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'Central Park' Season 1 Finale: Last song leaves fans in tears, grateful for light-hearted show in quarantine

Fans said that while they couldn't wait for season 2, they would miss Kristen Bell voicing Molly. Earlier, Bell was formally removed from the cast after backlash over a White person voicing a biracial teen
(Apple TV+)
(Apple TV+)

Spoilers for ‘Central Park’ Season 1 finale, ‘A Fish Called Snakehead’

The first season of Apple TV+’s animated musical comedy ‘Central Park’ has come to an end. Created by Loren Bouchard, Josh Gad, and Nora Smith, this Apple TV+ show followed the Tillerman family that lives in the titular New York City green patch. Their idyllic life, however, is brought to a halt when a hotel heiress called Bitsy (Stanley Tucci) plans to try and buy the park and replace it with condominiums. 

The season finale began with a jogger noticing a snakehead -- predatory fish -- in the park’s pond. This became a major cause of worry for Owen (Leslie Odom Jr.) and the kids. With the snakehead news going viral, Bitsy’s image consultant proposed that she solve the problem. If she was seen as a savior by the people, she would have an easier time taking the reins of the park. So, she hired a celebrity zoologist, who pretended to catch the snakehead. He was actually carrying an already-dead snakehead.

But Paige (Kathryn Hahn) realized this and together as a family, the Tillermans were able to get the real predatory fish. And unsurprisingly, that story went viral too, making Bitsy look bad again. So bad, that she wanted to buy the newspaper and fire everyone.

While the show received a lukewarm reception from viewers when it began, over time, it has won some solid fans over. One fan wrote on Twitter, “Just watched the season finale of #CentralPark, and I am still recovering. I honestly still have the last song on repeat. Thank you @joshgad and @lorenbouchard for giving us a fun, entertaining show to watch while in quarantine.”

Similarly, another fan wrote, “Central Park was pretty good, certainly got better with each episode. The finale song was great closure and I'll gladly wait for next season. And bravos to @KristenBell for voicing Molly & it's a damn shame that you're leaving. Overall, enjoyable season.”

Bell, indeed, won’t return to voice Molly again in season 2. The decision to recast the role was announced last month after there was public backlash for casting a white actor as a mixed-race character. The showmakers, in a statement, said that “casting of the character of Molly is an opportunity to get representation right -- to cast a Black or mixed-race actress and give Molly a voice that resonates with all of the nuance and experiences of the character as we’ve drawn her.”

The finale of season 1 was undoubtedly one of the strongest episodes of the show. While the whole series has been mellow, the finale had relative urgency -- it was still pretty chill compared to any other show out there. Fans seemed to love the episode. One wrote, “The season 1 finale to Central Park… so good. Don't talk to me, I'm emotional.”

Another added, “I just cried for a whole minute at the end of the season finale of Central Park like oh my god kudos @lorenbouchard and @joshgad of #CentralPark. They really are pulling on my heartstrings. Like how can you make a show that good?”

One of the bigger lures of the show has been its show tunes. The songwriting credits for the show, just like the cast, is a dazzling ensemble. It includes female singer-songwriters like Sara Bareilles, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Cyndi Lauper, and Meghan Trainor. One fan of the show wrote on Twitter, “I was not a big fan of the songs until we got to the last one that combines rhythm, and fragments of lyrics from various songs used during the season and I loved that one.”

The last song, indeed, was an excellent one. And why would it not be? After all, it has bits of work from all the aforementioned greats. 

Several fans also said that with ‘Central Park’ Season 1 over, they could not wait to see what awaited the Tillermans next and how Bitsy was going to plan her revenge. A fan wrote on Twitter, “It’s sad to think we have to wait another year for season 2.”

‘Central Park’ is available for viewing on Apple TV+.