Best in Arts & Entertainment 2020 Mid-Year: #10 – Central Park (TV)


10. Central Park (TV, Streaming, Apple TV+)

Apple TV+ came out late last year to very little fanfare. In fact, I remember being so amazed by the news that they were giving iPhone users a year of their service for free. Fast forward eight months or so, and I’ve watched like three things all the way through on Apple TV+. Luckily, ‘Central Park’ is easily one of the best things I’ve watched on television all year. Conceptualized as a family musical with Simpsons style humor and animation, this show is an absolute delight.

The story is simple enough. We  basically just follow the family of the Park Manager and their exploits. There’s a more overarching narrative about an old rich lady that is trying to take control of the park, but that’s actually the most derivative part of the whole thing. It’s the little stories that happen in each episode which carry the overall plot along. However, it’s the writing and music that make it all so good.

From the very first musical number, this show is clearly operating on a higher level. The songs are expertly written, catchy, and carry the show along in a way I’ve never seen on television. These are original songs and they are mostly fantastic. I also recognized a slew of talented voices within seconds. Kristen Bell and Josh Gad from ‘Frozen’ will be the most noticeable to audiences. There is also Leslie Odom Jr. and Daveed Diggs from ‘Hamilton’. And Stanley Tucci hams it up as the villain. You combine all this talent, great writing, and some clever characters, you get a show that’s pure magic.

Nathan Ligon

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