Life’s Natural Soundtrack

Name: Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Year: 2020
Episode: Pilot

At first glance, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist should be easily comparable with similar series that break-out into song like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Glee. But you simply cannot compare it this time. If you want to dismiss Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist because the cover of ‘Help!’ wasn’t as powerful or spotlighted as Glee or Smash, then go for it. But you’re going to miss the chance to see a little bit of darkness in our world explored in a catchy soundtrack. Yes, there has been many musically inspired series hitting our TV screens over the last ten years, but they all have one thing in common. They make us smile and genuinely come away happy after watching them.

What sets Zoey’s Extraodinary Playlist apart from its predecessors is that it extremely relatable. Zoey (Jane Levy) is dealing with some heavy emotional baggage, job stress and anxiety causing painful headaches and the lack of self-confidence which is something we all feel once in a while. But Zoey is also struggling with her fathers health crisis which is starting to cause the relationship with her mother and brother become slightly strained.

Then we introduce the magical element of music. The musical numbers so far in the pilot is only an introduction on hidden feelings and passions of characters and the ability to develop characters in such a dynamic way. Yes, it does deliver us a few laughs too – but when Zoey’s father (Peter Gallagher) starts singing ‘True Colors’ my heart melted. This was the moment where Zoey’s unusual ability became a gift. This realisation gives Zoey the confidence to harness the ability for good, landing her big promotion.

The spotlight is shinning brightly on this cast combined with the depth of the story makes the show an entertaining twist on everyday life. Music in our lives gives us a chance to express ourselves and this show amplifies this. We see a struggling co-worker that hides his true feelings from everyone in his life, putting up a wall and a smile on his face, expressing his hurt through a soulful cover of ‘Mad World‘. How the songs are covered and shown really thrusts all the emotion towards the audience. On the other end of the scale we have another co-worker making us laugh with a hilarious rendition of DJ Khaled’s ‘All I Do Is Win’.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a new age fairy tale. A fairy tale for millennials. Zoey is a coder in a tech company, recently appointed a management role in charge of a bunch of ‘dudes’. There are a few remarks and purposely offensive comments about men answering to a woman, but this is drowned out by the amount of girl power packed into the episode.

I’m excited to see where this potentially limitless series goes. A romantically tragic love triangle? Family emotional ballads? Who knows… with everyones deepest inner thoughts and feelings being so unique and raw, this series could give us a a mixture of emotional, funny and sadness in it’s soundtrack.

What did you think of the pilot? What are you looking forward to the rest of the series? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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