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S01.E01: Pilot

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Zoey, an introverted computer programmer living in San Francisco, begins to hear the innermost desires of the people around her through song.

Airing on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 on NBC before moving to it's regular Sunday night time slot on February 16!

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I didn't hate it, which kind of surprises me because this isn't the type of show I would normally like at all.

Levy was great.

Noticed Graham was billed as a guest star.  Is she not going to be a regular cast member?

 

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So, I was incredibly nervous about this show because shows with very specific gimmicks can be a hit or miss. Musical elements incorporated for me is especially tricky to cover well. I didn't know how they'd be able to incorporate the musical elements well enough to not make it too cheesy or unrealistic.

But, after witnessing this pilot? They set things up very well and I bought every second of it. I really love how they have Zoey mostly imagining these musical sequences, but it's also her new superpower. Zoey's commentary throughout the musical sequences made me laugh several times, especially with Leif's "All I Do Is Win" dance sequence.

Now, the characters took some time to get into the groove, but I think they got going once the first musical act hit. 

I think that they really hit the emotional beats at the right moments, especially the scene with Zoey and her father. I was not sure how they'd be able to use her father's neurological disease in a way that would showcase Peter Gallagher's abilities, but I think they really figured it out quickly. The family moments were quite strong. 

I felt like they didn't overuse the musical portion, which is absolutely key to this series doing well. They could very easily go overboard, and I'd rather they limit the musical sequences and I hope they don't try to force six-eight different musical moments in if there's no need. 

Otherwise, the characters weren't exactly fleshed out, besides Zoey and Simon, and I'm really looking forward to more Lauren Graham and Skylar Astin in future episodes. I was waiting all episode for Skylar Astin to belt out into song, and he didn't disappoint.

Overall, I am very surprised with how enjoyable this pilot was. I'm just sad that we have to wait a whole month for the next episode. 

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I really liked this. I'm surprised at how much, to be honest. I love Jane Levy, and will probably watch her in anything ever - but the entire cast is great, and they really do a great job with integrating the songs into the show. I'm hoping that continues past this episode! Mary Steenburgen is a treasure, and it's great to see that Peter Gallagher got to have a real chance to shine. I don't see a wrong note in the casting - even Zoey's brother, who didn't have much to do this episode - he hit the right notes of the 'annoyed sibling'.

I had seen some of the previews, so I was waiting for the "I Think I Love You!" bit - and it was perfectly timed. Great way to end the episode, and I cannot wait for the next one.

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I loved this.  It's a bit weird that it's on NBC and not Freeform, but it was super fun. 

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14 minutes ago, Lady Calypso said:

Zoey's commentary throughout the musical sequences made me laugh several times, especially with Leif's "All I Do Is Win" dance sequence.

This is probably going to be the type of show that it is best not to over think.  We know that only Zoey hears/sees the musical numbers.  But, wouldn't everyone around her hear her reactions?  Wouldn't Leif have asked her why she wanted to report something to HR when he was being two-faced about supporting her application for the manager job?  

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4 minutes ago, Bulldog said:

This is probably going to be the type of show that it is best not to over think.  We know that only Zoey hears/sees the musical numbers.  But, wouldn't everyone around her hear her reactions?  Wouldn't Leif have asked her why she wanted to report something to HR when he was being two-faced about supporting her application for the manager job?  

I think some of it will depend on the particular musical sequence, but I think they were implying that the commentary that Zoey, herself, makes is all in her head and, for the most part, she's not physically reacting to what she's seeing and hearing. However, you're right. Overthinking is going to be a bad idea for this show. 

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1 hour ago, meatball77 said:

I loved this.  It's a bit weird that it's on NBC and not Freeform, but it was super fun. 

I had the same thought about Freeform. Not sure what made me place it in that bucket - maybe it was the over-the-top wacky colorful office, or the family stuff, or both. That said, I really liked it too.

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Started watching and got annoyed that she is a coder but works on two small laptops, instead having multiple screens and one computer. Is this probably because it easier not to have her face blocked by monitors when shooting, probably. But it bugged me anyway.

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Maybe I’m feeling sentimental today, but the scenes with Peter Gallagher really got to me.  I hope Zoey does well.  I really don’t want to fall for another show that’s only going to last a season.  

