Fans of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist are overjoyed to hear that Roku has almost finalized a deal to save the show, agreeing to a two-hour movie to wrap up the series (with an option for more episodes if ratings warrant). As often happens within fandom, it took precisely twelve seconds for fans to start to speculate on what the movie might bring. And, beyond that, what they want to see.
At Fangirlish, we have a laundry list of things we want to see in the upcoming movie, which is set to release around the holidays. But since we’ve always been open about our love for Clarkeman (the pairing of Zoey and Max) and our excitement for Clarkeman endgame, we figured…why not start with Clarkeman moments we want to see?
There’s no doubt that our wish list for the upcoming Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist film will only continue to grow over the next few months. But here’s a few (non-exhaustive) Clarkeman things we want to see:
A Power-ful Connection
The second season finale of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist made fans eager for more, with the episode ending with the revelation that Max now shares Zoey’s powers. With this new twist, the potential for writers to explore interesting, hilarious, and even adorable storytelling seems endless.
The use of heart songs is one thing that makes the series unique. And so there’s no question that Zoey’s (and now Max’s) powers will play a large part in the upcoming movie. But what kind of role do we expect (and hope) they will play? Well, first, Max is going to have to come to terms with hearing people’s thoughts and feelings through song. It’s a development that has been foreshadowed since the first season, with Max and Zoey both acknowledging the imbalance her abilities created in their relationship. And as much as I love Max, there are things that he needs to learn. Which the powers can and likely will help with his own personal growth.
For one thing, he will have to come to terms with the downside to these miraculous powers. Yes, they allow insight into others’ thoughts and feelings. But they also come with a responsibility to help, and that can be a heavy burden. They also operate outside of the bearer’s control. Max, like Zoey, will likely be unable to compel – or turn off – a song at will.
But while Max learns what it’s like to have powers, it will be Zoey’s turn to discover what it’s like on the other side of the metaphorical mystical table. Of course, she knows better than anyone that singers have no control over their heart songs. But she’s always been the one granted the insight. Even when her powers glitched and caused her to sing out loud, she was aware of her songs. She could control their impact upon her, even if she couldn’t control what the universe wanted her to do. But now Max will be the one gaining insight into her, and good or bad, she’ll have no control over how he perceives what he hears. As happened in the finale, she may not even know he’s hearing it! One things for sure, though. There will have to be an adjustment period for both of them.
Which isn’t all bad, and it doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of tension and drama. It does mean we’ll hear more songs from Zoey towards Max. We might even get a mashup of songs from her. Similar to what Max performed in the first season finale as well as this past season’s second episode. We might see more Clarkeman duets – both intentionally and unintentionally performed.
But perhaps most interestingly, Max sharing Zoey’s powers allows the two characters to delve into her powers in a different way. Zoey has the experience of dealing with heart songs, but Max is more familiar with music than she is. He also is a little more emotionally attuned to other people than she was at the beginning of the series. So I can’t wait to see the two of them figure out the meaning of various heart songs together. Or even if the song they’re hearing is a heart song at all!
And, perhaps, Max could hear a heart song that Zoey doesn’t. This would prompt her to take on more of a mentorship role – at least temporarily. Zoey has too often relied upon hearing songs to understand how people feel. So it would be interesting to see her figure out how to help someone without that additional insight.
There are so many places this story could go. Sign me up for all of them.
There’s something really special about the glimpses fans have gotten of the relationship Max has with Zoey’s family. From bringing Mitch pudding (and admitting he’s closer to Mitch than his own father) to Maggie calling herself his “West Coast Mom” to David half-teasing, half-rooting for him, it’s clear he’s already considered part of the family. And that affection isn’t just one-sided. We haven’t seen much of Zoey interacting with Max’s family. However, the second season established that his dad loves her already. (Can you really blame him?)
But now that they’re officially official as a couple, there’s the potential for these dynamic to be deepened further. I would love to see more of Zoey and Max interacting with each other’s families. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Max caring for Baby Miles? But beyond that, the show’s flashback episode was a standout for the series. Which is a high bar for a show that is known for perfectly combining stories of grief and love. If there’s any chance for glimpses (via flashback or through video recordings) of prior holidays in the Clarke household when Mitch was still around and Max was present, I have a box of tissues ready to go already.
A Holiday Affair
The only thing we really know about the (probable) Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist movie thus far is that it should be released around the holidays. So it would be a shame not to capitalize on the season, wouldn’t it? After all, there’s nothing better at that time of year than a feel-good flick that makes you want to be part of its world. And that’s exactly how this particular series has always made fans feel.
But if the movie is going to take place around the holidays (even if the holidays won’t be the central plot), I want to see them go all in. I would love to see how Zoey and Max honor both Christmas and Hanukkah. Since it seems likely Max has spent the holidays with them in the past, are there traditions that the Clarkes have integrated into their celebrations, with respect to their differing faiths? Also, while I suppose I could forego a kiss in the snow, given the show’s setting (though I wouldn’t object to one), a kiss under the mistletoe would be an absolute must. Yes, it’s perhaps cheesy and a little cliche to hope for things like Max and Zoey decorating for the holidays together. But the holidays are the perfect season for a little feel-good, heartwarming cheesiness, aren’t they?
All You Need Is Love
But perhaps more than any of the above, what I want to see in the upcoming film is Max and Zoey happy in love. Zoey has gone through a lot to get there, but she’s finally in a place where she’s ready to embrace life – and love – in all its beautiful messiness. I want to see how her newfound courage has changed her. I want to see her running toward messy, complicated feelings rather than away from them. And, honestly, as much as I have been moved by the series’ depiction of grief, I want to see how Zoey and the rest of her family navigate life once they’ve turned that corner. How do they each embrace love, happiness, and the future in the way that Mitch would have wanted?
So yes, give me all the adorable Clarkeman-in-love moments. Give me Max’s reaction to realizing that Zoey really loves him as much as he loves her. Particularly after her history of running from her feelings and pushing him away. Give me more domestic Clarkeman, like the scene of the two of them cuddling together in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Dreams.” I want it all. The sexy, the flirty, the sweet, the fun. I want the first official “I love you”s. The two of them have danced around those three little words, but it’s time they exchange them for real. And, yes, I’d love an engagement, but I’m trying not to be greedy.
I hope this movie won’t be the end for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. However, if this does turn out to be the last thing fans of the show are ever going to get, I hope it’s a (holiday) movie to remember. And though it’s only August, I’m already ready to drown in my Clarkeman feels.