There’s something not quite giving Central Park the juice, and it is difficult to pinpoint what it exactly needs to compete with its predecessors and competitors.
Apple TV+ series Central Park season 1 will be released on the platform on May 29, 2020. This review of the animated musical comedy contains no spoilers.
With Hulu claiming Solar Opposites, Netflix claiming Disenchantment and Amazon Prime bringing Undone, it was only a matter of time before Apple TV+ plus throws an animated comedy into the mix to announce themselves in this market. What a war we are witnessing. Central Park is a little different to others in that it teases as a musical too.
And with the series marked as a musical as well an animation, the expectations were evidently high, especially with it being created by the same people who brought us Bob’s Burgers. Central Park follows a family of caretakers that look after the park that is subsequently under threat from a hotel heiress who wants to turn the park into condos. The series presents a family unwittingly pitting against corporate giants and politics to save the park and the world while bringing the audience sweet numbers.
But it is a little bit of a mess. With the main narrator named Birdie tries his hardest to explain a rather simple story, the Apple TV+ series fails to balance the core narrative and the music. It tries too hard to wedge in all the characters rather than giving an individual a musical number to explore. It’s not uncommon for an animation to splurge various story strands at the audience but when it includes song lyrics, then it needs to be truly exemplary. Central Park struggles with its own concept while keeping the audience on track.
Its themes are enjoyable with environmental messages and a torch for human decency but it routinely trips itself over by brushing off characters easily, shoeing to the next plot point without acknowledging how the audience feels. Apple TV+’s Central Park is a concept — not a bad one, but not a great one either.
The series spans 13 chapters with various genres of musical numbers from rap to pop, so from a creative perspective, Central Park hits many notes, keeping the experience diverse.
There’s something not quite giving Central Park season 1 the juice and it is difficult to pinpoint what it exactly needs to compete with its predecessor and competitors.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.