Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: All Episodes
March 3, 2020 4:54 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

I think this show's pretty cool, but doesn't look like it has enough interest to go episode per episode. Anyone else watch past the pilot?

Episodes that have currently aired: (Zoey's Extraordinary) Best Friend, Boss, Neighbor.

I'll post most later, just wanted to get this started now.
posted by jenfullmoon (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I keep watching it although I don't love it. I do think this past week's episode was the strongest so far now that Zoey has settled into her "power." It also balanced the musical numbers the best (they generally have been a bit too on the nose and went on too long).

It has a charming cast and I keep waiting for it to be the show I hope it could be. It's a really fun concept.
posted by darksong at 5:01 PM on March 3, 2020

‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’: Top 5 reasons to watch
Listen To Original Cast Recordings From ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' finds heart, song in tragedy:
“Every episode, something that happens to (Mitch) or happens to the family is something that we went through over that time. And it’s raw and vulnerable, putting yourself out there like that,” he said.
It's also proved rewarding. Since the preview episode aired, Winsberg has heard from dozens of people whose families are afflicted by diseases akin to progressive supranuclear palsy, which took his father's life within a relatively short time after it was finally diagnosed (the disease can be mistaken for the more common Parkinson's, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine).
‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Best Friend recap:
Zoey’s Extraordinary Boss review:
Zoey’s Extraordinary Neighbor reviews:

Alex Newell Sings to Fight Stigma in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
How 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' Star Alex Newell's Storyline Reflects His Own Life
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:52 PM on March 3, 2020

Okay, thoughts so far....

* Joan/Charlie: Wow, that guy's a dick. No loss to lose him, but maybe he used to be nicer?

* Zoey/Simon: I'm generally into it (mostly because I have never been into Skylar Astin for whatever reason), but I really felt something when she said he was the only person she could talk to about her dad and nobody else got it. Been there, girl.

* Max/Autumn the barista: I'm fine with this, but when he referred to first sex, second sex, third sex, fourth sex... gag me, dude. Does not make me want to have any with you. That said, I thought he'd lip-synced the opera singing scene and according to the Internet, HE DID NOT. So, wow.

* Mo: Love Mo. Obviously episode four was a big one for him. I felt so bad seeing him in a boring outfit, and I loved the pastor (who also writes sermons in a bar and bets on darts). Bring back Pastor Steve any time, please.

* Wonderfalls: I feel like this show is a cross between Glee and Wonderfalls, as there are definitely Wonderfalls vibes (the crack about being a do-gooder, Mom having what definitely would have been called a 'sode). Zoey is more into the idea of helping than Jaye was, though. The pastor/miracle of Bonnie leaving the apartment really reminded me of the "Bring her back to him!" episode of that in particular.

* I don't have too many deep thoughts on Zoey's brother and sister-in-law as yet, though it did stab me a bit when I realized they were having a silly gender reveal party in case dad died before the baby was born. Ouch.

* I feel for Maggie. Especially when she was expecting "I love you" and instead got "Lemonade" and "No more Real Housewives." (Though really, that last one is important, especially if you can't change the channel.)

* Mitch: Oh man, this one hits me every episode. I haven't cried again so far (yay) and her dad has a different illness than mine, but it hits a lot of the same issues since mine could not move or communicate either, and would also burst into sobbing tears periodically. Mitch has better technology for getting in some level of communication, at least. But the "watch the wedding toast" scene...damn. Every week with this, man. And the "we'll take the win!" when he can move his hand a bit, etc.

Obviously this show isn't going to be a hit, gets one season, etc. because I like it. But I'll enjoy it while it's here, at least.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:12 PM on March 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

OMG, this is totally Wonderfalls. Except not really. I didn't even think of that but that makes sense to my reaction to this show. I do wish it leaned a bit more into the quirkiness than ... whatever this thing it's doing.