Edited by Phebemarie
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I really liked it. I was enjoying the bonkersness and then they got me with the True Colors scene. 

I think I'm in for as long as it lasts... please last.  

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Okay, I liked that a lot. It reminded me of Eli Stone, which was just such a good show.

I wish we didn't have to wait a month and 2 (?) weeks for a new episode

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I liked this so much I won’t bitch about the SF inaccuracies!! High praise for a pilot!

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The budget for musical clearances for this episode alone must have been ridiculous. I love musicals so I'm here for this show!

I also love Jane Levy and I love that they hired several Broadway people who can sing. And I have such a soft spot for Mary Steenburgen so just on those two cast members alone, I would have watched this show.

On top of all that, I love that they weren't autotuning the crap out of everyone (ahem, Glee). I liked that they chose a variety of songs (different music styles, different decades, etc).

Heh, the dance numbers were so typically Mandy Moore but I can't complain. She's got that large group choreography down.

I think that Zoey brought up an interesting question - should she feel guilty for using the insight and knowledge she gets into other people? On one hand, it's not her fault she has this information because she didn't ask for this power. On the other hand, having the information and using it are two different things.

I think she needs to be very careful about how she goes about utilizing what she knows. I think she initially reached out to Simon because what Mo said really hit her - he was clearly in a dark place and she was trying to give him the opportunity to talk to her about it.  That was a kind thing to do (I'm a paranoid person so I thought that if he tried to hurt himself because he was so overwhelmed, she would feel guilty that she hadn't tried to help him), but where she crossed the line was when she dropped in the "mad world" reference and made him think that they had a connection. I mean, they do because they both understand how hard it is to lose a parent, but she could have left that out of their conversation because she had already done what she intended to do, which was give him the opportunity to open up.

But I totally laughed when Liam was revealing his true nature beneath the much nicer veneer and Zoey said she wished she could report this to HR.

Overall, A+ for the song selections. I appreciate when someone finds the right song with the perfect lyrics.

This was a fun, sweet, entertaining hour so I'll definitely be back when the show starts airing in its regular timeslot.

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I loved it. It's like the Scrubs musical episode, which is a fave. I love Jane Levy and I love the LOOK of this show, so bright and pretty. I love the setting, I love the cast. i'm sure it's too twee by half for some folks, but I'm in it for the long haul. Or short, cuz it probably won't last.

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Whoa, that was much more singing and dancing than I was expecting, and not just snippets. Making it all imaginary was a clever way to ground the plot a bit.

Man, the music licensing fees must be half the budget. I can already envision that being the death knell for any possible syndication/DVD/streaming deals down the line. Ideally the producers factored that in.

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10 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

I think some of it will depend on the particular musical sequence, but I think they were implying that the commentary that Zoey, herself, makes is all in her head and, for the most part, she's not physically reacting to what she's seeing and hearing. However, you're right. Overthinking is going to be a bad idea for this show. 

I'm waiting for a security camera to capture one of the musical scenes, so that Zoey can see what such an incident looks like to everyone else.

Is she limited to the specific songs on  the playlist that the MRI tech had chosen?  How long until we hear a Lizzo song? Can Mo perform it? (I think that Alex Newell and character are great, as are all the costumes and set decoration.)

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For me it "hit home" with the force of a tornado.
This was almost like they made a show out of my life and set it to music, but that doesn't necessarily mean I should be watching it. 
But for now I'm not able to turn away from this alternate-universe version of the train wreck. 

 

***

 

10 hours ago, HerkyJerky said:

I LOVED Eli Stone back in the day and I liked this clone as well.

8 hours ago, bros402 said:

It reminded me of Eli Stone, which was just such a good show.

Whew. I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought this was Eli Stone-inspired. None of the reviews mentioned it.

***

 

1 hour ago, 2727 said:

Man, the music licensing fees must be half the budget. I can already envision that being the death knell for any possible syndication/DVD/streaming deals down the line. Ideally the producers factored that in.

Not an equivalent comparison, but the OG Roswell DVDs substituted most of the music with other songs.

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I didn't think that I had any hormones left, but that song from her Dad....whew!

I really liked this a lot!

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Count me in as an old fan of Eli Stone, and also wondering why none of the writeups have mentioned that show.  (And now I have to search to see if it's available anywhere on streaming...)

