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Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, on NBC, Tuesdays at 8PM
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Caution: spoilers.

Season One
Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) is an engineering coder at a tech firm called SPRQ Point. 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 landlord, 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.

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.

Season Two
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. And I'll say more as the season progresses.


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