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S01.E12: Zoey’s Extraordinary Dad

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7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

No other song would have had a better last line (“Singin' this'll be the day that I die“),    

Added to that, opening with "Bad Moon Rising", which has the lines 'Hope you got your things together; I hope you are quite prepared to die; Look's like we're in for nasty weather;
One eye is taken for an eye'.

And by the way, Zoey, thanks for the 'OK, Boomer" moment when you said "It's a song about some guy singing about a bad moon rising."  🙂

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20 minutes ago, Dowel Jones said:

And by the way, Zoey, thanks for the 'OK, Boomer" moment when you said "It's a song about some guy singing about a bad moon rising."  🙂

At least she didn't say "there's a bathroom on the right"...

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

No, you didn’t hallucinate the chair lift. They installed it a few episodes ago after they seemingly ditched the hospital bed —but I guess it was still in the dining room —which makes more sense. 
 

Fortunately I am unfamiliar with the Wierd Al lyrics to American Pie. 

Thank you! Guess I forgot about it. 

For me, I love Weird Al's version, even if it did intrude slightly. Lots of fond family memories surround that song.

5 hours ago, Earmuffs Mom said:

I went through this with my dad ten years ago when he died of lung cancer.  I remember the hospice nurse referred to that last burst of energy shortly before the end as "the surge."  I distinctly remember my dad's surge.  So when Mitch was alert, hitting that buzzer, and interacting with people, I looked at my husband and said, "It's the surge."  So heartbreaking.

Me too, the moment Mitch was alert, I thought of mother's surge.

3 hours ago, ams1001 said:

At least she didn't say "there's a bathroom on the right"...

That song is literally playing right now! And I have never been able to unhear the bathroom misunderstood lyric! 😂

Edited by Clanstarling
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When it comes to this love triangle it's just another situation of the black guy getting the short end of the stick. They made Zoey and Simon messy out of the gate while trying to portray Max's love as pure. I don't know why they made it a triangle , based on how it was set up it was unnecessary to begin with.  Another poster said Simon doesn't stand a chance but lets be real he never did.

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That was heartbreaking. I lost when they started singing "Good Night, my Angel". Not many shows handle death well. this show did. As for using American Pie, to me it seems like this show picks it's song for some of the lyrics more than the actual meaning of the songs. I don't think Zoey lost her powers, that's the whole point of the show. But I do think they can make it where she's so wrapped up in her grief that she's not listening to others anymore. Then of course something snaps her out of it probably the birth of her nephew and she starts hearing songs again. 

While I still don't like Max. I did laugh at him being unable to stop singing when trying to hook up with Zoey. I'm still Team Simon. 

Lauren Graham is going to star in The Mighty Ducks tv show. That's why she's either leaving or going to have an even more reduced role. Especially since the pandemic halted filming. 

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Mo's "so what did I do? I put on this ponytail ..." had me rolling. (I preferred his long dark wig he had on in the first scene though.)

I honestly do not care who Zoey ends up with; my feelings on will they/won't they/love triangles are well-documented (short answer: I get very bored with them very fast, and I'm past that point here). When Max said "Sexier, dirtier," I was like "okay then!" in a good way (I think it was the line delivery), but then when he started with the gyrating I was like "OH NO" because IMO he's not sexy in that way.

That caregiver/hospice nurse is fantastic. I remember that conversation at the ends of my grandparents' lives. I became weepy when the brother said simply "I thought he'd meet his grandson," and during "Lullabye" I lost it. That was beautiful.

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I loved Tobin being proud of his high cholesterol and then admitting it scared him.

 

92 percentile baby.

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What I don't like about the use of American Pie is now I have that song stuck in my head. 

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Even being sure it was coming, Mitch dying still felt so terribly painful. I thought that American Pie was a perfect way to end the season (series?) as not only did it give almost the entire ensemble a chance to shine with thematically appropriate lyrics to each character (I thought that Simon getting the "I know that your in love with him" line when he saw Max and Zoey together and shook Max's hand was especially interesting) but I think that the song just really worked in the situation. Not only is the song about dealing with the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Vallens, and the Big Bopper, but also about loss of innocence and the end of an era, which also works really well for Mitch's death. It ties into Howies speech about death being both scary and horrible but also peaceful and even optimistic, being a song that jumps from sad to happy to bittersweet over and over. Plus, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that this is the (at least temporary) end of Zoeys powers. The day the music died indeed. 