(Have I mentioned that I love that "women working a tech job" is the new "woman working at a magazine" as the cool prestige job for a woman to have now? It's great.)
posted by darksong at 6:23 PM on March 3, 2020

I like this show, but it's gotta settle in. Every episode so far has been a BIG REVELATION, and there's only so much of that you can do unless you really commit to it, and this show clearly does not want to really commit to it.

In the most recent episode, it annoyed me that Zoey immediately started using "him" without discussing it with Mo. The reverend said that Mo is genderfluid, but the show never really let Mo define themself.
posted by Etrigan at 9:05 AM on March 4, 2020

I think "him" got mentioned in episode 2. I assume Zoey and Mo have known each other long enough before the show started to have had that conversation, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:08 AM on March 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

I assume Zoey and Mo have known each other long enough before the show started to have had that conversation, though.

Zoey was clearly stunned that Mo was presenting as male at the church. I don't think her reaction was "Oh my god, this person who I know is AMAB but genderfluid is not wearing a wig at the moment!" My read was that Zoey (who had, at best, a mildly adversarial relationship with Mo before she started hearing people sing their thoughts) thought of Mo as AFAB and female-presenting. And Mo seemed to be uncomfortable talking with Zoey about it, so they hadn't already had that conversation.
posted by Etrigan at 9:19 AM on March 4, 2020

I'm still watching, but play it at 120% speed, because it's nice and schmoopy rather than being super dramatic. Part of me is bracing for a cringey christian-god gave you powers reveal, I'd much prefer it just stay low key mysterious and just explore aspects of humanity.
posted by Marticus at 4:06 PM on March 4, 2020

I can't recall the exact text in episode 2 about it, but Zoey said something about how Mo went by "him" but .... I forget what else, wasn't really defining in rigid terms.

I was shocked that Mo was in such a boring outfit myself.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:38 PM on March 4, 2020

The married guy Zoey was crushing on at work was raving about Mo and said something like it is him right or something like that when Mo was DJing the product launch in an earlier episode. I don't know if it was clear whether he was asking about Mo's pronouns or Mo's primary sexual characteristics.
posted by willnot at 4:50 PM on March 4, 2020

I’m liking it. And color me impressed on the opera scene!! My son and I both thought it was lip synced too! Wow!!
posted by pearlybob at 5:09 AM on March 5, 2020

The married guy Zoey was crushing on at work was raving about Mo and said something like it is him right or something like that when Mo was DJing the product launch in an earlier episode.

I remember thinking, Wait, what? about that at the time, and I can't reconcile it with Zoey's reaction to seeing Mo at the church, or with Mo's reaction to Zoey's reaction. I wonder whether they originally wrote this episode's storyline earlier than the launch party, but flipped it around later and forgot that Mo wasn't out to the audience yet.
posted by Etrigan at 6:43 AM on March 5, 2020

Incidentally, if anyone (like me) has been trying to figure out Mo's pronouns (in the absence of Mo saying anything), showrunner Austin Winsberg refers to Mo as "he", which is also how the actor, Alex Newell, refers to himself.
posted by Etrigan at 7:03 AM on March 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

After this last episode, I'm wondering when Zoey will hear her own song. Clearly she's due for her own song and dance number.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:12 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ahhh God damn it. I went to see if there was any video of her singing and found this. Spoilers abound.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:14 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am so glad that this episode didn't come earlier. I have such an antipathy for cringe that I almost noped out every time she started singing.

I want to know whether the choreographer worked with Jane on "Pressure" and then told Skylar "Okay, just try to follow along in the moment."
posted by Etrigan at 6:48 AM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

How did you make it through the “Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” scene? That nearly had me at the ff button. I love all of these characters, but I might love Leif as a performer most of all. He’s so unlikely to belt out, “I Put A Spell on You,” but it worked. I prefer Simon in the triangle, but I’d really rather the triangle stay unresolved.

