Along with my affinity for classic musicals, I fell in love with the show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after its second season, much to the disbelief of the fans who have since been fighting to give the show new life. Thankfully, Roku answered the pleas and saw the opportunity in reviving the show.
But first, some background
The original show centered around Zoey, a computer programmer who gained the power to hear what people are thinking through visualizing them singing and dancing their feelings. No one else could see the performances except her. This power led to many complications in her life, with the biggest benefit being that she got to communicate with her dying father in season one.
Season two dealt with the aftermath of his death and her realizing she belongs with friend and ex-boyfriend Max. The cliffhanger on the second season saw them back together and Max gaining powers as well. The movie picks back up just two weeks after that incident.
They added Christmas music!
A great thing about making this a Christmas movie is the integration of Christmas songs like “We Need a Little Christmas” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
The movie strikes just the right balance between Christmas songs and other songs. It’s not overwhelmed by holiday numbers. There are enough festive hits to add that cheer, but other songs account for different moods, such as “Bad Blood,” “Just the Two of Us,” “Call Me Maybe,” and “Wish You Were Here.” It’s a really good mix of stuff.
The numbers still give you all the feels
Just as with the original series, the numbers will give you the emotional impact you’re looking for from these characters. Many of the Christmas songs make you want to dance with cheery abandon just like the upbeat songs in the original series.
The other songs give you great insight into what is going on inside the characters. “Wish You Were Here” is sung by Zoey and her family during Christmas Eve dinner because they are still grieving the loss of her father. Max has a hard time dealing with hearing them perform this because it is the first song that he’s heard that had that kind of pain in it.
Peter Gallagher Returns.
Even though Gallagher’s character, Zoey’s father, is dead, the writers often find ways to bring him back. It happens mostly through Zoey’s dreams.. He sings and gives Zoey some valuable insight and advice for navigating the holiday for the first time without him.
It is always a joy to see Gallagher. He is a brilliant singer and actor. He and Jane Levy, who plays Zoey, have a ton of chemistry and a warmth between them that makes their characters so believable.
It ties up some plot points…
Max getting powers at the end of season two opened up a lot of questions of the specifics around his new powers and how this would play out. The movie answers questions that the fans had, such as whether he could now hear everyone, and whether he would keep the powers. Obviously we’re not going to tell you the answers!
… But still keeps the possibilities open
While the plot point of Max’s powers reach a bittersweet conclusion in the movie , it still definitely leaves things open for the possibility of more movies or even another season of the show. The opening weekend was a great success as the number ne viewed program globally on the channel, so hopefully things can go on for these amazing characters and highly talented actors.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is the movie we all need after the series was cancelled, and it’s inspiring to see a show brought back (even if as a movie) due to the adoration of fans. In a world of multiple streaming services, it’s heartening to see our favorite shows get new life or reunions. Here’s hoping that Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist carries on, but if not, the movie is a fitting tribute and conclusion to an amazing and emotional series.