Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, on NBC
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Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) is an engineering coder at a tech firm called SPRQ Point, in San Francisco. One day, an accident involving an MRI, an online playlist, and an earthquake, leaves her with the ability to gain insight into people's innermost emotions by hallucinating them dance and sing songs related to those emotions. This, of course, freaks her the hell out. The only person she tells about this (at first) is her genderfluid neighbor and building manager, Mo, who pursues various artistic interests, including music. (He) tries to help her figure out this strange new ability. (They eventually start referring to these visions as "heart songs".) Meanwhile, Zoey and her brother, David, and their mother, Maggie (Mary Steenburgen), have to care for Zoey's disabled father, Mitch (Peter Gallagher), whose progressive supranuclear palsy leaves him unable to speak and barely able to move. Zoey's ability sometimes allows him to communicate with her, but as is often the case with her hallucinations, she's not always sure exactly what the communication actually means. She does tell her dad about her ability, but he's not really in a position to tell anyone else about it. Anyway, they eventually hire a home health aide named Howie to help take care of Mitch.
One person with whom it seems fairly clear, though, is her longtime best friend and coworker, Max, who Zoey learns via her ability is in love with her, which also freaks her out. So she sets him up with a barista named Autumn, but that relationship doesn't last long. Also, Zoey is up for a promotion to team manager. Her rival is a very career-driven coder named Leif (the best programmer on the team), whose ambition and superior attitude prevent him from having many friends. But he does have a best friend on the team, another coder named Tobin, who's basically the office clown and misogynist. Anyway, Zoey soon gets the promotion instead of Leif, which adds to the stress she already has because of her newfound ability, as well as her family life. She also begins working more closely with her boss, Joan (Lauren Graham), as well as helping her get through a divorce.
Also at work there's a marketing manager at named Simon, and from her ability she learns that he's very sad, despite seeming very upbeat. She gets him to open up, and he tells her that his father had committed suicide some time ago. So, the two of them bond over their both having tragic father issues. This is complicated by Zoey having a crush on Simon, which she can't act on, because he has a fiancée named Jessica. And eventually, Zoey has to tell Max about her ability, though it takes awhile to convince him she's telling the truth. (Mo helps with that.) Simon eventually breaks up with Jessica, for reasons other than just Zoey. By the end of the season, it's clear that Zoey has very strong romantic feelings for both Max and Simon, and she doesn't know what to do about it. And Mo dates a guy named Eddie for awhile.
What else should I tell you? Um, David has a pregnant wife named Emily Kang. David is a public defender and Emily is a corporate lawyer, but their jobs aren't really important to the show. And... in the first part of the season, there's a smart watch that SPRQ Point is developing, but later in the season Leif comes up with an idea for a new product called Chirp. Eventually a rivalry develops between the fourth floor (where Zoey and her team work) and the sixth floor, whose boss is Ava Price, a longtime rival of Joan's. Ava hires Max as manager of her team, and he takes Leif with him. But later Ava and Joan decide the two teams should work together on the project. However, Ava fires Max for a reason I won't get into, and he decides he's looking forward to exploring other career options. And in the season finale, Mitch dies, which is very sad, not just because of the viewer's empathy for his family, but because he was a surprisingly good character, for someone with almost no dialogue or anything. It's not just the scenes where he was singing, but even with his disability he was still somewhat expressive, and there were other ways for him to communicate, to a limited degree. I definitely liked him.
Anyway, it's a pretty interesting, amusing, and dramatic show, with some good characters. And the gimmick of Zoey's ability stays fairly fresh, because the show sometimes plays around with it in various ways beyond the straightforward approach. Also the song choices are always pretty much perfect for their scenes. And I guess that's all I can think to say, for now.
Zoey goes back to work six weeks after her father's death. Joan offers her a promotion to run the fourth floor, since Joan herself will be moving to Singapore for a promotion of her own. When Zoey decides to accept, Leif becomes the new manager of the engineering team. Meanwhile, David and Emily's baby, Miles, was born sometime during the six weeks between seasons. And Max gets an idea for a new kind of restaurant, and partners with Mo to plan it. Also, there's a new coder named George who now has Max's old job at SPRQ Point. But he doesn't last long. Um... there are a lot of twists this season concerning the whole Zoey/Max/Simon love triangle, but I don't want to spoil any of that. Also an old neighbor of Zoey's, a musician named Aiden, moves back home, so she renews her friendship with him. And at one point, David wants to join Aiden's band. Max and Mo seek funding for their restaurant, and eventually get it from Danny Michael Davis, the CEO of SPRQ Point. When it finally opens, they call it MaxiMo, and it's fairly successful. Simon is eventually tasked with overseeing racial diversification efforts at SPRQ Point. Mo starts dating a fire marshal named Perry. Oh, and at one point Zoey's coding team gets several women from another floor to start working on the fourth floor, but the only one of any importance to the story is McKenzie, who eventually starts dating Tobin. Also, Max reunites with an old friend named Rose, who is in town on business, though she lives in New York. Eventually they start dating, and also she provides Max with the possibility of franchising MaxiMo in New York, which means Max would have to leave San Francisco for a few months. It takes him awhile to decide whether to go or not. Meanwhile, Zoey learns that Emily is suffering from post partum depression, and encourages her to seek therapy. Zoey also starts therapy, and tells her psychiatrist about her power. And Maggie returns to working on her landscaping business, though it's hard for her because she misses having Mitch work with her. She also makes a new friend named Deb (Bernadette Peters). There's also a flashback episode in which Zoey talks to her therapist about her first day at SPRQ Point six years ago, and meeting Max.
And lots of other stuff happens throughout the season. I hope I'm not forgetting anything terribly important. I don't want to say how it all ends, but I was hoping it would get another season. Unfortunately, NBC cancelled it, but I thought the season finale made a decent series finale. ...However, in December, the Roku Channel aired a TV movie called Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas, which I thought did an even better job of wrapping up the series.