderson to get Michelle to come home was lovely (but not so lovely as to seem saccharine sweet), and Sasha rushing to hug Michelle was the perfect icing on the perfect cake.

All in all, a fantastic return for the ABC Family show. Long may it continue. –

Quoteworthy: 

“What are you going to tell the angry villagers?”

“That you’re back and if they don’t like it they’re free to take their children to that enormous, crazy woman with the pyramid system, whose students end up with knock knees and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

– Michelle, Fanny

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For those of you who just love having fun and fascinating TV reviews, recaps and promos popping up in your Facebook and Twitter news feeds, we have, well… Facebook and Twitter news feeds!

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the most up to date news and reviews from the Pond Hopping Girls.

We’re on the Facebook and the Twitters!

   

For those of you who just love having fun and fascinating TV reviews, recaps and promos popping up in your Facebook and Twitter news feeds, we have, well… Facebook and Twitter news feeds!

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the most up to date news and reviews from the Pond Hopping Girls.