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Photo: Apple TV+

Television

‘Central Park’ season 3 episodes 1-3 review: Owen’s ambitious plan and a new addition to the family

The Tillerman family is ready for a new season of Central Park.

An all-new season of Central Park begins this Friday. To mark the occasion, Apple TV+ is giving us three episodes for the premiere. It’s always fun to catch up with the Tillerman family to watch their awkward yet loving relationships and their amusing exploits in one of New York City’s most iconic locations.

The show quickly establishes the new status quo after Paige previously took down the mayor for corruption. With a new leader in town, both Owen and Bitsy make their moves to curry favor with the replacement. It brings a fresh new angle to the main conflict of the series since the interim mayor is a wild card and we still don’t have a good read on how he feels about Bitsy’s potential real estate take over. Meanwhile, the park manager is spearheading a new campaign to bring more awareness to his domain and needs the next mayor’s help.

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These episodes of Central Park do fine character work with the Tillermans. Paige doesn’t know what’s next for her since accomplishing her mission of exposing ex-mayor Whitebottom. She has a lot uncertainty in her future and becomes afraid of her own success to the point she does a little self-sabotage. Elsewhere, Molly and Brendan are leaving the honeymoon phase in their romance and hit a few bumps. It’s interesting to watch the couple work out their problems and their maturity is commendable considering even grown adults aren’t as open and honest with each other. Then there’s Cole, who has the same innocence and charm that only Titus Burgess could instill.

One of the main high points is the family dynamic. They are so supportive and caring towards one another that it develops plenty of positive vibes. Even when they’re in conflict or in competition, they still manage to keep it wholesome. It’s difficult to not feel the love.

central park 3.1.2
Photo: Apple TV+

The family becomes even bigger with the addition of newcomer Abby, Paige’s sister, played by original cast member, Kristen Bell. The character offers the perspective of a recent transplant and all the wonderment that Central Park, and New York in general, can bring. She’s an aspiring actress renting out a section (notice not room) in an apartment. Abby’s seamless transition into the group can be attributed to Bell’s familiarity with the cast. Although it should be curious to see more of Bell and Kathryn Hahn interacting together because they are now playing sisters rather than mother and daughter.

The musical numbers are always a treat with great cinematography and choreography. The use of split screens, camera angles, and color and shading add to the artistry. Every time random background characters join in with synchronized dance moves adds to the humor and makes it feel less stuffy. The creativity is impressive as well such as turning a mannequin prop head into an additional singer. Another example occurs in a scene in a laundry room where the accompanying percussion sounds like objects rolling around inside a dryer.

Central Park makes a delightful return in its season three premiere bringing the expected fun musical numbers and endearing family dynamic while establishing the current narrative threads and introducing new characters.

New episodes of Central Park drop Fridays on Apple TV+.

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