While I loved that sequence, the one that just punched me repeatedly in the gut until the tears came flowing was definitely Goodnight My Angel. I really should not have watched this episode at work... 

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5 hours ago, Steph01924 said:

Thanks for that link! It is a good interview:

Quote

…Certainly, in writing Episode 12, I cried. I cried on set, watching them rehearse “American Pie.” I had a hard day, the day where he was dying in the bed. When I watched the first cut of Episode 12, I cried multiple times. So, it’s hard to completely dissociate from it—and yet I do feel like my best writing comes out of writing what I know…

(deadline.com/2020/05/zoeys-extraordinary-playlist-finale-spoiles-austin-winsberg-interview-season-2-plans-1202921434)

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1 hour ago, Darian said:

That moment was one of many that got me, too. I was a home hospice RN (and now in hospice myself, with a fabulous nurse, but she's no Howie), and it was one of the best, most rewarding jobs I ever had, but it could be hard. When I was new, the nurse training me said I had a "hospice heart." I guess I thought it meant especially loving or something but I came to understand that yes, it meant loving, but it also meant being able to care for, even love, your clients and their families but be able to lose them and keep doing the job without hardening. Something like that. I feel like there was a nod to that balance in that moment. 

I love this show. 

First - huge hugs and love to you as a home hospice RN - I am forever grateful for the nurses that looked after my mom in the ICU and then on the hospice floor. I can only imagine the extra bond of in-home care during that extremely difficult time. I hope that you are being well taken care of now - and glad that you have a fabulous nurse! 

Second - Howie was a critical component of this show - every second of his character showed that balancing act. The ability to balance answering questions that this is normal, doing things that help physically as well as mentally and socially, and doing what they can to continue comfort has got to be hard. And this show didn't shy away from the grit that a terminal illness has. Families are grieving long before those final moments. they grieve as the lose bits and pieces of who their parent was to the disease. This show summed it up beautifully. I haven't reacted this strongly to a show in a very long time. I have actively avoided parent deaths on shows and movies - yet this one was therapeutic in a way. Because they had these detailed moments that celebrated the small wins while allowing for the grief. I am going to cry again just thinking about it. 

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8 hours ago, Notwisconsin said:

No, it was about the plane crash that Killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and JB (Big Bopper) Richardson in January 1959 and it's aftermath. I kind of understood the reason for using the song.

Other people told me this as well. Thank you

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

the one that just punched me repeatedly in the gut until the tears came flowing was definitely Goodnight My Angel.

That was the perfect song for that scene.  When it was over, I just bawled.

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Zoey doesent even know Bad Moon Rising? That girl really does need a musical crash course! 

I thought this episode was great, as a season finale and as a possible series finale (although I hope not) for the show. It gave us closure for Mitch and Zoey, one of the biggest threads of the season, but left some things open for further seasons, most notably the Zoey/Simon/Mac triangle. They seem to be leaning towards Max/Zoey this week, as Zoey made a big move on Max and Max finally stopped being such a dick and was actually being a supportive nice person again, even before he realized that Zoey was into him now, and with him even calling Simon to come by as he knew that Simon could understand more of what she is going through. However, I dont think that Simon is out of the game quite yet! 

Of course, the love triangle isnt really the important part of this episode, its the death of Mich and everyone coming to terms with his passing. I am going to miss Peter Gallagher so much, but at least they gave him a great send off, with one more great song and that wonderful dance with Zoey reprising True Colors. I feel like True Colors was what really sold me on this show in the pilot, that this show could be more than a gimmicky musical bit of escapism, so I was moved to hear it again as we and Zoey say goodbye to Mitch. 

"Like a Pomeranian in a tutu." So it sounds like Joan might be heading off to run the greater company, so does that mean that Lauren Graham will be reoccurring if they do another season? I think I read that she is filming another pilot, so maybe she wants to do double duty but focus more on the other one? Well, I guess how long she is gone depends on if the CIA finds that disc in her bosses sisters basement!

The guy from the lab in the hospital singing I Got The Music In Me makes me wonder if he knows more about what is going on then he was letting on....

This episode was so sad, I am glad that they managed to throw a few laughs in, especially with Tobin, who has really done a turn around for me since he was a once dimensional jerk at the start of the show. "This is how I cope." 

