‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ 1×01 Review: The Music in You

There’s something about Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist I can’t quite explain. It’s not extraordinary, at least, not as much as it’s trying to be. It holds its cards a little too close to the vest at first, and there’s at least twenty minutes of this “Pilot” that leave you with the vague sensation that you don’t know what you’ve watched, or if you actually wanted to watch it in the first place.

And then, somehow, miraculously, things sort of …click.

Or who knows, maybe I just really like John Clarence Stewart, and him singing “Mad World” was all I needed to give this show a chance. There’s that possibility too.

Either way, maybe because of that, maybe because Peter Gallagher is once again playing a dad, and I’m a sucker for that, I’m going to give this show a chance. May it grow into all it can be. I’ll be here to either celebrate it, or criticize it.

Let’s talk the “Pilot”:


ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Jane Levy as Zoey, Mary Steenburgen as Maggie — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

This is all very, very weird. Not just the random singing, which is admittedly weird considering this isn’t a musical, but the reason we got here, and how this will, I assume, help Zoey in her quest to, you know, be better at actually dealing with people instead of computers.

But it isn’t weird enough that it doesn’t kinda, sorta work. Especially because I think we’ve all felt, at one point or another, like a song just gets us. Like it’s saying exactly what we feel at a particular time, and we wish we could just, you know, belt it out loud so the entire world would know.

Life isn’t easy. It isn’t simple. Sometimes – often times – the people you see every day don’t really get you. If the show can really tap into that, and better yet, do it while making us sing, then we might all be better, or at least happier, for it.


ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Skylar Astin as Max, Jane Levy as Zoey — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

I had to make a High School Musical pun, I really, really had to. I literally could not help myself. I regret nothing.

The premise of the show is, of course, that Zoey can suddenly, for reasons no one really goes into, and she doesn’t spend much time trying to understand (thankfully, as there’s really no way to make sense of it, so why try?), hear people’s innermost thoughts in music form.

Which is convenient, as just reading minds seems way less interesting. Especially because Zoey can’t hear what everyone is thinking all the time, just what they’re thinking at predetermined moments that, I don’t know, the universe chooses or something? Whatever, I’m willing to overlook that because she actually does something good this episode, something helpful.

I guess this is going to be the theme of the show, Zoey helping random people that she can suddenly understand because did I mention innermost thoughts in song form? And honestly, that’s really not what I expected the show to be, and done right, I think we could be into something.

Fingers crossed.

Things I think I think:

  • The show will, of course, work much better for people who know all the songs, but it’s still a treat to discover new ones as you get to follow on the character’s journey.
  • I was really happy to see India de Beaufort, not just because she’s amazing, but because I kinda want Avery gone and I hope her presence here means she won’t be around as much for the filming of One Day At A Time.
  • What? We all got our priorities.
  • Lauren Graham is absolutely wasted in this. WASTED.
  • I hope she gets a big solo at some point.
  • Anyway, WASTED.

Agree? Disagree? What did you think of the “Pilot” of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist? Share with us in the comments below!

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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