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Central Park

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WARNING: Do not add the fact that Loren Bouchard, the co-creator of this show, is a Black Lives Matter supporter as a bad quality. A celebrity being political doesn't affect their show's quality. Anyone persisting with this will be dealt with.

Central Park
Central park season 2 poster.jpg
"It's central in my heart!"
Genre: Animated Sitcom
Musical
Running Time: 24 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: May 29, 2020 - present
Network(s): Apple TV+
Created by: Josh Gad
Loren Bouchard
Nora Smith
Distributed by: 20th Television
Starring: Kristen Bell (seasons 1, 3-present)
Tituss Burgess
Daveed Diggs
Josh Gad
Kathryn Hahn
Leslie Odom Jr.
Stanley Tucci
Emmy Raver-Lampman (seasons 2-present)
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 26


Central Park is an American musical animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard (who also created Bob's Burgers), Nora Smith, and Josh Gad for Apple TV+, originally created for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series debuted on May 29, 2020. The series revolves around a family living in Central Park who must save it from a greedy land developer.

Summary

Told through the eyes of a busker named Birdie, the musical series tells the story of the Tillerman–Hunter family who live in Edendale Castle in Central Park. Patriarch Owen, who is the dorky manager of the park, his wife Paige, who is a journalist constantly stuck with writing fluff pieces and hopes to write a real story, their daughter Molly, who loves drawing comics about herself and a boy she has a crush on, and their son Cole, an emotional young boy who loves animals. Their lives change when an elderly heiress and entrepreneur named Bitsy Brandenham, and her constantly abused assistant Helen, plot to buy up all the land in Central Park and turn it into more condominiums, shopping stores and restaurants as a way of getting back at the world. The Tillermans must also deal with their own issues and save the park.

Why It Rocks

  1. The original songs are all catchy, including but not limited to:
    • "It's Central In My Heart" (which also serves as the show's theme song)
    • "I'm Gonna Own It" (+ reprise)
    • "Weirdos Make Great Superheroes"
    • "Momma's Got This" (which includes lyrics in Polish)
    • "Garbage Ballet" (also the title for the episode this song was featured in)
    • "Nuts Nuts Nuts"
    • "TOSGANO" (stands for "This One Sucks, Get A New One")
    • "Zoom's Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Deleted Scenes Tour"
    • "New York Doesn't Like Your Face"
    • "Die Trying" (instrumental version used as the credits theme for the episode this song was featured in)
    • "Pow Pow Boom Booms" (also credits theme for the episode this song was featured in)
    • "Why Bother?" (also the credits theme for the episode this song was featured in; it's also emotional when you think about it)
    • "The Shadow" (also the title for the episode this song was featured in)
    • "You Are The Music" (the song used by Apple as a preview to Season 2B)
    • "Awfully Beautiful"
  2. The Fista-Puffs comic book segments some episodes feature are nicely done and even have a certain charm in them.
    • Speaking of which, the Season 2 episode "Fista-Puffs Meets Out Justice" almost entirely revolves around the segment.
  3. Talented voice acting, with some big-name actors such as Daveed Diggs, Tituss Burgess, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., and co-creator Josh Gad.
  4. The characters are all very likable, with each one having their own distinct personality:
    • Birdie is very hilarious as the narrator as he manages to provide exposition without being annoying. He is also funny when offering support for Owen.
    • Owen is the dorky yet strict park manager who would do anything to stop Bitsy from buying Central Park.
    • Paige is the desperate journalist seeking to take the mayor down.
    • Molly is Owen and Paige's daughter who often draws comics based on her and a boy she has a crush on, Brendan Brandenham.
    • Cole is Owen and Paige's son who has an unhealthy obsession with animals, especially Bitsy's dog, Shampagne.
    • The main antagonist, Bitsy Brandenham, is also likable and funny, despite her wanting to turn the park into a bunch of buildings.
    • Helen is Bitsy's maid who, despite being lifeless, still has hope that when Bitsy dies, all her wealth would inherit to her.
  5. Excellent animation, done by Yearim Productions (the same studio that animates American Dad!) and Yeson Entertainment, which truly shines during the musical numbers.
  6. Much like Bob's Burgers, it's relatively clean compared to most adult cartoons, to the point where it commonly uses euphemisms like "Gosh" in place of "God". This is pretty unusual on shows rated TV-PG.
  7. Other than the songs, another example of cleverness in the series is the dialogue:
    • "I'm allergic to your shenanigans, mister!"
    • "Dad, you know that 'Turtleheading' also means that you really have to go to the bathroom?"
    • "Are we dancing? Yeah, we're dancing!"
    • "Oh, I do love that!"
    • Cole's catchphrase "I'm a big boy!"
    • "Epic cat fails. Man, this cat's so stupid."
    • "How dare you be happy and healthy!? The basement is full of rats!"
    • "You do not tag trees!"
    • "She called the park an ugly blob of trash? This isn't an ugly blob of trash!"
    • "I'm gonna buy that stupid park!"
    • "Your hotel doesn't just suck, it super-sucks."
    • "Ah, there it is; the most beautiful penis in town."
    • "What do you mean, something of that quality?"
  8. The finales for each season are very well-crafted, with them also having heartwarming endings.
  9. The episode's plots are all realistic and could eventually happen in real life. An example is in the episode "Central Dark", where a major blackout prevents the Tillermans from watching their favorite show, and Bitsy from scolding other entrepreneur's hotels. Its plot is similar to the actual blackout that occured in New York City in 1977.
  10. To top it off, it is Josh Gad and Loren Bouchard's love letter to New York.

The Only Bad Qualiy

  1. Season 2, while still good, is a bit weaker than Season 1 as it focuses more on the Tillerman family and less on Bitsy and Helen. Luckily, the second half of that season managed to equalize the focus.

Reception

Central Park received critical acclaim upon release, and currently holds a 6.8 on IMDB. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 94% with it being certified fresh, and the second season holds a 100%. On Metacritic, both seasons indicated "universal acclaim" while the entire series holds an 81% on its Metascore.

Trivia

  • The show was originally eyed for the Fox Broadcasting Company, when they looked for producing more animated series. After they passed on Central Park, 20th Television began "shopping" the project, sparking a heated bidding war between the streaming services Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV+. The latter of which got to host the series after ordering two straight-to-series seasons.
  • Following Molly's recasting, it was announced that Kristen Bell will voice a new character starting in Season 3 in a main capacity.
  • Similar to Bob's Burgers, this show also has female characters voiced by men, namely Stanley Tucci as Bitsy and Daveed Diggs as Helen.
  • This is the very first animated series to be produced by Brillstein Entertainment Partners under their current name, after the ultra-short lived NBC series Sammy, which was produced under the brand name "Brad Grey Television".
  • The storyboard artists were not allowed to make any character smile, unless if there was an audible laugh, Loren Bouchard permitted them to, or the episode's script says otherwise.

Comments

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