Loved the pilot, set everything up very quickly, good character development.  Love the sets, especially the workplace.  (Can't imagine what the rent for that space would be in SF!)  I really like the guy who's all "yeah! you got promoted" on the outside and all evil on the inside.  I wonder how long it will take for the real him to surface? 

My one complaint... Who in their right mind would put a completely disabled man in a sailboat without a lifevest on??? 

 

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From the Primetime review today:

"Somewhat fascinatingly, the premise of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist happens to match the real-life story of cast-member Mary Steenburgen, who in real life awoke from surgery hearing music all around her. It's part of how she wrote the Oscar-contending song for the indie film Wild Rose."

What the what???  How haven't we heard about that before?

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47 minutes ago, chaifan said:

My one complaint... Who in their right mind would put a completely disabled man in a sailboat without a lifevest on??? 

NO ONE was wearing a life jacket. 

Jane Levy is ridiculously charming, so I was in on this for that alone. I hope the musical interludes aren't too frequent, because that gets annoying to me, as well as it can become a crutch.

I like the way Liam's song twigged how Zoe solved the bug problem.

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I liked it! Jane Levy is so charming , and I thought the casting for all the supporting characters was great. I'm glad the show is moving to 9PM though, because these 10PM shows are way past my bedtime. 

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1 hour ago, absnow54 said:

I liked it! Jane Levy is so charming , and I thought the casting for all the supporting characters was great.  

Oh, my gosh, yes. I was in the mood for something like this and I went along for the ride. I can ignore (the many) inconsistencies at this point, and not overthink anything (except, weirdly, why Jane Levy had bangs in one scene and one scene only--that I saw anyway). 

I recorded this on a whim, knowing nothing about it except that Jane Levy was in it, and I always like her in things. Then this morning, before I watched, for some reason, I watched a couple of old Glee performances on You Tube. I wondered what some of the cast, including Alex Newell, was doing now, but didn't look any of them up. It was a nice surprise to see Alex here. 

I'm sure a lot of us knew early on that Zoey's dad would sing and dance so I was waiting for it and it still got me but good.

I want cheesecake. I may have to have some on hand for the next episode. Even if they don't mention whatever that dessert was, worst case scenario: I have cheesecake. 

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14 minutes ago, Darian said:

I want cheesecake.

Shame on Zoe for throwing away two perfectly delicious, uneaten cheesecakes! Give them away instead!

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I’ve long held the belief that life would be better with more spontaneous musical numbers, so I’m all in for this show 🙂

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That was great, one of the best pilots I have seen in awhile! Jane Levy is so incredibly charming, and the cast in general is excellent, both the ones that I've heard one and the ones that I haven't. Its fun and happy and funny but also has a lot of very real feelings, especially with Zoey and her dad. I also like the idea of using this to explore how people can present one thing to the world, but really have a ton of different things going on underneath, like Zoeys seemingly happy go lucky crush that is terribly depressed over his dads death, or her seemingly nice co-worker who is actually scheming to get ahead. 

I teared up during the True Colors scene, this show already has me in a feels vice grip. 

I love that Zoeys music power seems to be a full on superhero origin story, complete with freak science accident! I think what is being set up is that as soon as a musical number starts, then everything, including Zoeys reactions, are things that only she can see and hear, and to everyone else, she is just kind of starring, unless she directly engages them, like the woman on the street singing All By Myself. I think so anyway, I feel like this is a show that will require some suspension of disbelief, but if its as fun as this episode was, I am all for just going with the flow and enjoying the ride! This also brings up an interesting ethical question, should Zoey use the information that she hears in the sing for her own benefit, even when its private? I can totally understand her wanting to help her crush, as he seemed really upset and she wanted to help him and it turned out to be what he needed, but what about her work buddy admitting that he is in love with her through song? Did he actually mean to tell her, or did he just sing it? 

I am loving the musical choices, a good variety of genres and decades so far, and I think I am going to enjoy seeing how they use different songs to tell the story!

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3 hours ago, Darian said:


I'm sure a lot of us knew early on that Zoey's dad would sing and dance so I was waiting for it and it still got me but good.

