Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist - Season 1

‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ 1×04 Review: “Zoey’s Extraordinary Neighbor”

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist turned a corner last week, after the first two episodes failed to consistently deliver the emotional punch I required. In “Zoey’s Extraordinary Neighbor” the show once again leans on its strongest characters to deliver an episode that leaves us with a very good after-taste.

In general, though, the show is still not hitting it out of the park consistently for me, all the pieces are not gelling, and something is missing. I’m moderately invested, but when the screen fades to black, the show is gone from my mind quickly, I’m not scrambling to read reviews, look for gifs or – the ultimate testament to how much I like something – look for fanfiction.

No, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is like…pound cake. You can have it, and it tastes good, but it’s not going to blow you away, and you probably won’t be craving it. It’s just there, dependably sweet, if you will.

The reason for this is hard to pinpoint. I lost my father a few years ago, and in the “Pilot” I related greatly to Simon’s song, to Zoey’s fears. They haven’t managed to touch me emotionally since then, though, maybe because every emotional moment is punctuated by a song (and I adore musicals so I never thought I’d say this), or maybe because this just isn’t the show that was ever going to blow me away.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist - Season 1
ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST — “Zoey’s Extraordinary Neighbor” Episode 104 — Pictured: Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke — (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Even this episode, one about the struggle to reconcile church with self, something that as someone who was brought up in a catholic environment and had to grapple with the Church being less than what I thought it had to be, feels like it should at least be relatable, ends up being just …a good point. I understand it and accept it, but there’s nothing about the show that’s really, you know, unforgettable.

The highlight, of course, is Mo, and the confirmation that our Mo identifies as gender-fluid. Representation on TV is an ever-evolving thing, and it’s also way behind what it should be, so I will always celebrate characters like Mo, especially when played by performers like Alex Newell. Now let’s hope the show continues to allow Mo to be, well, Mo, no matter what that journey is.

As for the rest of the show, I’ll be here, hoping at some point they manage to truly make me feel. I’m just not holding my breath.

Things I think I think:

  • Shower drapes? Who calls them shower drapes? I’m with Mo on this one, Zoe. WTF?
  • “All I see is a single lady texting an engaged man before 9AM”
  • We all know that one’s gonna backfire soon, especially because this is a TV show, and on TV men and women can absolutely never be friends.
  • Mo singing about being the great pretender KILLED ME.
  • Of course serial killer wants to wait to learn about the baby’s sex. IT’S A SERIAL KILLER THING TO DO.
  • How much free food do they have at this company? Is this a thing that actually happens somewhere? Because I’m moving ASAP.
  • Also, how is everyone skinny if there’s that much food there to be consumed at any time during the day?
  • What is self-control?
  • Max can sing about absolutely everything. Do we need to give him spoken lines?
  • “A person’s spiritual quest should be their own”
  • I’m not sure we’re all interpreting “Wrecking Ball” the same way.
  • But, is empathy really a wonderful gift?
  • Or a curse, in some ways.
  • EAT CARBS. Never NOT EAT CARBS.
  • My heart grew three sizes at the end.

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

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs Sundays at 9/8c on NBC.

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