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Television

‘Central Park’ musical report card: Episode 10

It’s “Criminal” that Fiona Apple only co-writes one song in this episode because that one is terrific.

The entire ecosystem of Central Park is at stake when a snakehead is spotted in the Harlem Meer. These feared fish are known to devour all the native fauna disrupting the balance. This is a serious enough concern that Owen misses spicy cheese bread day at the farmer’s market to try to capture the elusive beast. Meanwhile, the public finds Bitsy a bit scary and their perception is skewed against her. This jeopardizes her standing with the mayor and could greatly affect her plans. As a result, she turns to an image consultant to make her more appealing to the masses.

Central Park goes out with a bang with four enjoyable songs in the season finale. The biggest stand out is co-written by Fiona Apple and is sung by a legendary and multi-award-winning talent. Let’s check out the soundtrack of episode ten.

“A Fish Called Snakehead”

“Hell-Fish” written by Brent Knopf – B+

This piece has great rhymes and some ludicrous scenes of snakeheads attacking various wildlife. The overly exaggerated depictions are to emphasize how serious a threat this invasive species can be. The opening bass line and drum beats set up the number nicely and there is great choreography between the snakeheads and the other animals. It’s almost as if the menacing creatures are dancing. There is also a nice change of pace in the middle that gives Leslie Odom Jr. opportunities for some impressive runs.

“New York Doesn’t Like Your Face” written by Fiona Apple and David Lucky – A+

This is definitely the stand out of the season finale. First, the title alone draws up interest. As Bitsy’s image consultant, Ashley, runs through her suggestions to improve the hotel heiress’ likeability, we’re treated to outlandish costumes and scenarios for comedic effect. Apple and Lucky create a captivating song that works lyrically and musically. But the main reason “New York Doesn’t Like Your Face” knocks it out of the park is because of guest star, Audra McDonald. The Broadway veteran flexes her vocal talents and shows her range and it all culminates to a thrilling end.

“Dick Flake” written by Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel – B+

This number about the big game fish hunter isn’t as complex as the others but that doesn’t hold it back. He has pleasant deep voice that could go over a Ford truck commercial. Both this voice and the acoustic guitar provide a country twang and it’s clever to use the gathered media as the chorus. His name is just as cool as his voice and it’s amusing how many times they can fit “Dick Flake” into the song.

“Die Trying” written by Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel – A+

This is an epic musical sequence that’s worthy of the final number of the season. It begins with our hero, Owen, sailing off into the foggy lake to vanquish the snakehead. The rest of the Tillermans accompany him for support and as back up singers. There’s a tonal shift once Owen catches his prey and then we catch up with Bitsy after her plan is foiled. It does a good job linking all the characters similar to “Own It” in the premiere. Speaking of, there are plenty of call backs to songs, characters, and locations we’ve been introduced to already. What a fitting and satisfying way to end the first season.  

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