Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Roundtable: Why NBC Should Renew ZEP

Every once in a while, a television show will come along at just the right time, uplifting fans with the perfect combination of humor and heart when we need it the most. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is that show, and we at Fangirlish cannot get enough of it. This week, I brought together together fellow Fangirlish writers Lizzie and Jacqueline, and fellow ZEP fans Jacquie and Amanda, to discuss what makes this show so special, why it deserves to be renewed, and what we are looking forward to the most moving forward.

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Why do you want NBC to Renew Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist? What do you think makes the show so special, and why do you think it resonates with so many fans?

Jade: There’s a lot of good television out there, but there aren’t many shows like Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. It’s the perfect combination of humor and heart, and it’s in a rare position of being just the right show at just the right time. It’s been a bright show in my week ever since its premiere, somehow able to make me laugh, cry, and somehow do both at the same time. Plus, it’s one of those shows where not only is the entire cast brilliant, but every character is so wonderful, you can’t wait to see what happens next. From the casting to the musical numbers to the character arcs, everything about this show is so well done, and it all feels so real. Immediately after watching the finale, I had to call my mom because the emotion of that episode was so real to my own experience with grief and loss, and it reminded me of the importance of not taking the people we love for granted. (I’ve also watched clips of it a ridiculous number of times, but we won’t go into that.) 

Lizzie: Selfishly, I want NBC to renew Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist because I love it, and because I think it’s one of the most original, well-acted shows on TV. But there’s a lot more than that. I don’t usually watch shows that are centered around grief, because I don’t do too well with them – they’re either too on the nose, or they handwave the pain away, I’ve found. Zoey’s, however, strikes the perfect balance between relatable and actually, actively uplifting. And if that isn’t the kind of thing we need in this day and age, then what is it?

Jacquie: As a veteran TV viewer, it has become so rare to find a show so innovative each week. While most of its plot points aren’t new to anyone (i.e. love triangles, loss of a parent, etc.) Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist handles them in such a fantastically fresh and honest way. Also as a theater kid, it’s nice to see quality performances from the cast no matter their experience level – be it singing or dancing. When a show can make you squeal in delight, cackle like a hyena, realize life truths, and bawl like a baby all in one episode … that’s a keeper! 

Amanda: I can’t remember the last show that I so eagerly anticipated an episode of on a weekly basis (Sunday nights could not come soon enough!!). The entire first season from start to end has been nothing short of amazing. Every episode is worth rewatching multiple times, which is incredible for any show, let alone a first season (first seasons are typically considered the weakest of a series). The writing is so grounded in reality, showing real emotions, like grief, anger, sadness, jealousy, etc., something that other shows gloss over or shy away from. It has realistic and compelling characters who have to deal with very real situations and problems. And rather than detract from the story, the songs build on the character’s emotions and provide an insight into them that wouldn’t be possible without the songs. The heart song moments are so reminiscent of Golden Age Musicals, bringing back the magic of their seamless singing and dancing (an age of film that many view as their “comfort food”). It’s not just a show, it’s an emotional experience that draws the fans in, making them so invested, that by the end of each episode they have been through all the same emotions as the characters. 

Jacqueline: I really want Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist to be renewed as there is no other show like it. I get a sense of joy, hope and understanding of living in this world. Sadly, we don’t all get to see people sing heart songs but it is through these heart songs that the show reflects quite honestly, that we are all sorting through our own things. I really believe this helps create empathy. I have lots of hope that Zoey and her family will remain close and support each other after Mitch’s death but I need to SEE that.

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One of the best things about the show are the musical numbers. What was your favorite song of the season and why?

Jade: This is such a tough question, I’m asking myself why I was so cruel to ask it. There are so many wonderful songs from the course of the season, every time I think I’ve picked one, another one comes to mind and I think, “Well, maybe it’s THAT one.” Until a week ago, I probably would have said my favorite song was “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” because there was something about that song – and that episode – that took the show from a good show to one of my favorite television shows ever. But while the season had many wonderful numbers (including “Pressure,” “I’m Yours,” “All of Me,” “Mad World,” “Dream a Little Dream,” and “American Pie”), I have to give this to “Goodnight My Angel,” sung by Mitch and David in the finale. That song has a very personal connection to me, because I sang it to my niece the night I lost my own dad, and they did such a beautiful job with it. I still can’t think about it without crying. Absolute perfection.