Oh totally.  You don't hire Peter Gallagher if the character is just going to sit on the couch, staring vacantly the entire time. 

I liked the scenes with her family more than her job.  I thought her father singing to Zoey was very sweet and meaningful.  I'm not entirely sure if this show's premise is enough to sustain it as an ongoing series, but it will be interesting to see what they do with it.

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Not bad.  It's a hard sell, but I think they sold it.

I wondered why Peter Gallagher would bother with this. Now I know.  He's got Emmy bait. Although maybe Mary Steenburgen, as the one who can react in that pairing, is even more in that lane.  The two of them are truly acting heavy hitters and having seen this I can understand why the producers bothered paying for them.

The lead is good. I was worried she's be too perky from the general concept and frankly, her appearance, and she's kind of the opposite, which is good.  Also, although 80% of her job is reacting, I think so far they're striking a decent balance where she balances out reacting with acting.

I'm iffy on the supporting cast, outside the family.  The best friend seems kind of boring. The other coworkers seem at risk of being stereotypes.  Even Lauren Graham seems a bit iffy.  Nothing's bad in this group--it's just that outside the lead and her family none of them are shining either.

I didn't mention the neighbor though. I love the character. A snotty foil, who doesn't totally care but helps almost accidentally?  I love it.  The actor is totally selling it too.  They have to be careful not to overuse the character, but if they're careful can just make it magic when they do.

Time has to tell if this gets old, repetitive, annoying, etc.  I admit I can't quite see where the plotting will go. I can think of episodes worth of plot, but not any kind of overall storyarc.

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5 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

Oh totally.  You don't hire Peter Gallagher if the character is just going to sit on the couch, staring vacantly the entire time. 

Bingo. He's a heavyweight.  The stuff he's doing portraying the handicap is mega hard, and let's be frank, Emmy bait.  But we have to see some of his inner life, or they might as well have the character die and play that out and get Mary Steenburgen her Emmy instead from her reactions.  That said, they have to be careful. If he's got a song and dance every week, isn't it going to get played out?

I actually wasn't totally joking about his character dying.  Apparently in the real world, the disease they are showing is untreatable.  That said they have some leeway.  Apparently there's a potential to live for 6 or 7 years after onset.  Or not.  Once the person starts having trouble swallowing (I don't think they implied his character was) they're pretty much done. 

19 hours ago, bros402 said:

Okay, I liked that a lot. It reminded me of Eli Stone, which was just such a good show.
 

Damnit I'd forgotten that Eli Stone got there first!

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19 minutes ago, Kromm said:

 

I actually wasn't totally joking about his character dying.  Apparently in the real world, the disease they are showing is untreatable.  That said they have some leeway.  Apparently there's a potential to live for 6 or 7 years after onset.  Or not.  Once the person starts having trouble swallowing (I don't think they implied his character was) they're pretty much done. 

 

I think that Zoey mentioned that her dad could not swallow anymore (in connection with the granola). Did they actually mention the name of his disease?

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27 minutes ago, LisaM said:

I think that Zoey mentioned that her dad could not swallow anymore (in connection with the granola). Did they actually mention the name of his disease?

This explanation in-show is:

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Well, slowly dying of this rare neurological disease, and each week, he, like, loses another ability, therefore, big chunks of granola would just cause him to choke. 

--which is appropriately vague since it's more of a symptom of many neurological conditions than of any one disease. My father died from Parkinson's because he got to the point where he couldn't swallow at all and a decision was made to not start a feeding tube. My mother has Parkinson's now and about the only thing she can still do is swallow. She can't talk or move. She's losing the ability to blink as a means of communication. I was skeptical of the dad in the show being able to sit up and assume it's just a directorial/visual choice, but I could be wrong. Someone else's father lived in a state similar to in-show Dad's for 10 years, but he was able to (and motivated to) type with one finger. Since the Dad was able to touch his wife's hand, he could probably type IRL if that was what he really wanted to do. 

Mary Steenburgen was a great choice for the wife/mom.

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How in the world could they make a series about coders in San Francisco without the Apple monster inserting its logo onto all the laptops?  It happens on every other show.  The income would help with the music clearances, at least.

My impression was that the quake malfunction in the MRI room downloaded every single song on the tech's computer.  Zoey has everything from Grateful Dead to 60s country to select from, now. 

