'Central Park' Episode 6 'Rival Busker' shows narrators interfering with the story is not a cardinal sin
Birdie’s interference in episode 5 had an effect and the powers that be decided he should be replaced with a new narrator, another busker by the name of Griffin
Spoilers for ‘Central Park’ Episode 6, ‘Rival Busker’
Loren Bouchard, Nora Smith, and Josh Gad’s Apple TV+ animated musical comedy series ‘Central Park’ is a regular story in many respects. It follows the good family versus the evil rich villain trope. It has run-on-the-mill characters. And while its songs are catchy and funny, it is hard to call it the best comedic musical numbers we have ever seen (that honor will forever remain with ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’).
What ‘Central Park’ has increasingly been doing well, however, is taking a meta approach to the story. The way the story is told is radically different from the way most stories are. While narrators are not new as a concept, the personification of an all-seeing, all-knowing narrator into a dumpy fiddler is genius. It adds a certain kind of wow to the story already. But episode 5 upped the ante by making the narrator a part of the story itself.
Birdie, voiced by co-creator Gad, tells Paige (Kathryn Hahn) that for her to get to the bottom of the mystery, she has to look into Bitsy Brandenham (Stanley Tucci). But Birdie’s interference had an effect. And the powers that be decided that he should be replaced with a new narrator, another busker by the name of Griffin (Andrew Rannells).
In episode 6, ‘Rival Busker’, we see Birdie and Griffin fight it out -- musically, of course. Griffin explains to Birdie how he royally messed up when he interfered with the story. For a story about the New York City park, it does mess around with some deep philosophical ideas. Griffin, for the time being, had power. Only when he would move, the screen moved. And Griffin was diligent in performing his role well.
But this idea of non-interference is challenged in the same episode. Owen (Leslie Odom Jr.), the park manager, and his son Cole (Tituss Burgess) were very excited about viewing the live footage of an owl hatching being recorded in the park itself. But when one of the newborn chicks falls out of the nest, the story foreshadows its central theme with Owen and Cole rushing to help the baby bird.
Their outside interference also gets them into trouble. Atop the tree, the branches break and the father-son duo sits trapped with no one to hear their cries for help. It was late in the night after all. But both Griffin and Birdie heard them. And despite Griffin’s many warnings, Birdie goes and helps them. But something changed when he did. He was once again reinstated as the story’s narrator, thus proving that interference is not a cardinal sin as far as narrators go.
On the other side, Paige in her continued investigation at Bitsy’s hotel discovers the evil, pint-sized heiress was making some kind of business deals with a Russian oligarch named Dimitri. Paige is still nowhere close to solving the mystery of why an attempt was being made to defund Central Park. But she is definitely moving in the right direction.
New episodes of ‘Central Park’ air every Friday on Apple TV+.