Lizzie: This is a trick question, because there’s absolutely no way to pick just one. None. I mean, I guess if it was life or death I MIGHT have to pick the finale’s last number, “American Pie,” for emotional reasons. But it’s not life or death, so I’m also going to add “All of Me” to this list, and “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and maybe even “How Do I Live?”

Jacquie: Just one? I love so many of these heart-songs for the different emotions they elicit. However, “I’m Yours” was truly special for me. It was really refreshing to have Max be the one serenaded with a love song for once. And, yes Zoey … IT WAS ABOUT LOVE! 

Amanda: Pick only one song? I don’t know if I could pick just one from each episode! It’s impossible to pick just one because it’s not just “oh I like this song/character” every song is unique and serves an important purpose in the narrative.

If you had asked me a few weeks ago I would have said “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” and it is still one of my favorites. Not only was it the big song where Max shows just how much he loves Zoey, but the arrangement is amazing. They took what is a bouncy, poppy, sing at the top of your lungs with your friends song, and turned it into a beautiful, emotional, romantic ballad.

But then “Perfect” came along, which was such a beautiful, and pardon the obvious but, perfect moment for Maggie and Mitch. A couple who I’m so attached to they might as well be my TV parents. And now we have everything in the finale! 

Jacqueline: I loved everything Max sang, especially “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” but my favourite was “Pressure.” It didn’t hurt that I already loved that song. But it was Max throwing his full support behind Zoey, risking his job for her and it was AMAZING. Zoey must marry this man. It doesn’t get better than that!

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All of the relationships in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist are wonderful, but it’s the relationships Maggie and Zoey have with Mitch that are really the heart of the show. How do you think the loss of the Clarke patriarch will impact the show and its characters moving forward?

Jade: This is really rough, because of course I knew all season that we would lose Mitch in the end – and, in fact, I think it’s necessary to the story, to be honest to the story that’s being told and the emotion and even just the reality of life, to have Zoey and her family experience that loss. As nice as a miracle cure would have been on some level, it would have cheapened the story they were telling, and the sad fact is, life doesn’t really work that way, just because we want it to. In the finale, Howie described death as, “…hideous, and ugly, and grotesque, and wildly, wildly unfair. Or, maybe, death is beautiful and spiritual and transcendent and sometimes a very necessary and very freeing escape from our physical bodies when they are no longer habitable.” Next season, I want to see the show explore the two sides of that with the members of the Clarke family. Of course there will be pain – and probably all the ugly emotions that go with it – but I hope the show allows them to find comfort and peace in the aftermath, as well.

Lizzie: I think – honestly – that this has been the point of the show all along, not just to show them losing Mitch, but to show what life is like after, and the person you become because of that loss. Because TV hardly ever delves into that, into the changes and the pain and the growth that comes from having to go on without a parent. So, I think – I hope – it’ll be really fucking hard and they’ll show the ups and downs, and hopefully, the people around Zoey rallying around her to help her cope, and heal, little by little. And I hope they show that even healing is conditional, you never truly heal, and you never go back to who you were. You just become someone else.

Jacquie: Death always brings out our reflective/introspective side. I think the loss of a parent echoes so Zoey and David, and especially Maggie, will definitely feel this as they move forward with their lives – as they must. While the physical presence of Peter Gallagher might be gone, Mitch’s influence will still be felt. Whether the characters use that to make good or bad choices is up to them. 

Amanda: Losing Mitch has left a hole that is impossible to fill, something that will be seen throughout the series (the “I wish he was here moments”). His death opens up more about grief, something the show has not shied away from. Grief is not a linear process with a set timeline, it can loop back on itself several times, it can start before the person is even gone, and it is not the same for everyone. I think we will be seeing much more of that with Zoey, Maggie, and David. For Maggie it’s the loss of her other half, the love of her life who she has been with 40+ years. She hasn’t been alone in that time, and while yes she has her children it’s very different. She refused to sleep apart from him while he was alive, and now she’s facing an empty house, and being alone in her bed. 

David is about to become a father and was already worried about how to raise a son. And now the one person who he could have talked to and asked for advice about it is gone. So he’s facing a huge life change at the same time as losing his father.