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13 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Whew. I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought this was Eli Stone-inspired. None of the reviews mentioned it.

Maybe they weren’t officially reviews, but I saw a bunch of online comparisons to Eli Stone last week. (Of course, my Google search was “Zoey’s extraordinary playlist Eli Stone” because that was my absolute first thought when I saw the trailer!)

I was a huge fan of Eli Stone - and George Michael - so I love that they used a Wham song in this. 

Also a big fan of Jane Levy - as someone said, she is ridiculously charming. I’ve missed “Suburgatory” ... I’m glad she’s back, and with the added bonus of Peter Gallagher!. 

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16 hours ago, 2727 said:

Man, the music licensing fees must be half the budget. I can already envision that being the death knell for any possible syndication/DVD/streaming deals down the line. Ideally the producers factored that in.

If you sing the songs yourself, the licensing goes down a LOT. It's not CHEAP, of course, but the majority of licensing costs comes from the rights to the actual performance of the song. I once read one of those "Days in the life" articles about the showrunners of Friends and there's a good bit in there where they debate between using an actual pop song, a no-name doing a cover of the pop song or a no-name singing a song SIMILAR to the pop song, each option reduced the costs dramatically (we're talking like $50,000 to $5,000). That was 2004, but I doubt the rates have changed that much since then, honestly. 

Back when Glee was on the air (which was, what, about 10 years ago?), most of the songs they licensed cost them $10,000 a song. More for the bigger songs, but they also got a bulk rate for licensing multiple songs from an artist (the one song they balked at the price tag was Eminem wanting $200,000 for "Lose Yourself"). 

All of these licensing deals now including DVD and streaming worked into it. The death knell in the past was that shows didn't have that stuff factored in, so they would have to negotiate new licensing deals every time the show was used in a new medium for EVERY song they used, and obviously that was way more trouble than it was worth for most shows (I'm still amazed that Rhino eventually worked out a deal with 99% of the artists on WKRP in Cincinnati for a box set of the show...sadly, even 99% left a bunch of notable songs missing, including the very prominently used Pink Floyd songs). 

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I love Jane Levy, and musical TV shows are a blast, so I think that this ended up working very well after a bit of a rough start. It was one of those deals where they had to get a lot of exposition out there, but once everyone was established, it was tight. 

My mother passed away a little under a year ago from ALS, so it was striking how similar Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), what Zoey's father has, is to ALS (and, of course, as @shapeshifter noted above, Parkinson's, as well. They're all sort of in that "fucked up motor neurons" family), so yeah, those scenes were rough, but still very sweet. The show's creator has a parent with PSP (had?), so I can only imagine how rough those scenes were for him. 

Now that everything is established, I think that this will be a really nice show. Alex Newell has basically one note, and that's the note they chose for his character, so it worked perfectly. Levy is amazing,  Steenburgen  and Gallagher are outstanding, it's a really good cast. It's good enough that I can look past the "way too aggressively sexist" co-worker. 

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17 hours ago, 2727 said:

Whoa, that was much more singing and dancing than I was expecting, and not just snippets. Making it all imaginary was a clever way to ground the plot a bit.

Man, the music licensing fees must be half the budget. I can already envision that being the death knell for any possible syndication/DVD/streaming deals down the line. Ideally the producers factored that in.

The costs for streaming/syndication/DVD tend to be built into the licensing deals nowadays.

One show effected by licensing fees (and unable to be released on DVD) is Ed (starring Tom Cavanaugh)

13 hours ago, chaifan said:

Count me in as an old fan of Eli Stone, and also wondering why none of the writeups have mentioned that show.  (And now I have to search to see if it's available anywhere on streaming...)

Loved the pilot, set everything up very quickly, good character development.  Love the sets, especially the workplace.  (Can't imagine what the rent for that space would be in SF!)  I really like the guy who's all "yeah! you got promoted" on the outside and all evil on the inside.  I wonder how long it will take for the real him to surface? 

My one complaint... Who in their right mind would put a completely disabled man in a sailboat without a lifevest on??? 

 

I have no idea why none of them were wearing vests. It was bugging me.

