Apple Music last night premiered the first episode of the Carpool Karaoke series, its spin-off of the viral segment from James Corden’s “The Late Late Show” on CBS. Since the debut, early reviews have been rolling in and they aren’t pretty…

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Eddy Cue offered up some insight on the new series to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that the connection to Apple Music is one of the best things about the series. He also noted that the viral aspect of the CBS segment helps:

“Obviously the connection with Apple Music is awesome,” says Apple senior vp Eddy Cue. Executive producer and showrunner Eric Pankowski agrees. The shows, he says, is “the perfect fit for their relevance in music and pop culture.”

“We don’t really have to tell people what ‘Carpool Karaoke’ is,” notes Cue.

James Corden also explains that while Apple is new to television, “they’re still Apple.”

“Yes, they’re new to television, but ultimately, they’re still Apple,” says Corden. “To be associated with them was just a dream come true for us. We were very excited about being one of the first shows they’ll ever do, probably the first of many.”

As for reviews, Variety offers up its pessimistic take on the series, saying that the weaknesses of Corden’s late night segment “are magnified” in Apple’s series. Ultimately, Variety says Carpool Karaoke is just another unscripted series about famous people:

As a standalone show — especially without Corden, whose reliable charm keeps even stilted celebrities interesting — it’s possible that there’s just not enough content to go around. Later episodes’ success and/or failure will likely depend entirely on the strength of the pairings.

“Carpool Karaoke” on Apple Music is just another unscripted series about famous people with varying degrees of talent, in scenarios that are partly choreographed and partly staged.

The Guardian doesn’t have much positive to say about the series, either. They call it “marginally more watchable than the feeble Planet of the Apps,” which seems like more a hit on Planet of the Apps than praise for Carpool Karaoke.

But their initial two series, Planet of the Apps and now Carpool Karaoke, have been a curious hybrid of low-key ideas propped up by big-name celebrities with little else of substance to recommend them.

Ultimately, however, The Guardian says Apple shouldn’t be written off entirely for its first two content plays:

However, it’s early days, and it would be foolish to write off Apple based on its two mediocre efforts so far, because it’s almost guaranteed that Apple is simply biding its time.

Are you watching Apple’s Carpool Karaoke series? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.


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