And Zoey has had these special heart song moments to communicate with her father in a way no one else can. So she has those moments to treasure and to help her, and although she has gone through some of the stages of grief already, it’s likely she will circle back to them as she faces the future without her dad.

Jacqueline: This is what I’m most interested to see – how Maggie and Zoey cope after such a huge loss. I’m really glad they have one another but not only is this a big change, it’s a big loss. It will change them as people, it’s hard to see how it won’t. I look forward to seeing them move forward – I have no doubt this show will do a good job of showing things are not just okay. 

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Let’s talk Clarkeman. Do you ship it? What is it that makes you love these two together? How would you like to see their relationship develop next season? (And have you finished screaming over their scenes in the finale yet, or do you need more time?)

Jade: I definitely ship it, although I agree that this might not be the right time for them to move forward just yet. Zoey has been going through a lot, and she’s going to go through a lot for some time to come. She’ll have her ups and downs, but for the moment, she needs friendship more than she needs romance. One of my favorite moments from the finale (which had many, many incredible moments) was the scene in which Max called Simon to let him know what was going on with Zoey – not only saving her the need to put her loss into words just yet, but also selflessly putting her needs above all else. While I think the show did a good job of avoiding the usual “men fighting over a woman” trope you get on television, the fact is that both Max and Simon have been vying for Zoey’s heart all season. In the finale, however, it isn’t about who she loves or who she’s attracted to. It’s about what she needs. And I’m a sucker for ships that have and demonstrate that kind of selfless love for each other. That said, I really want to take more time to delve into their friendship as well as their romance in the second season, because I think both aspects of that relationship are important. (I also think the best relationships are the ones rooted in a deep and meaningful friendship, and I would love to explore that more.) There was a rift in the friendship for a chunk of episodes this season, so I’d really love to see the two of them explore that relationship for a bit next season, particularly since it will undoubtedly take Zoey some time to heal to a point where she’s ready for a real relationship with anyone, including Max.

That’s my adult answer. My shipping fangirl answer? Are you freaking kidding me; did you see that scene in her apartment? I’ve watched it an embarrassing number of times (seriously, NBC is about to send someone to my house to check on me, I’ve watched it so many times). I love every character on the show. I want all of them to find happiness. But Zoey and Max – and individuals and together – have my whole entire heart. There is no way I’m getting over the gold-tier level OTP content we were given throughout the season, and particularly in the finale.

Lizzie: Not only do I ship it, they were the thing that finally made the show click for me. And to be honest, what I’ve loved the most is what we’ve seen out of Max, the sense of unconditional love and respect he has for Zoey. His love isn’t selfish or conditional, he just wants the best for Zoey, even if sometimes the best isn’t him. But, in that same vein, I would like to see season 2 show us the other side, even if Zoey will be dealing with her father’s death and I’m sure Max will continue to be around, I would like to see Zoey be there for Max, as well, as she tried to be in the last episode of season 1, after he lost his job. I would like their relationship to be more balanced, and for them to finally become each other’s rock’s emotionally. We knew they sort of were before Zoey started hearing music, but now with Zoey’s powers, that requires a little adjustment. I don’t doubt that they’ll get there, though.

As for the scenes in the finale, I will probably continue screaming for the rest of the hiatus, and I’ve had like a week more than the rest of the world. If I could have written a perfect OTP scenario, I’m not sure I would have written that scene at Zoey’s apartment differently. 

Jacquie: I don’t think I ever stopped screaming! (even if it’s internally!) I have shipped these two ever since Skylar’s performance of “I Think I Love You” in the promos – before the show even aired! I’m a sucker (pun a little intended) for the ‘friends to lovers’ trope. When pining is done right, you can’t help but want them to get together. Max is an incredible partner for Zoey; she’s analytical, he’s emotional; he’s expressive, she’s reserved. These traits compliment each other so nicely and provide a lot of room for them to grow together, as we’ve already seen them do in season 1. I think that now that Zoey is acknowledging her feelings for Max, they can start to see each other in a new light. I’d love a slow burn romance for these two crazy kids. (P.s. there was nothing slow about that scene)

Amanda: Oh we’re talking Clarkeman? *pulls out a giant binder labeled “Clarkeman is Endgame.”* Let’s talk about one of the best OTPs! What I love about these two is that first and foremost they are best friends. Even when they are having arguments with one another we all know that they will always have the other’s back because that’s what real friends do. For a romantic relationship to work you need to have a solid foundation, and what’s more solid than your best friend? The moments we see them sharing their feelings with the other are built off of friendship moments, “I’m Yours,” when Zoey realizes how wonderful of a friend Max is. “500 Miles (I’m Gonna Be),” happens when Max does everything he can to help Zoey and her family.

