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Central Park 1.8.1
Photo: Apple TV+

Television

‘Central Park’ musical report card: Episode 8

Meghan Trainor lends her songwriting talents to an episode centered on teenage love.

Love is blossoming in Central Park as Molly has overcome giving her crush an allergic reaction to where she and Brendan are constantly texting each other. Their relationship is so serious that Owen and Paige want to meet the young boy. If you think having dinner with your significant other’s parents can be awkward, wait until they find out you’re the nephew of their arch enemy.

Speaking of Bitsy, she continues her assault to devalue the titular location by having an open letter criticizing the management (Owen) published in one of the bigger newspapers. However, she becomes sidetracked when Shampagne misbehaves and calls a pet therapist to straighten her dog out.

Seems like Central Park overachieved this week by receiving straight A’s for all their musical scenes. Meghan Trainor makes a third pop star who does in excellent job guest songwriting for the show.  

“Hot Oven”

“I’m in a Perfect Relationship” written by Meghan Trainor – A

Young love is in the air for this opening number so it would only be fitting to have Meghan Trainor write the song about innocent teen romance in the present time. Both Molly and Brendan lie in bed as they exchange emoji filled texts to each other. There’s even mood lighting with shades of purple and blue in each love bird’s room and the split screen playfully makes it look as though they’re physically together.

The lyrics are ironic because both gush over how infatuated they are yet they know next to nothing about each other like their age and last name. The accompanying background singers bring the snark and attitude as they bring humorous commentary after each line. Overall, the song works on many levels.

“TOSGANO” written by Brent Knopf – A

Helen has built a rivalry against Shampagne since Bitsy’s assistant feels she might be replaced in the will by the pet and negate all her suffering at the hands of the hotel heiress. In this low key, funky ditty, while speaking with the dog therapist, Augustus, she concocts a plan to get rid of the cute shih tzu poodle by goading him to bite his owner.

This inspired number features coordinated words in the background as the chorus is sung explaining the significance of “TOSGANO”. The acronym stands for “this one sucks, get a new one”. The parts with profiles of Helen and Augustus facing each other complement the back and forth between the two and the use of colors spices up the scene.

In addition to the comedy of the acronym, the dog therapist really gets down and can hit a nice falsetto. “TOSGANO” is another great piece in the episode with a catchy hook.

“Imperfectly Perfect” written by Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel – A

The final musical scene involves an upbeat song to help raise everyone’s spirits after Brendan’s awkward dinner with the Tillerman’s. It highlights how complicated love can be and how things can be messy and still work out fine. Brendan and Molly’s whole experience that evening serves as a contrast to their perfect relationship in the opening sequence and yet they still want to be together.

Owen’s dinner pizza ties in with the piece’s theme and is a metaphor for something that looks unappealing that is great once you try it. Sometimes imperfections keep things exciting. There is a lot of family bonding and Molly’s parents are welcoming towards Brendan, despite learning who his aunt is. To play with the pizza motif, the screen is divided into slices focusing on a different character. What a fun last number.

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