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Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist TV Poster Image
Fun, sensitive musical comedy has lots of heart.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Song and dance is used to express people deepest, innermost feelings. These range from being lonely and sad, to being angry and frustrated. Illness, family, and love for parents are also addressed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The cast features strong and successful women, including Zoey, Joan, Mo, and Maggie. 

Violence
Sex

Some sexual talk, ranging from sexist jokes (that are seen as inappropriate in the context of the show) to suggestive song lyrics. Characters have crushes and fall in love. 

Language

Words like “bitch” are sometimes used. 

Consumerism

Lots of popular songs are performed. There are references to product brands like Apple Music, Spotify, Skinny Girl and others. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to being high, drug dealing, etc. All are offered in a humorous context. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a musical comedy about a woman who can suddenly hear people's thoughts in the form of popular songs, complete with dance numbers. There’s some strong language, including the word "bitch," some sexy talk and jokes, and drug references (offered in a humorous context). A central theme of the show centers on an ailing father with a degenerative disease who is unable to communicate, and the family’s efforts to cope with the situation. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 11 years old February 11, 2020

Heartfelt connections.

Some of the songs and meanings make you cry- in a good way. You immediately get drawn in, and its just amazing.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLunaRS27 February 1, 2020

What's the story?

ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST is a musical comedy about a Silicon Valley programmer who starts hearing people’s thoughts expressed through musical performances. Jane Levy stars as Zoey Clarke, a young woman who works at a San Francisco startup headed up by the tense Joan (Lauren Graham). When a freak accident seemingly gives her the power to hear people’s inner most thoughts as big musical numbers, a fact she only shares with her neighbor, Mo (Alex Newell), she begins learning more about the thoughts and feelings people choose not to share with others. It’s disconcerting, especially when she learns some surprising things about the people around her, including colleagues like Max (Skylar Astin), Leif (Michael Thomas Grant), and newcomer Simon (John Clarence Stewart). But Zoey soon realizes that being able to hear people’s thoughts may have a few advantages, especially when it comes to communicating with her sick father, Mitch (played by Peter Gallagher) and helping her mother (Mary Steenburgen) cope with their circumstances.  

Is it any good?

This high concept musical comedy offers a fun and warm story where music is used to convey the thoughts and feelings that people can't quite speak out loud. Creator Austin Winsberg made the show to help process his own father’s death from progressive supranuclear palsy (the same disease that Zoey’s father has), and this connection gives power to some very heartfelt, and at times sad, moments.

But these poignant scenes don't overshadow the positive, upbeat tone of the overall show, which contains its fair share of comedic moments. More importantly, they give the musical numbers a context that goes beyond simply being entertaining. It’s a challenging balance that has to be maintained, but Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist manages to do so beautifully. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist uses musical numbers to communicate emotions. When is it that cast members are most likely to break out in song and dance? 

  • How can TV and other media be used to help cope with emotionally challenging situations? Does the use of music and comedy in this show help with this endeavor?

  • If you were to express your deepest feelings in song and dance, what would you perform? Who would be your audience?

TV details

For kids who love musical TV

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