For the future I’d like to see more of Zoey showing Max how she feels. Yes she has begun to grow emotionally, but she still has more room to grow. We’ve seen all season that Max’s heart songs are all about his love for her, and how as a friend he’s been there for her through everything. It doesn’t have to be big moments or heart songs from Zoey, but I would like to see Max getting as much love and support from her as he’s been giving.

I don’t know that I will ever stop screaming/waxing poetic about those scenes! (I haven’t stopped smiling or shut up about them since they happened)

Jacqueline: I love Max and Zoey so, so much. I love how he supports her, how he’s always there for her and how he is first and foremost her friend. Of course, they are endgame – no doubt about it! It might take me until Season 2 to get over THAT SCENE!! As said before, “Pressure” did it for me…this is the man you MARRY.

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All of the characters are on their own journeys of growth and self-discovery. Zoey and Simon connected over similar grief and will probably help each other through this awful period in each other’s lives. How would you like to see their dynamic grow and change in season 2?

Jade: I think it will be important for Zoey to have someone she can talk to who has experienced grief and knows both the ugly and beautiful side of it. Just as she’s been there to help him. That said, I also think that it’s easy to get consumed by grief, and that’s something they’ll need to avoid. I may not ship Simon and Zoey together romantically, but I do love their dynamic and am glad they both have someone they can lean on and talk to.

That said, I also think it was interesting that Simon said he was trying to be more honest about his feelings, but his honesty once again came in the finale only after Zoey heard his heart song and directly called him on the emotion he was trying to hide. That’s realistic – you don’t go from trying to hide your emotions to being totally open about them overnight, after all. However, it is a reminder that their entire relationship has been founded on a lie of omission. Zoey is (perhaps with the best of intentions) not being entirely fair to Simon by keeping her powers a secret from him at this point, particularly since she continues to act on the information she gleans from them to grow closer to and connect with him. At the very least, I think Zoey will have to own up to that in the second season – and I would not expect Simon to take that revelation as well as she no doubt would like. On the other hand, whatever relationship Zoey hopes to have with Simon – be it romantic or friendship – it has to be based in honesty, first and foremost.

Lizzie: I would really like to see Simon being there to help Zoey with her grief, as I think he’s in a unique position to help her, because he understands some things and Zoey won’t even need to verbalize them. That being said, I think it’s tricky because he also needs to grieve on his own, and sometimes grief can bring out grief, so I also feel like, as much as Zoey and Simon can help each other, they can’t be each other’s crutches. They have to get through this by themselves, even if the other person can be there, every once in a while.

After that, I’d love to see them actually get to know each other. One of reasons I have no romantic feelings for these two together is that I don’t think they actually know each other. All they know about the other is …well, grief. That isn’t a solid foundation for even friendship. So, that’s probably where they should go.

Jacquie: I think all ‘crushes’ usually pan out how we least expect them to. I’d like to see their friendship/relationship develop outside of their grief connection, because what little they know about each other has been rooted in that. I also want to see what happens when Simon finds out about Zoey’s powers – and realizes that she’s had a cheat sheet to what he thought was a ‘special connection’. I’d love to be able to compare the fallout of Zoey telling Max to what happens with Simon, as I believe the differences will be staggering.

Amanda: I like Simon and I like his and Zoey’s friendship even if it built on her hearing his heart song, and him being unaware of this. I do feel that he deserves to know about her powers, in the interest of being open with one another, something he said he and Jessica didn’t have. Once that is out in the open their friendship can progress forward. He can definitely help her as a friend in a way that others can’t (I mean that’s why Max called him), but he is also at a completely different stage of his own grief. He does still need to work on his own grief and issues, before pursuing anything romantic with anyone (he only just ended his engagement to Jessica). Personally I’m in favor of Simon finding a different woman (I hear Autumn is single) and then double dating with Zoey and Max, building solid friendships all around. 

