New York is a city known for food carts from bagels and roasted nuts to gyros and chicken and rice. Probably the biggest meal for on the go is the classic hot dog. This week, Owen and Cole lend a helping hand to one of Central Park’s most beloved vendors.
The episode opens up with a brilliant montage featuring the owner of Louie’s Hotdogs. It’s a very humble origin with a young man who takes great care in prepping his ingredients and maintaining his cart. Through the photographs of his family and the gradual aging of Louie we fast forward through time and watch how his business became an institution. To tie in with the series, we see various characters as patrons who experience significant moments in their lives while in line. The scenes are an efficient and effective means to make the subject endearing and build his standing in the neighborhood.
On the day Louie is to break the record for longest running food vendor at Central Park, he is caught up with family business and needs someone to set up his cart in the morning. In steps Owen and his son to the rescue. Since it’s their first time, they do encounter a few complications. It’s heartwarming to watch how different people come together to help a pillar in the community. Though the accomplishment doesn’t come with a big reward or recognition, it’s all about the principle and having a way for all his customers to show their appreciation. Plus, there are some pretty great hotdog puns in the process.
Elsewhere, Paige submits the first draft of her novel but is irked by an editor’s comments. This leads to a day out to Coney Island to test out the plausibility of her final act on the famous Cyclone roller coaster. Not only does this demonstrate her fortitude to overcome her fears, but highlights how shrewd she can be as she pivots from her original story. It’s almost like a compromise in a way because she eventually listens to her editor but the reasoning is all her own. On the other hand, the Bitsy subplot feels like an afterthought due to its hare-brained scheme and the lack of airtime it receives.
The Central Park music this week match the positive vibes of the episode. They all are energetic and uplifting numbers that predominantly convey a deference to Louie. The contributors are impressive as well with Germaine Franco of Encanto fame writing the first song and former Rooney band member, Ned Bower, co-writing another. Bower’s song in particular is inspiring but with a little playfulness in its lyrics.
“A Hot Dog to Remember” is a rousing story about community filled with upbeat songs.
New episodes of Central Park drop Fridays on Apple TV+.
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