The Goodnight My Angel bit just killed me dead, the actors were really wonderful throughout. I cant imagine being so close to at last getting to let your dad meet your child, and it just doesent work out. Especially when they put Mitch's hand on Emily's stomach. In general, I thought that the realization that Mitch was about to die was so realistic, really catching that terrible and almost awkward time when someone who has been sick is clearly about to die. Its this bizarre combination of mourning and waiting and trying to figure out if its a good time to get something to eat or find a restroom, the almost feeling of relief that their pain is ending after a long illness, its just so confusing, and the waiting is almost worse than the actual moment of death, I found the whole sequence to be really true to experiences I have seen before. 

They made an extremely good choice in Howie as their hospice worker, he is such a great guy, and he was so great throughout the whole thing, talking to Zoey about death and how complicated it can be, helping Mitch pass peacefully, one of the saddest moments for me the whole heartbreaking episode was Howie packing up and leaving after the funeral. Their family got so close with him, and now him leaving is just one more loss, even if its clearly not the same. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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4 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

"Like a Pomeranian in a tutu."

That was the description of Zoey I was trying to remember!

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While I really loved the show, I think that it shouldn't have a second season. The arc played itself out perfectly, and when something ends, it should end.

Unless that is, as sometimes happens, the main story is supposed to be in the second season, and season one is a later written prequel. But I don't think that's the case here.

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This was really well done! Given that my own father died six months ago, I felt the show was ripping the tears directly from my own heart. Even though I'd like to re-watch to better appreciate the whole American Pie finale, I don't think i can do that to myself again.

I agree with the earlier poster that some of the performers seemed to get a level of autotune assist that we aren't used to hearing.

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2 hours ago, Notwisconsin said:

While I really loved the show, I think that it shouldn't have a second season. The arc played itself out perfectly, and when something ends, it should end.

So does that mean you felt it should have been a miniseries instead of a regular show?  Just because the first arc was really good doesn't mean that the show should end, in my opinion.

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Ugh Simon. I know we are supposed to like him, but he just reminds me of so many dudes that have no idea how to be on their own and need a woman around to do all the emotional work for them. 

His dad died and he was with Jessica and rather than therapy or whatever, he just gets upset she doesn't 100% get what he's dealing with... Even though he isn't telling her. Then Zoey shows up, he gets to use her as an emotional dump, decides it's love and wants to jump right into a relationship with her the day after he breaks up with his fiancée. 

I want to see him take 3 months off from dating, work through his grief over the death of his father, loss of a bug relationship, mom's remarriage, etc. Then, maybe I won't help so ugh about the idea of him with Zoey. 

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Major pet peeve that I know isn’t rational in a “everyone’s in a musical” show: what the fuck does Zoey use for transportation, a rocketship? A flying car that bypasses allllll traffic? If she’s still at her apartment at 8am, and I’m assuming her parents either live in Marin, the east bay, or the Peninsula, so even if she doesn’t get to work until 10-11 after visiting her parents (not that she actually ever does any work since she has time to also eat a cupcake with Skylar Astin), it drives me nuts that she travels between her apartment, her parents house and work multiple times a day at lightning speed.
 

sincerely,

- a bay arean who doesn’t miss her pre-SIP commute 

/grumble grumble 

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I started crying about 25 minutes in and didn't stop until I had watched American Pie twice. Tremendously emotional. My heart sunk at the final shot of Mitch's empty seat. (My dad's seat is still empty 4 years later.) 

If this is the series finale, it worked well. I hope we get a season 2. 

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I cried a lot, so much that I had to watch it in spurts because my kids (they’re 6) were like “mommy, why are you crying?”  
I heard the first notes of “goodnight my angel” and said “no,no,no” because I knew I was about to lose it. 
For me, the weird Al song that has taken over its original is Amish Paradise. It’s brilliant. 

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On 5/3/2020 at 10:06 PM, topanga said:

Why did Zoey kiss Max? I thought she didn’t like him in a romantic way? I’m so confused.

I don't think Zoey didn't like him romantically, it's more that she didn't think it was the right time for them, between her dealing with all the stuff with her father and (at that time) Zoey being Max's supervisor. But that roadblock was gone and he showed a different side to himself--it was a turn-on.

That said, I don't think she's made up her mind/heart between Max and Simon. She likes both of them.

On 5/3/2020 at 10:17 PM, Autumn said:

I also hate American Pie (it is one of those songs that was played to death when I was younger).  I feel it was chosen because it is long enough so everyone got a featured line or two that were randomly distributed.

I didn't feel like the lines were distributed randomly. Despite the song being a series of nonsequitors, they fit the characters perfectly.