Jacqueline: I’d really like to see Zoey maintain her friendship with Simon. I don’t like them as a couple but that doesn’t mean I don’t like Simon. He’s had a rough year and needs to sort stuff out and I really think Zoey will need him in the coming months. I look forward to Simon finding someone new. But I think Zoey and Simon could be a fabulous example of how men and women can be friends. 

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Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist had a wonderful cast of supporting characters this season, including Mo and the entire SPRQ Point crew. Which of their stories surprised you the most, and how would you like to see these characters develop over the next season?

Jade: It’s strange that I went into the show expecting to dislike a few of the side characters (namely Leif and Tobin), but I ended up loving all of them. I think what surprised me the most was seeing how much character growth the show got out of even its supporting characters in a really short span of time. When Leif and Joan started their affair, I thought I would end up hating him even more for using her. That wasn’t his character trajectory at all, and I ended up wanting to give him a big hug (while scolding both Leif and Joan for making some seriously bad life choices). Tobin started off appearing to be the typical Doucebro, but the show really let us see that, underneath it all, he has a really good heart, and I’d love to see him find love of his own next season. Mo is…okay, Mo is phenomenal. As a character and as a friend, and I want to see him being all sappy in love with Eddie some more next year. Joan had a really wonderful progression from not wanting to get involved in her employees’ lives, to sharing a really moving story about her own mother’s death. If there’s one thing I can say about the stories this season for these characters, it’s that none of them went where I expected them to – so I can’t possibly say where I want them to go next season. I’m just along for the ride, wherever it goes.

Lizzie: I absolutely love all the secondary characters on this show, and the surprising thing is I want more from all of them. I think we got a lot from Mo, and I enjoyed every second of it, hell, give me even more Mo in season 2, Mo with Max (because we know they’re friends), Mo distracting Zoey, hell, I even want a Mo/Eddie and Max/Zoey double date. But I also want more of the SPRQ Point crew, especially Tobin. Can we get Tobin a love interest? Or at least get some background on his family life. Feels like there’s a LOT to uncover there.

Jacquie: I loved the Mo choir-boy storyline! I think it gives depth to an already amazing character. Also Tobin and his love of ASL? Can you sign adorbs! I think we need more of the Tobin/Leif bromance and maybe have a storyline where Leif goes too far in his backstabbing and Tobin is the one to suffer as a direct result. It could be really interesting to see how that plays out.

Amanda: I love the whole supporting cast! Every single one of them has had amazing character growth throughout the season. I would have to say Tobin as a whole has been the most surprising, with his dedication to fixing the glitch in the SPRQ watch? This is the man who when told his peer review that he was “adequate,” was happy with that response. When he was first introduced he appears to be a jerky brogrammer who is content to slack off. But we keep learning more about him every episode, from being fluent in ASL, owning a ferret (I need to know the ferret’s name), to his love for comedically large portions of food. We saw his friendship with Leif but we also saw a potential for friendships with Zoey and Max, which I would love to see. I’d also like to see him find a romantic interest (Bring back Abigail, they were adorable together), since we did get to see Leif catch feelings this season, it’s Tobin’s turn.

Jacqueline: I absolutely adore Mo! Except for that one time when he told Zoey to go to Simon – but hey, no one is perfect. 

The character that surprised me most was Joan. I loved seeing Joan and Zoey’s relationship grow throughout the season. I loved that she confided in Zoey, first about her marriage and then about losing her mother. I love that Joan is there as a mentor but also as a supportive boss when Zoey needed it most.

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In the season finale, Max made the decision not to return to SPRQ Point, and Joan was invited to step into Danny Michael Davis’s shoes. Where would you like to see those stories go in season 2?

Jade: That’s hard, because as someone who watches a lot of television, I think they’ll probably put Max back at SPRQ Point at some point, because it’s just convenient to have most of the main characters conveniently located in the same place. That said, I think it would be interesting if he doesn’t go back right away – and when he goes back, I would love for it to be in a different position than he had before. One that makes him happy and gives him room to grow, like he found on the sixth floor. Maybe that mysterious fifth floor, currently under construction, will come into play? As for Joan, I really love that the show highlights such powerful women as Zoey, Joan, and Ava, and I loved Joan’s development over the season to show her level of caring for her employees, along with her drive and ambition. We had a great moment this season where she realized she didn’t have to rely on her (ex-)husband’s name to have a major win at work. I’d love to see her explore that more and find the confidence she deserves through that.