13 hours ago, chaifan said:

From the Primetime review today:

"Somewhat fascinatingly, the premise of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist happens to match the real-life story of cast-member Mary Steenburgen, who in real life awoke from surgery hearing music all around her. It's part of how she wrote the Oscar-contending song for the indie film Wild Rose."

What the what???  How haven't we heard about that before?

I have no idea! You think that'd be more known

6 hours ago, Lovecat said:

I’ve long held the belief that life would be better with more spontaneous musical numbers, so I’m all in for this show 🙂

I imagine living in a musical would be horrifying if you are not a named character. So you're going through your day, had a long commute, then in the train station when you are transferring trains an ordinary woman walks by, but then all of a sudden your feet start to itch and you feel a tickle in your throat! Then you are compelled to sing and dance for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, a song that either expresses what this character is feeling, or something to do with a problem they are having.

And of course, you miss your train because you were sucked into the Main Character Vortex.

4 hours ago, LisaM said:

I think that Zoey mentioned that her dad could not swallow anymore (in connection with the granola). Did they actually mention the name of his disease?

I believe they said he had some kind of progressive palsy. Like progressive supranerval palsy or something like that

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3 minutes ago, bros402 said:

I have no idea why none of them were wearing vests. It was bugging me.

The sails were fully inflated, yet there didn't appear to be any wake around the boat.  That led me to think that it was not exactly real, and so the lack of life vests may have been an effect of that.  An oversight, to be sure. 

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2 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:
2 hours ago, bros402 said:

I have no idea why none of them were wearing vests. It was bugging me.

The sails were fully inflated, yet there didn't appear to be any wake around the boat.  That led me to think that it was not exactly real, and so the lack of life vests may have been an effect of that.  An oversight, to be sure

Or maybe the lack of life vests was just an aesthetic choice. The fully inflated sails on the unruffled water could be too. Altogether we saw a scene of tranquility brought about by setting sail. 

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17 hours ago, chaifan said:

From the Primetime review today:

"Somewhat fascinatingly, the premise of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist happens to match the real-life story of cast-member Mary Steenburgen, who in real life awoke from surgery hearing music all around her. It's part of how she wrote the Oscar-contending song for the indie film Wild Rose."

What the what???  How haven't we heard about that before?

There was a lot of press about it last year because of the song that she wrote for Wild Rose. Now that it's awards season, the story may be re-emerging (fingers crossed that Mary's song is nominated for an Oscar!). This is one of the articles about what happened: The Wild Story of How Mary Steenburgen Wrote the Best Original Movie Song of the Year. Some of the highlights:

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Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen went under the knife for a routine surgery in 2009. Hours later, she woke up as a different person — and became a great songwriter.

The bizarre odyssey of how Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen came to co-write the euphoric power-ballad that Jessie Buckley performs at the end of “Wild Rose” — easily the year’s best original movie song — began 10 years ago, when the “Melvin and Howard” star woke up after a minor arm surgery feeling like her mind was on fire.

“I felt strange as soon as the anesthesia started to wear off,” Steenburgen said. “The best way I can describe it is that it just felt like my brain was only music, and that everything anybody said to me became musical. All of my thoughts became musical. Every street sign became musical. I couldn’t get my mind into any other mode.”

[...]

When the music didn’t go away, Steenburgen realized that she had to do something with it — if only for her sanity — even though she didn’t know how to play an instrument. “I called a very talented friend of mine on Martha’s Vineyard and I said: ‘Look, if I come over every day and sing what I hear in my head, could you help me make them into songs?’” she said. She wrote hundreds of songs that summer and sent 12 of the best ones to a music lawyer under her mother’s name. “He wanted to work with ‘Nellie Wall,’ but then I showed up instead,” she said.

The next thing she knew, Steenburgen had been signed to Universal as a songwriter and was on a plane to Nashville. It was the first stride on a strange path that would eventually lead to Tom Harper and Jessie Buckley’s doorstep almost a decade later.

[...]

As it turned out, Steenburgen had spent the last few years toiling away on her own dream of making it in Music City. And despite the many advantages that her fame might have afforded her, she was more nervous about going there than Rose-Lynn Harlan has ever been about anything. “It was terrifying,” she said. “The first session I did was a total disaster, and I literally went back to my hotel room in tears, cried my eyes out, and thought ‘Why would anyone be so stupid at age 54 to think they could do something so new?’”

