This week on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, Zoey experienced the first "glitch" in her abilities after getting some real tough news — and unfortunately, that means she was the one belting out her feels without filter to anyone who happened to be in range.
We're Courtney Enlow and Carly Lane, and watching this episode made us wish the floor would open up and swallow us whole from the SHEER VICARIOUS AWKWARDNESS OF IT ALL. (On that note: give Jane Levy all the awards, please.)
Warning: Spoilers within for Season 1, Episode 8 of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.
Carly: As unexpected as the twists and turns on this show have been, I can honestly say that I did NOT anticipate this week’s curveball: Zoey is singing her own heartsongs, but what makes that a less-than-ideal sitch is the fact that, in the words of the illustrious Missy Elliott, the music is making her lose control, AND it’s happening in places where she’s doing it out loud, proud and totally in-your-face. While she can hear the accompanying track and see the back-up dancers in her head, all everyone else sees is a woman who can’t stop herself from breaking out into spontaneous song and choreography. And when I say she can’t stop herself, I mean she LITERALLY cannot stop herself.
Courtney: Carly, I cringed so hard the lower half of my body very nearly almost sucked up inside of the top half. I haven’t cringed this much at a television episode since “Scott’s Tots.”
Carly: Of course, in typical ZEP fashion, this power glitch happens to be related to something Zoey herself is repressing on an emotional level (which we’ll get to later in the recap), but before she comes around to facing her feelings head-on, we’re treated to some pretty fabulous musical interludes, including a wild performance of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” that alerts her co-worker Leif to the fact that she knows about his little dalliance with ladyboss Joan.
Courtney: Give Jane Levy all the Emmys for that scene. This was some Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar-level physical comedy and my GOD does she do the absolute most this whole episode.
Carly: Sidebar, Courtney, but what are your thoughts on this whole Joan/Leif dynamic? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure they’re just using each other and I have a feeling the entire thing is going to implode in a spectacular fashion, which will probably lead to the mood in the SPRQ Point office being a big downer.
Courtney: So this could go two ways: 1) Leif thinks he’s being the user and it will blow up in his face, 2) Joan actually likes Leif/a younger more submissive man being into her (the opposite of her ex-husband) and she’ll end up hurt. I WANT THE FIRST THING.
Carly: Ohhhh, boy. The Max-Zoey-Simon love triangle returned in a big way this week as a result of our girl not being able to withhold her emotions. But even though she sang to both dudes this week, her song choices were telling, as Max astutely points out after he walks in on Zoey and Simon mid-interlude. “I Want You To Want Me” feels very much like a song about lust or infatuation, and as for “I’m Yours”? Well, that’s got love (or at least something deeper) written all over it. And then when Zoey and Simon finally kiss… I don’t know about you, Courtney, but I sensed that the vibes between them might actually be more off than Zoey realized from a safe, non-smooching distance. Whatever her feelings are for Simon, there’s also no arguing with the truth of physical chemistry, and I suspect Zoey might have just gotten a big cold bucket of reality water dumped on her in terms of one half of this triangle. Affection does not equal attraction, friends!
Courtney: Crushes from afar are fine! But the second s*** gets real and you discover “oh no, we touched lips, he grazed my sideboob (I SAW THAT, SIMON), and now there’s a very rightfully pissed off bride whose engagement party I already lit on fire” that takes things to a level of too much. And that’s the difference between Max and Simon — Zoey is terrified at the prospect of losing this person who means the world to her so she’s choosing nothing, but when it comes to Simon, there’s a part of her who wants to literally burn the world around her down. And that is never the healthy choice.
Carly: HOW DARE THIS SHOW. HOW DARE IT. First of all: hat tip to whoever on the music supervision team decided to repurpose “How Do I Live” (which has always been very much a romantic ballad) as a father-daughter love song. I still can’t get over Jane Levy’s heart wrenching performance, because I have mad respect for anyone who manages to belt it OUT while crying. Not that I have any personal experience with that, at all, nope, never.
Courtney: The second the song started I was like OH GOD THE KLEENEX IS TOO FAR AWAY. I wasn’t prepared for those Con-Air Soundtrack feels. But the added layer of Mitch reaching up and touching her face — and both of them knowing that’s a thing he’ll never do again — was just GUTTING.
Carly: It takes most of the episode, but by the time Zoey finally gets around to answering her mom’s calls, it’s clear that her glitches are a result of her direct avoidance of her family in the wake of some pretty gutting news from her dad’s doctor about his condition. I think Zoey, as well as her mom and brother, were hopeful that Mitch was still a long ways off from reaching the point where treatment would no longer be effective in managing his symptoms, but that doctor’s visit left her in denial about certain inevitabilities that she wasn’t willing to acknowledge right away. It’s such a relatable feeling, too, as is the moment when Zoey takes advantage of wearing her heartsong on her sleeve to express her love to her dad as openly as she can. This show knows how to pull the emotional rug out from under me, and I’m not even mad about it.
Courtney: Hope is a terrible thing sometimes. When his medication was helping, when they had the buzzer, when they went out on the water, I think they all believed even a tiny, untrustworthy bit, that things might be OK. But that’s not always how it works out. And it’s heartbreaking.
Carly: Gosh, I really don’t know. At this point, all I want is for Zoey to spend as much quality time with her fam as she can, make some good memories with her dad, maybe get back to regular movie nights with Max (I know things are Complicated between them right now but I don’t like it when they fight, it makes me sad!). Oh, and a Zak Orth song. Can we get a Zak Orth song, pretty please? The man’s been making smoothies left and right, he needs a musical number.
Courtney: GIVE US THE ORTH, PEOPLE. Clearly, we’re ending this season with a funeral and I’m not ready and I need something to give me hope and joy. Zak Orth is that hope and joy. Simon is a complication and Max is a salve. CHOOSE THE SALVE, ZOEY. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR COMPLICATIONS IN THIS CLIMATE.