Lizzie: I actually would love to see Max get another job with the competition, even if that requires them shifting the focus a little bit to get Skylar in more. OR, hey, idea, give Max Zoey’s job, and give Zoey Joan’s job. HOW ABOUT WHAT?

As for Joan, I just hope we still get to see her, because I absolutely adore her relationship with Zoey, and I’m happy as I am for her, I would miss her if this meant no more of her.

Jacquie: I think Max is owed a journey of self discovery. He’s a character who defines himself by those he loves and just recently got a taste of self-indulgent independence. I’d love to see him confidently pursuing what (and who) he wants and have Zoey be his rock. Joan is the eternal boss – that will never change.

Amanda: Let’s start with Joan, I am so here for CEO Joan! It would definitely change things with the 4th floor, would Zoey be the new Joan, would Ava come down, or will someone entirely new come in? Joan will rock being in charge, though I am worried that with the investigation on Dannyl Michael David happening that she is going to run into a lot of problems. With him being investigated, there is a chance they will come investigate SPRQ Point. So it would be interesting to see how Joan handles all of that, and how she has to deal with the changes in her relationships with her former team.

Now onto Max. I’m so thrilled that Max has decided that he found something he enjoyed and was good at. I can imagine that he might struggle a bit finding a job, particularly since he was fired from a major tech company. So I’d like to see him going through this process, discovering what he really wants to do. It’s not an easy thing to leave a job/field when you’ve been there long enough that you get comfortable, even if it isn’t your passion. His move to the 6th floor showed both his potential and how different he is emotionally when doing something he enjoys. Does he want to work freelance, or contract, does he want to work with smaller tech, teach coding in schools or maybe even completely change industries? And of course through all of this he has Zoey there supporting him, she told him that they would “figure it out together,” and I’d like to see her fulfill that promise.

Jacqueline: I LOVED Max’s growth, first moving to the sixth floor and now deciding not SPRQ Point. It made me respect him all the more for reaching for what he wanted. I also think Zoey liked it, given her reaction 😉 

As for Joan, I’m super impressed that Danny Michael Davis’ is leaving her in charge – YOU GO GIRL! Was I the only one who thought, I hope her ex hears about this? 

I have no idea where Max will land and that makes it all the more exciting! Joan running SPRQ Point will be interesting. I wonder if Zoey will get Joan’s job?

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Another wonderful thing about this show is its rewatchability. If you had to pick your favorite scene of the first season (or the one you’ve rewatched the most), which would it be and why?

Jade: I’m really excited about the fact that, now that the show is over, I can do a whole season rewatch and catch all the wonderful things I missed the first time (or several times, with certain scenes) through. If I had to be honest about the scenes I’ve watched the most, I would have to say it’s a toss-up between “I’m Gonna (500 Miles)” and the scenes between Max and Zoey in the finale. But I’m gonna cheat here a little, because if I’m honest, I think some of the most powerful moments in the series came with Zoey unraveling in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch” and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Outburst.” Some of those scenes were funny, some of them were painful, and some of them made me laugh while I was cringing into my hands. But it’s rare for a show to really explore what grief does to you the way both of those episodes did – it is particularly rare for a show to explore it with female characters. So the fact that the series was so unapologetic about going there and lingering in that space for a while, while Zoey worked through it, was difficult to watch at times but important to see.

Lizzie: Again, I’m just going to cheat and say it’s a tie between “American Pie” and “I’m Gonna be (500 Miles).” I tend to re-watch the musical numbers more than the actual scenes, because I’m a musical theater geek and that’s just how I roll. I do, however, love the scene between Max and Zoey in the finale, and that one has gotten it’s share of plays.

Jacquie: I’ve watched the show in its entirety three times (so far). Though I adore all of Max’s musical numbers, I love the confrontation between him and Zoey after he hears her sing to Simon immediately following his own heart-song. Story time: I was sitting in my room during the commercial break right after all that happened and was thinking to myself about the difference in tone and meaning between the two songs. I literally said the same thing aloud to myself that Max did two minutes later about attraction vs love. I was flipping out! When those words came out of his mouth, I had to go back and rewatch it to make sure I heard him correctly.

