Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 3
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Credit: NBC

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist recap: From zero to your own hero

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Feb 24, 2020

Last week might have been a double feature, but this week's singular episode of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist packed an even stronger punch in terms of both the musical moments and the angst that plucked at our emotional heartstrings.

We're Courtney Enlow and Carly Lane and we're back with our thoughts as the feels train keeps chugging along.

Warning: Spoilers within for Season 1, Episode 3 of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.

Courtney: Carly, this episode had everything. Adequate pronoun usage. Lemonade. Lauren Graham singing not once, but TWICE. Consensual spanking. EVERYTHING.

Carly: Lest we forget, I specifically requested Lauren Graham belting it out in a future episode; little did I know this show was going to give me my wish IMMEDIATELY. Also, can we talk about how she killed it on both numbers?! Thank Mo that there's a playlist of all these songs on Spotify so I can blast Graham's cover of "Roar" on repeat until my neighbors yell at me to stop.

Credit: NBC

Joan can't get no satisfaction

Courtney: The whole "female boss is kind of an a**hole but she secretly has a soul and inner pain" thing is a bit of a trope, but it works for me here, especially since Zoey cut through it so quickly. Also, WOW, Charlie (Justin Kirk) is a dick. It's one thing to hear Joan talk about her marriage troubles, but to witness those scenes between them, this emotional abuse and gaslighting, all while working to succeed in a male-dominated industry AND feeling like you can't succeed without lowering yourself to beg this hateful horrible man for help. Ugh. Poor Joan. She didn't even get her Crunch Berries.

Carly: I genuinely LOL'd when Charlie was introduced to the tune of "Jesus Christ Superstar," because w o w this show is firing on all comedic cylinders and I'm still not over that — but like you said, we learn pretty early on that things between Joan and her husband aren't great, probably haven't been great for some time, and it sort of took Zoey prodding as unsubtly as she did (with good intentions, but girl, you need to work on your approach) to finally make them have it out in the open. Awkward for Zoey, sure, but also uncomfortable because it felt like a Too Real moment we weren't really supposed to be witnessing.

But then! To have Joan realize that she doesn't NEED her husband and having that intensely cathartic moment to the tune of previously mentioned Katy Perry song?! The metaphor might have been a little heavy-handed, but I was rooting for her too and I'm honestly looking forward to seeing how her and Zoey's relationship, both as working professionals and as women, evolves throughout the season. I think there's a lot they can learn from each other.

Courtney: Look, the songs are easy and so am I. My heart is not so stony as to not root for a little Katy Perry.

Credit: NBC

Lemonade (because Beyonce, duh)

Courtney: Maggie (Mary Steenburgen) finally gets her moment to sing the song of her heart, and it's broken. And so was I by the end of it. Caregiver burnout is real, on top of grieving a husband who is technically still there beside her. That moment where her face goes from devastation to plastered-on phony smile, it about did me in.

Carly: One of the common threads this show seems to keep circling back to is the fact that it's OK to ask for help from people, it's OK to reach out when you feel like you're drowning because no one is going to know to throw you a life preserver otherwise. But once again, Zoey's ability to perceive what her loved ones are feeling via song comes in clutch here, because it leads her to the revelation that as much as her mom loves her dad, as devoted as she is to taking care of him, sometimes she just needs a break. When Mitch used the new keyboard they'd set up for him to encourage his wife to "let them help," it was just a reminder for the whole family of how important it is to share the load sometimes so one person doesn't get so overwhelmed and wind up being banned from the grocery store for life.

Courtney: I'm glad the lemonade was just lemonade. I was concerned there would be some maudlin realization that he was trying to say "make lemonade out of lemons" or something (ONLY BEYONCE IS ALLOWED) but no, Mitch just wanted some damn lemonade. SCREW YOU KAPPA ALPHA. But I love that. The fact is, in times of darkness and despair we search for this deeper meaning to make it worth it, but sometimes it's just lemonade. And that's OK too.

Carly: Now I want some lemonade.

Credit: NBC

Team Max vs. Team Simon

Courtney: I know it is a rule of television that there must be a love triangle, but my hope and prayer is that this show chooses to subvert it, Simon gets married happily ever after to Brie Ramachandran from Veep, and he and Zoey maintain this truly lovely friendship based on shared experiences and understanding. Lemonade can just be lemonade and friends can just be friends. Mo acting as the Primary Shipper audience stand-in is fun, but I hope it stays that way — just for fun. Besides, we know Autumn and her CBD hair oil isn't exactly long for this relationship world. In the meantime, I want to see Zoey try dating with this power — the first date heart song possibilities are too great to ignore.

Carly: Love triangles are just. So. Tired. Or maybe that's just me, I'm tired.

Courtney: I don't have the energy to like two people, I exhaust myself liking just the one. Even thinking about triangles makes me tired. I got D's in Geometry. Is that the one with the triangles? I literally don't know.

Carly: I'm with you, though. Neither Max nor Simon is doing it for me in terms of who deserves to be endgame. Elevator pitch: Zoey goes on a disastrous first date montage and then decides she's better off being a Single Lady for a while. She's dealing with so much in her life right now that romance on top of everything else would feel like an additional stress to navigate and I do not like anything that makes Jane Levy stress on camera. I will say I loved everyone hanging out as buds this week, though. More of that, please!

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