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Central Park 1.9.1
Photo: Apple TV+


‘Central Park’ musical report card: Episode 9

Anthony Hamilton provides the perfect date night track.

Molly wants to prove how responsible she is by taking Cole on an unaccompanied night walking tour in Central Park highlighting the deleted scenes from the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Suddenly with a kid-free evening, Owen and Paige decide to have a date night. However, Bitsy spoils their fun when she has the mayor perform an unannounced audit so she can dig up some dirt and uncover mismanagement at the park.

R&B and soul singer, Anthony Hamilton, steals the show with his song that gives the episode its name. Unfortunately, the rest of the numbers are a bit disappointing.

“Live It Up Tonight”

“Live It Up Tonight” written by Anthony Hamilton – A

I’ve been a fan of Hamilton since he sung the hook on Nappy Roots’ “Po’ Folks” so other than Aimee Mann, he was the guest songwriter I looked forward to the most. The man doesn’t disappoint with a straight club banger that’s groovy enough to get Bitsy dancing but hits the right velvety smooth notes perfect for a date night.

It’s the type of hit that would get tons of airplay and it can be heard throughout the city during the episode. The only reason “Live It Up Tonight” doesn’t receive an “A+” is that I feel kind of gypped that it’s predominantly played as background music on the radio and it isn’t until the end that Owen and Paige sing it. Still, the song is great and one of the best of the whole season.

“Zoom’s Home Alone 2 Deleted Scenes Tour” written by Brent Knopf – C-

This uninspiring number fails to live up to the high quality set by Central Park. Tour guide, Zoom, tells random stories that are supposed to give the early ‘90s children’s sequel some edge but the anecdotes are not entertaining. It’s pretty straight forward visiting different sites in the park and the only thing added is the text of what Zoom is saying in the background. Maybe because it’s a little difficult to clearly hear the tour guide. Not even Molly and Coles excitement and enthusiasm learning about the behind the scenes tales of their favorite movie can save it.

“Rated Hard PG for Spookiness” written by Brent Knopf – C

This is another Zoom sequence that falls flat. The music isn’t particularly catchy or noteworthy but at least the piano work helps evoke a haunting tone when night finally hits causing Cole to become more uneasy due to his fear of the dark. The building crescendo telegraphs the final scare with bats. Like Helen’s escape plan later in the episode, the song is “not bad but also not great”.

“I Did Not Account for This” written by Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel – B-

The Tillermans all face complications with their evening plans. Molly loses her brother after he freaks out from the bats and their parents have to trek out to Brooklyn to find receipts for their audit. The weather takes a turn in this rocking number as doubt sets in. The number is a good way to link the entire family though they’re in separate locations and the rain animation is impressive. In the end, Elwood singing in the background about his pet worm provides some levity to the seriousness.

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