I’m also hoping that Peter Gallagher can stick around as a ghost. He’s got a lovely voice.
posted by gladly at 5:24 PM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Maybe because I'm a "professional woman" with a terminally ill parent I thought that the Mommy kissing Santa Claus scene was hilarious. Shit happens, uncomfortable truths are spoken, random dance scenes would make it much more fun.
posted by fiercekitten at 3:41 PM on March 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh god, that season finale. I was in tears singing along with "American Pie". I don't think I can ever sing that song and not tear up ever again.

This show was phenomenal. I loved every episode. The singing and dancing was just right on point with context to who the characters are. And Max busting out in song every time he and Zoey got really into was so hilarious. I can't wait for next season!
posted by numaner at 4:35 PM on May 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

I loved this series, and even though that was an excellent finale, I want to see a second season of this. It's pretty amazing to get a real picture of having a terminally ill family member at home for their final weeks in the middle of this fun romantic musical comedy.

Small thing, but I was so happy that Lauren Graham's character had more dimensions than just the terrifying boss. That she and Zoey developed an actual friendship, that she was understanding about Zoey needing time for her father's death, it would have been so easy to make that a conflict instead of getting a great moment where she tells Zoey about missing her mother's illness. Plus the awareness of Zoey's mother and her grief at losing her husband before all of her friends. Those were excellent moments. Plus, Mo got to have actual desires and character moments.

But, yeah, Peter Gallagher needs to come back for a second season too.
posted by gladly at 7:56 AM on May 19, 2020

It took me a long time to get around to watching the rest of the series, given the current turmoil. I really do think this is/was an excellent show. I don't have hopes that it'll come back after coronavirus really (I think it had borderline chances BEFORE that), but it was really well done. It definitely triggered my own dead dad issues since while my dad didn't have PSP (think similar experiences but dragged out over 10 years for me), a lot of it was very deja vu. Of course I cried. The American Pie finish was brilliantly done. I did think "I bet this death experience was a lot nicer than the showrunner's dad's actual death," and I saw some article indicating as much, but the dance sequence was beautiful.

I'm fine with both dudes and think Zoey should date them both. I prefer Simon a little more because I'm not really into Skylar Astin (always seems a wee bit bland/smug/bro-ish), but overall, they're nice dudes. I really liked how Max reached out to Simon to let him know her dad was dying. Good job, sir. I think I'm fine with this not being resolved. I did crack up at how Zoey had to tell Max to STOP HIS BRAIN SINGING.

Joan was actually a pretty good character and I liked how she was actually sympathetic to Zoey because she'd been there. She even went to the funeral!

I did not so much care about Leif and Tobin, but they had their moments. I did crack up at Leif's emo karaoke interspersed with Max doing "Bye Bye Bye" in his head. I have BEEN THERE when someone was singing to an ex at karaoke, about died.

How is Max fired but Leif is not?! Huh?

I may have other thoughts later, that's just what comes to mind at the moment.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:38 PM on May 19, 2020

I'm only on episode seven, but I wanted to chime in and say I think this show is much better than the negative buzz I had heard about it. I don't even like musicals but I'm finding this pretty sweet and cute and watchable.

My dad died in February of an undiagnosable neurological condition, and my sister recommended this show with a warning of lots of tears. I haven't been able to feel much yet about my dad so the show hasn't made me cry yet but I appreciate the depiction of the struggle. I wish Mary Steenburgen was my mom, though, cause my actual mom did not handle the situation with any grace at all. Although I must admit my mom did not end up banned for life from any grocery stores, so there's that.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 7:58 AM on May 28, 2020

ZEPL has recently come out on Stan in Australia, and I've been enjoying the first season immensely. I was thrilled to see that the predictions of it only getting one season turned out to be untrue! I'm a sucker for the uncertainty about whether Zoey will get involved with Simon or Max - but I've watched enough TV to know that will be the point it jumps the shark if either actually happen. We watched the season 1 finale yesterday, and I was a bit of a wreck afterwards! When I heard the first couple of chords for "Goodnight my Angel" I knew it was going to be rough (that song makes me cry at the best of times). Beautiful, even if heartbreaking.
posted by Cheese Monster at 2:16 AM on February 9, 2021

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