But she also felt like she didn’t have much of a choice. “I was back at it by the next morning,” she said. “I just told myself: ‘I’m going to go right up and sing the bleeping song if it kills me!’”

[...]

Steenburgen’s career experience also gave her a unique advantage over the competition: While most of the songwriters who submitted demos for “Wild Rose” were content to read a plot synopsis and work in broad strokes from there, Steenburgen approached the assignment as if the song were a character for her to play. “I fought to get the full script, because I just felt like I was looking at such a small part of the story without it,” she said. “Where does Rose-Lynn live? What does her apartment look like? I needed to think of imagery that might be cohesive with what the production designer, the cinematographer, and the composer would be doing; there are all these people you haven’t met yet who are telling the same story. And as soon as I read the whole thing, I understood what we were writing.”

That process led to a realization: “It was a really love song from Rose-Lynn to her mother …It was also a love song to her city and a love song to the concept of home and the fact that home doesn’t have to be second best for her or something that she settles for.”

[...]

“I didn’t fall out of love with acting when this happened,” Steenburgen said, “and I still haven’t. But there’s so much more capability in our brains than we probably realize, and agreeing to diminishment and shutting down doors is a choice that we all make for ourselves. It turns out you don’t really have to do that.”

The song:

 

9 hours ago, Kromm said:

The lead is good. I was worried she's be too perky from the general concept and frankly, her appearance, and she's kind of the opposite, which is good.  Also, although 80% of her job is reacting, I think so far they're striking a decent balance where she balances out reacting with acting.

I know Jane Levy from Suburgatory and Shameless, and on both shows she played characters that were the opposite of perky. I recommend Suburgatory (which you can still watch on Amazon).

22 hours ago, 2727 said:

Man, the music licensing fees must be half the budget. I can already envision that being the death knell for any possible syndication/DVD/streaming deals down the line. Ideally the producers factored that in.

 

5 hours ago, Brian Cronin said:

All of these licensing deals now including DVD and streaming worked into it. The death knell in the past was that shows didn't have that stuff factored in, so they would have to negotiate new licensing deals every time the show was used in a new medium for EVERY song they used, and obviously that was way more trouble than it was worth for most shows (I'm still amazed that Rhino eventually worked out a deal with 99% of the artists on WKRP in Cincinnati for a box set of the show...sadly, even 99% left a bunch of notable songs missing, including the very prominently used Pink Floyd songs). 

As @Brian Cronin explained, it's usually only older shows that have an issue with having to re-license music for DVDs and streaming because back in ye olden days, musical clearances were usually only done for the original airings/reruns and sometimes syndication (and not all shows did musical clearances for syndication). Back then, not all shows were released on VHS and even when they were it was often a collection of episodes, not the entire season.

The advent of DVDs and releasing full seasons is what brought about a big change in musical licensing agreements. There were SO many shows that people were clamoring for on DVD that were held up because of musical clearances. The choices were pay for the music again (sometimes at MUCH higher rates) or replace the music. Joan of Arcadia (which Mary Steenburgen starred in) was one of the last shows to have this as a major issue. They chose to just replace some of the music. Freaks & Geeks chose to pay to get all of the songs used on the show re-licensed but they passed that cost on to everyone who pre-ordered the box set (I think I paid $99 for the non-fancy version aka without the yearbook and all the extras). I thought The Wonder Years would NEVER be released on DVD because of the musical clearances but they finally managed to do it and they only had to replace 14 songs (they were able to get clearances for 285 songs - they spent two years and seven figures on getting the musical clearances). But since then, shows now include the DVD/streaming rights with the musical licensing so that they won't have to renegotiate (and pay again) later.

Fun fact: the song that held up the first DVD set of My So-Called Life was the one sung by the church choir in the Christmas episode. Someone had to track down each of the singers and get them to sign new paperwork. This was back in 2001 aka before Facebook and Twitter so although the internet existed, it still wasn't super easy to find random people.

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I guess this is a show for people who love Flash Mob videos.

It seems like no matter how long the musical number seems for Zoey, it is instantaneous of everybody else.

The show must be exhausting for Jane Levy since she has to be in or near every dance number since she is their cause. Also there doesn't appear to be any scenes that she is not in or story lines that are not directly related to her.