On 5/3/2020 at 10:22 PM, PurpleGirl43 said:

Man, when I heard the first few notes of ‘Lullaby (Good Night My Angel)’, I said ‘oh no’, because I knew it was going to be gut wrenching.

Like so many others, it just took the first few notes of this to get my crying. Perfect, perfect choice.

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18 minutes ago, VartanFan said:

For me, the weird Al song that has taken over its original is Amish Paradise. It’s brilliant. 

I have an a capella cover of Amish Paradise done by my college's men's a capella group circa 1997. I went to school in Lancaster County, PA, so I guess it was required. 😉 

 

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13 hours ago, Steph01924 said:

why Max/Zoey kissed this episode (essentially, to make it fair because Simon got some lip action in other episodes). Sounds like the creator is ALL in on making this love triangle play out for quite a while, which is...annoying, to say the least. 

This really irritates to me. It’s fine if Zoey doesn’t know what she wants but kissing your best friend when you know he’s in love with you while your still conflicted is fucked up.
 

This week in the love triangle Zoey didn’t look good. She’s goes out of her way to tell Simon he has no reason to be jealous which is clearly a lie. It also bothers me that Zoey is still hiding how she knows what Simon is feeling. He’s talking about honesty and she’s keeping something very big from him. 

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Creative series.  Hope it continues.

Edited by K-9
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5 hours ago, Dani said:

This really irritates to me. It’s fine if Zoey doesn’t know what she wants but kissing your best friend when you know he’s in love with you while your still conflicted is fucked up.

Agree. But I think she’s doing messed up stuff because she’s really fucked up right now.  She’s not thinking clearly about anything. 

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23 hours ago, TAG42481 said:

So does that mean you felt it should have been a miniseries instead of a regular show?  Just because the first arc was really good doesn't mean that the show should end, in my opinion.

Some shows shouldn't go on forever. I've always liked he idea of one and done. Construct the story, do the show and then go. How I Met Your Mother lasted too long and thus the ending totally sucked. Westworld had a magnificent first season, an decent second season, an a lousy third season. They should quit while they're ahead.

 

On 5/4/2020 at 11:14 AM, ams1001 said:

At least she didn't say "there's a bathroom on the right"...

I guess that a plug for this book is necessary...

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10 hours ago, MVFrostsMyPie said:

Major pet peeve that I know isn’t rational in a “everyone’s in a musical” show: what the fuck does Zoey use for transportation, a rocketship? A flying car that bypasses allllll traffic? If she’s still at her apartment at 8am, and I’m assuming her parents either live in Marin, the east bay, or the Peninsula, so even if she doesn’t get to work until 10-11 after visiting her parents (not that she actually ever does any work since she has time to also eat a cupcake with Skylar Astin), it drives me nuts that she travels between her apartment, her parents house and work multiple times a day at lightning speed.
 

sincerely,

- a bay arean who doesn’t miss her pre-SIP commute 

/grumble grumble 

As a former bay arean, I get your grumble. It seems like it's always that way, unless the plot has something to do with being held up by traffic.

The first time I noticed it was as a child watching the Sound of Music, and Maria ran down from the Untersberg to downtown during the ringing of the bells. She's running down a freaking Alp outside of Salzburg (also ... Salzburgean). Just for yucks, I checked it out and Google Maps has it as a 31 minute trip by car.

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1 hour ago, Clanstarling said:

As a former bay arean, I get your grumble. It seems like it's always that way, unless the plot has something to do with being held up by traffic.

The first time I noticed it was as a child watching the Sound of Music, and Maria ran down from the Untersberg to downtown during the ringing of the bells. She's running down a freaking Alp outside of Salzburg (also ... Salzburgean). Just for yucks, I checked it out and Google Maps has it as a 31 minute trip by car.

FTL travel by car becomes an inside joke on some shows (Fringe, The Mentalist) but I actually didn't notice it on this show, perhaps because the to-and-fro-ing isn't part of major plot points, it's more like exiting the scene and appearing in another.

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6 hours ago, Notwisconsin said:

How I Met Your Mother lasted too long and thus the ending totally sucked.

AGREED.  I watched the show from the pilot through the end of the 6th season, then quit solely on principle - it had nothing to do with meeting the mother at that point.

But you also said "Some shows shouldn't go on forever. I've always liked he idea of one and done."  Well, isn't it that the definition of a miniseries???