Amanda: I mean since Sunday the, “All of Me/I Know You Want Me” scene has been on constant repeat. That scene is so romantic, funny, sweet and sexy all at once, all of which happen in actual romantic moments for couples (if you can’t laugh with your significant other who can you laugh with?). But prior to the finale I was rewatching episodes 6 and 8 constantly. And I would say my favorite scene was when Zoey thanks Max for helping get her to the hospital. That moment is just charged with emotions From Max’s, “I’m here if you need me. Always,” to Zoey initiating their hug, it’s just such a testament to their relationship. And it is where you can see Zoey starting to view Max in a romantic light, even if she isn’t sure about those emotions/thoughts herself. 

Jacqueline: “Pressure.” Although, I’m sure that scene from the finale will soon top it. I adored “Pressure” – so I really don’t know how many rewatches happened. I look forward to rewatching the whole season again. I’m already excited!!

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Finally, what are your hopes for a potential season 2? What would you like to see – in terms of plots, characters, or songs – more of?

Jade: Obviously, the grief over Mitch’s death is going to have a major role to play, and it may not be entirely easy to watch. (I went through a ridiculous number of tissues during the finale, after all.) I think there were just a lot of story threads that were touched on or developed to an extent that I’d love to see explored more next year. Being a short season, the first season had to do a lot of things very quickly – and they succeeded, but with a second (hopefully longer) season, I’d love to delve in a bit more. I’d like to get to know some of the other characters’ back stories – seeing Max and Simon’s families, for example. 

If there’s one thing I wouldn’t mind leaving behind, it’s the love triangle. I know, I know. Love triangles are what shows do. And of course I know it’s not quite time to really throw themselves into the Zoey and Max relationship, since that’s a forever kind of ship. I just want all the characters to find their way to love, without that journey necessarily taking the form of a love triangle. I’ve watched a lot of television. I’ve seen a lot of love triangles. I’m tired.

As for songs, I’m rather like Zoey in that I have pretty much no knowledge of music. I’m happy to just be along for the ride, with whatever musical numbers I’m given.

Lizzie: I want to see the family dealing with the loss of Mitch in the little ways, in the getting up and seeing his empty space, in the having to clean up his things, etc. I would also love to see Max and Simon just be there for Zoey as friends, as least for the beginning half of the season. That’s what she needs right now. After that, well …I don’t really need Zoey to try things with Simon to choose Max. I promise, I don’t.

I won’t even go into what songs I want because the show always does amazing even with songs I didn’t think I wanted (did anyone say Pitbull?), so I just trust them completely. 

Jacquie: I’d love to see Zoey get the chance to really experience the triangle – between Simon’s engagement and her denial about Max the whole thing has been about ‘what if?’ and fantasy. I’d love to see what happens when you throw a little reality into the mix. I just want my babies to be happy. I’d love to see more of Howie’s daughter (especially if that means we get Howie back!) Song wise I’d love maybe some actual show tunes from Broadway musicals. Also, specifically the song “Lucky” by Jason Mraz (feat. Colbie Calliet) as I feel it perfectly encapsulates Clarkeman’s highest potential. But I would gladly give all this up to just get a second season and leave it in Austin Winsberg’s very capable hands. 

Amanda: I’d really like for Zoey to be the one to give Max a “big moment, big memory.” He’s been the one doing most of the emotional risks so now it’s her turn to put herself out there. It would be great if we could get flashbacks with scenes of how Mitch was before his PSP, learning more about him and his relationship with everyone. I’d love for Abigail to come back as a SPRQ Point intern, she was amazing and there is so much potential for more ASL heart songs. Song wise also I would love it if they did “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meat Loaf. Or if Zoey could sing “Head Over Feet,” by Alanis Morissette to Max. I also would love to hear some genderbent songs, male characters singing female vocalist songs and vice versa, we had a few this season but I’d love to see more! But honestly whatever Austin Winsberg, the cast and crew give us will be amazing!

Jacqueline: I look forward to seeing how the family realistically deal with the loss of Mitch. They did such an amazing job showing the grief before his death, I hope this continues in season 2. I’m looking forward, as I said, to seeing what happens with Max and Joan. I look forward to more heart songs and more truth tea from Mo. Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing more Max and Zoey! But most of all, I look forward to the joy and happy I know another season would bring!

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is streaming for free on Hulu and on NBC’s website.

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