Central Park

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Central Park is a New York City institution. Built in 1857, it’s a place where people can come to roller blade, picnic, take fitness classes and enjoy wildlife together.

However, it’s also been called a heaven for rats and where “your son and daughter can play in dirty hot dog water.”

If you listen to the park’s critics, it doesn’t exactly seem like the type of place you would want to visit, let alone save from a greedy land developer. But for the Tillerman family, it’s home.

Central to the Plot

Family patriarch Owen is the park manager, and he loves the park more than anything (possibly even more than he loves his family). His wife, Paige, is a journalist for the city’s “most-left-on-the-subway” newspaper. And their kids, comic-book-drawing Molly and animal-loving Cole, are just a couple of self-proclaimed “weirdos” trying to find their place in the world.

They aren’t the heroes you would expect. They certainly aren’t the heroes you’d want. But they’re the only thing stopping mega-heiress Bitsy Brandenham from turning the park into a concrete monstrosity blending in with the rest of New York City’s skyscrapers.

Central to Our Hearts?

Central Park is helmed by Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith (the creators of Bob’s Burgers) alongside Frozen alum Josh Gad. And the result is pretty much the equivalent of what would happen if Frozen’s Olaf narrated the lives of the Belcher family.

Apple TV+ gives Central Park a TV-14 rating, but it seems to be aiming for a family audience. But while the show may be technically targeted toward adults and kids, the biggest draw for children will likely be the musical numbers. Much like Bob’s Burgers, Central Park features a dry wit that aims to point out the humorous moments of everyday life with a slightly cynical twist.

There is some bad language to be aware of, and the show also relies heavily on toilet humor. And although you won’t see any cartoon body parts on display, there are some underwear scenes and mildly suggestive jokes. (Molly claims, for instance, that Cole’s love for animals could be romantic in nature. In context, it’s not really as creepy as that sentence makes it sound, but you get our drift.) Central Park, like Bob’s Burgers, is clever and even occasionally sweet. But like the titular cartoon park itself, the show’s positives come with some dreck. So unless you want to hear your tiny humans singing a song about picking up dog poop, Central Park probably isn’t the show you want to be central to your family.

Episode Reviews

May 29, 2020: “Pilot”

Owen is devastated when people trash the park searching for the missing dog of a wealthy heiress.

Someone says all rats go to heaven. A house is rumored to be filled with horse bones and dead people. Someone compares a street musician to a priest. Teenagers smoke marijuana. Someone talks about cigarettes. A shirtless man picnics in the park. A man seen from the waist up urinates on flowers. A dog urinates on a statue. There are several jokes and song lyrics about urination, flatulating and dog excrement.

A girl makes an off-color joke about birth. A woman eats and then spits out an illegal facial cream made from “whale anus.” Someone threatens to poison the park. Cole is devasted when he has to return a dog he kidnapped to its rightful owner. A woman sprays perfume on her dog. Some kids skip school. We hear a few uses each of “d–n,” “d–mit” and “a–.” There are also a few misuses of God’s name.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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