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I don't like the song True Colors at all, but I thought that scene was lovely.

I also adored the Help Number with Zoey being chased around by the crowd.  Hee!

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2 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I guess this is a show for people who love Flash Mob videos.

God no, I hate flash mobs.  Even when they first started, I only thought it was a fun and clever prank. It quickly became an obnoxious invasion into other people's space and then, worse, a faux spontaneous event fad.

Thank you  EB for posting that video.  It's a great song and the clips of the movie look really interesting.

Based on this article on the home page, it appears music rights are not an issue for this show

Quote

Can you say corporate synergy? Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist is the first project to come out of a mega deal between Universal Music Group (which is part of NBCUniversal, corporate parent to NBC) and Lionsgate Television, signed back in 2018. Under this multiyear deal, the two companies are developing original scripted and unscripted television series drawn from UMG’s portfolio of labels, artists and music, with plans to release accompanying soundtrack albums for each project. 

 

Edited by RachelKM
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Shame on Zoe for throwing away two perfectly delicious, uneaten cheesecakes! Give them away instead!

This!

Love Zoe's cute clothes. Skylar Astin is one of my movie/TV boyfriends, so that is good.

I would almost like it if they told us that this show will be 1 season, or 2 or 3 ... just a finite # so that we can enjoy it while it lasts. 

Mixing different cereals reminded me of Rory doing that on Gilmore Girls.

On a superficial note, I hate to say that I don't think Lauren Graham is aging well. On the one hand, I hate actors/actresses who have so much work done that you say "What did they do to their face?!?!"; however, there are some 50-something-ish people who really look great in a more natural way. Oh well. She is still gorgeous.

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I'm looking to future episodes, but I tend to watch any sort of musical-type shows even when the show is no longer good (*cough*Glee*cough*).

I could have sworn I saw both Lauren Graham and Peter Gallagher in "Guys and Dolls," but it turns out they were in different revivals. (Peter Gallagher was a replacement for Sky Masterson in the 90s revival that lasted for 3 years. Lauren Graham was in the very short 2009 revival as Adelaide.

I'm looking forward to future guest appearances. This will be a good replacement for the loss of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." Plus Peter Gallagher and his glorious, glorious eyebrows. 

23 hours ago, Darian said:

I wondered what some of the cast, including Alex Newell, was doing now, but didn't look any of them up. It was a nice surprise to see Alex here. 

He made his Broadway debut in 2017 for the revival of "Once on This Island." He performed in the 2018 Tony Awards with the cast.

FYI, another Glee Project alumnus who appeared in Glee, Ali Stoker, won Supporting Actress Tony in 2019 for her performance in the Oklahoma revival.

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1 hour ago, Unraveled said:

I could have sworn I saw both Lauren Graham and Peter Gallagher in "Guys and Dolls," but it turns out they were in different revivals. (Peter Gallagher was a replacement for Sky Masterson in the 90s revival that lasted for 3 years. Lauren Graham was in the very short 2009 revival as Adelaide.

Like you, I kept watching Glee until the bitter end. It was so good in the beginning which is what made the decline so much worse. 

FYI - Peter Gallagher wasn’t a replacement in the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls. He was an original cast member and is on the OBC recording. The 2009 revival was pretty terrible. I posted videos of both productions in the cast thread. 

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I bawled during True Colors. Like fucking hell!

I didn't expect the show to have that kind of emotional tinge to it and I sorta hate that it does but I'll still keep watching unless it just gets to be too depressing for me.

Apparently I'm the only one but I hope they continue to have lots of musical moments. 

I personally can not stand Lauren Graham and she is almost painful for me to look at so I was glad she was only listed as a guest star. I'm hoping maybe she'll just fade away eventually lol.

I've never heard of Eli Stone, which surprises me. I need to look into it.

I feel like 99% sure this show will not last more than 1 season but I'm still gonna keep watching it.

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Like usual, I feel a little left out because I didn't love it.  I didn't hate it, but realistically I don't know that I can handle that many musical numbers.  It is one of the things I didn't like about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and they even limited theirs to a few.  And I like musicals, but I find it disruptive in tv sitcoms if it isn't managed well.  

I wish Peter's character had a storyline that he could be more active as well.

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