The previous episodes of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist were over stuffed, oddly paced episodes with strong characters, good dynamics, great singing, and have real heart. It’s a show I have really wanted to like for more reasons than just liking Jane Levy interact with others on screen.
This episode finally starts paying off some of the set up potential and ends up being a strong episode because of it. This time Zoey gets haunted by the song Satisfaction as her bosses rocky relationship with her husband begins to effect the launch party of their smart watch. Meanwhile the stress of Mitch, Zoey’s dad, is finally impacting her mom and pushing her to her limits. Finally, we find out that not only does Zoey’s brother have a wife who is pregnant, but he’s also a public defender. That last bit isn’t important to the episode, but it’s reflective of what it got right.
It finally learned not to juggle half a dozen different plot lines and ideas. Instead it just focused on two main threads with some strands to be pulled upon later. Mo, Zoey’s neighbor, get some good comedy mileage out of constantly flipping between sides of who Zoey should date. The whole episode is actually quite funny. The constant use of Satisfaction and random times, to the introduction of Charlie, Zoey’s bosses husband, are all really clever jokes.
Overall it really nails the drama too. Zoey and Joan, her boss, bond in a natural way. Joan has a good arc to watch her grow and be better. Zoey and her brother’s concern over their mom is good and played well without being sappy. It all feels like it is building in the right way now.
There are still some issues. A couple songs in this episode are not song well. Zoey’s mom gets a song and it doesn’t carry the heartbreak it should. Joan’s big moment song, Roar by Katy Perry, sounds flat and doesn’t have any of the weight it should. Also, there is a Beyoncé’s Lemonade joke. It’s not just a throw away gag, but feels set up to build to that moment. That feels really out of touch in a way nothing else has in this show, and just jarring.
Again, this is still a good episode overall. It nailed the musical drama with comedy elements to a good degree. It is on the right track.
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