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What in the actual fuck? That was a 7 minute continuous shot! I'm sure there must have been some invisible cuts in there. It's not possible to do this at a TV show scheduel otherwise, but other than the front door to the house right in the beginning and the pan to the winter garden in the middle, I couldn't see any places where they could have easily been hidden and I watched this twice now.

I am extremely impressed. Bravo!

Not to mention the song and choreography during that song were beautiful.

Great and moving episode.

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OK, here's how I think the second season should go...  they should take total advantage of the pandemic and stay in place orders, and start Season 2 just as everyone is allowed to go out again.  (I'll allow a little handwaiving so that the show's virus is 100% gone for good, so no mask wearing or easing into social distancing and our economy isn't a wreck and everyone still has their jobs.)  This gives Zoey and Max and Simon all very good reason to spend 2-3 months away from each other and sort out their lives/feelings, and in the end they realize they can all live perfectly well without each other and can all just be friends, thus ending the love triangle.  Joan is enjoying working from her incredibly fantastic home so much we never see her on screen again.  (wink wink) 

The episode starts with Zoey checking her mail and hearing the agoraphobic downstairs neighbor sarcastically singing "I'm Free" (to do what I want, any old time), as she's fully enjoyed the stay in place order.  Eddie's cruise was cancelled and he and Mo got quarantined together.  David & ?'s baby is born.  Howie got stuck quarantining at Maggie's house (don't ask, just go with it) and they have converted the sunroom to a high end all organic heirloom seed pot greenhouse, catering to SF's elite. 

Does that work for everyone? 

 

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

FTL travel by car becomes an inside joke on some shows (Fringe, The Mentalist) but I actually didn't notice it on this show, perhaps because the to-and-fro-ing isn't part of major plot points, it's more like exiting the scene and appearing in another.

It bothered me on this show because so many times Zoey would get up, have a scene with Mo, go to her parents' house, and THEN go to work. And then have coffee/breakfast with Max/Simon. It was just a LOT for the mornings, assuming these people didn't live and work within a 1-mile radius.

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1 hour ago, TAG42481 said:

But you also said "Some shows shouldn't go on forever. I've always liked he idea of one and done."  Well, isn't it that the definition of a miniseries???

Not really. Miniserieses are usually shorter. If this was on netflix or HBO, it would be a called a limited series. Most miniseries are between two and six episodes long.

What I'm thinking about is something like The Prisoner from 1968, which had a full 13 episode run and wasn't designed to have any further seasons.

Some miniserieses HAVE had second seasons, The Winds of War was so popular, they got the cast back together to do the original novel's sequel, Of War and Remembrance.

it's an interesting topic, but for our purposes, Zoey is about the death of her father Mitch, plus a gimmck. That's it.

 

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10 hours ago, Prower said:

What in the actual fuck? That was a 7 minute continuous shot! I'm sure there must have been some invisible cuts in there. It's not possible to do this at a TV show scheduel otherwise, but other than the front door to the house right in the beginning and the pan to the winter garden in the middle, I couldn't see any places where they could have easily been hidden and I watched this twice now.

I am extremely impressed. Bravo!

Not to mention the song and choreography during that song were beautiful.

Great and moving episode.

According to interviews with the creator it was one shot from the time they enter the house until the end. It’s amazing to watch realizing how much was going on off camera to make that work. 

9 hours ago, Notwisconsin said:

it's an interesting topic, but for our purposes, Zoey is about the death of her father Mitch, plus a gimmck. That's it.

 

I agree that it’s about Zoey’s dads death but I do not think that story is over. To me it’s about a family coping with the grief of a terminal illness and that doesn’t end with death. These characters still have a journey to go through. 

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53 minutes ago, Dani said:

According to interviews with the creator it was one shot from the time the enter the house until the end. It’s amazing to watch realizing how much was going on off camera to make that work. 

That is seriously hard to believe. There are so many moving pieces and at the end you even have Jane Levy singing live (granted not perfect, but appropriate for the situation). That would be a huge order even for a movie, let alone a TV show. If it's true, I'm even more impressed than before.

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2 hours ago, springbarb said:

It bothered me on this show because so many times Zoey would get up, have a scene with Mo, go to her parents' house, and THEN go to work. And then have coffee/breakfast with Max/Simon. It was just a LOT for the mornings, assuming these people didn't live and work within a 1-mile radius.

Not to mention the extended lunch breaks too, such as going to Mo's boyfriend's dance audition, (which, really, half the reason tech companies entice you with shellfish and/or oatmeal bars is so you won't keep leaving your workplace to grab lunch) after she'd already skedaddled from her apartment, to Mo's, to her parents, and to work, and possibly also to a cafe pre-work. No wonder everyone wanted to move to floor 6! I think usually I can let things like this slide, but as a local I'm painfully aware of how much traffic sucks around here (when there's not a pandemic going on); we're not that far behind LA!

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I watched American Pie a few more times and I still can't get over how well done it was. 

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I dunno. I think the commute issue is completely doable. If Sprqpoint is basically supposed to be Google, then it’s not actually located in San Francisco. It’s in Mountain View/Palo Alto. Zoey could have an apartment anywhere in that area. Her parents could have a lovely home in Palo Alto. So she could easily toodle back and forth between home/work/parent’s house and never even have to get on the freeway. So many of the dot com places are in Palo Alto that this scenario is easy to work out.

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On 5/4/2020 at 2:33 PM, Sakura12 said:

That was heartbreaking. I lost when they started singing "Good Night, my Angel". Not many shows handle death well. this show did. As for using American Pie, to me it seems like this show picks it's song for some of the lyrics more than the actual meaning of the songs. I don't think Zoey lost her powers, that's the whole point of the show. But I do think they can make it where she's so wrapped up in her grief that she's not listening to others anymore. Then of course something snaps her out of it probably the birth of her nephew and she starts hearing songs again. 

American Pie was used because it was the showrunner's dad's favorite song (He died of PSP - and was the man the episode was dedicated to) 

11 hours ago, Prower said:

What in the actual fuck? That was a 7 minute continuous shot! I'm sure there must have been some invisible cuts in there. It's not possible to do this at a TV show scheduel otherwise, but other than the front door to the house right in the beginning and the pan to the winter garden in the middle, I couldn't see any places where they could have easily been hidden and I watched this twice now.

I am extremely impressed. Bravo!

Not to mention the song and choreography during that song were beautiful.

Great and moving episode.

According to the showrunner, it was a continuous shot - they took six tries to get it, but they did. 

"Believe it or not, we’ve got it right on take six. Because we were so well rehearsed and had done it so many times leading up to it, we only ended up doing seven takes. We all felt great about take six, and then we did one more take just to make sure, in case there were any problems will take six."

 

https://tvline.com/2020/05/03/zoeys-extraordinary-playlist-recap-season-1-episode-12-finale-zoey-max-kiss-mitch-dies/

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Just rewatched, and I think I laughed even harder at Max repeatedly breaking into song, and Zoey’s frustration.

Andrew Leeds during Goodnight My Angel. Perfection.

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Ooh, omelette bar! I love that Tobin already had three by the time Zoey got to work and was bragging about his high cholesterol.

I first heard I Will Follow Him on Rags to Riches, a shortlived 80s musical tv show set in the 60s so it seems weirdly apropos that it is now being used on another musical tv show over 30 years later. I did not like Alex Newell on the Glee Project so I love that he has grown so much since then. If you had told me ten years ago that he would go on to star on Broadway and be a character I love on a tv show with Tessa Altman, I probably wouldn't have believed you.

I laughed SO HARD when Zoey asked Max to think of something else and he busted out Pitbull.

And then, of course, the inevitable happened. I knew that her father's death was coming and that it would break my heart. I am glad that the show did not shy away from showing the reality of what death is. Most of the time when death is portrayed on tv, there are only a few options: the off screen death, the quiet/peaceful death of a person who was asleep, or the sudden and violent death that we see on medical dramas where a piano falls on someone and they're impaled by rebar and then they flatline as a doctor is frantically working to save them. Very few shows give an honest and realistic betrayal of the time right before death actually happens - the slow labored breathing, the awkward silence (I'm guessing that's because most shows want to focus on the reactions of the characters who are NOT dying so they can get those Emmy submission scenes).

Dear sweet Howie - I am going to miss him. He made such an impact in only a few episodes. His compassion and kindness throughout the process and particularly near the end are what we can only hope for. I can't imagine what it must be like to grow close to families, spend so much time with them, watch their loved one die, and then just leave. All I know is that I don't have the personality to have that kind of job. I would be devastated at not only witnessing so much death but walking away from so many families (it should also be noted that I am a big crybaby so I'd be sobbing while administering morphine and generally losing my shit while doing my job if I were Howie).

My dad died six years ago so it's not as fresh a wound as it is for, say, Simon, but watching this episode was painful because it was so realistic. I really applaud the writers and the actors for laying it so bare and not trying to make it pretty. I was crying almost nonstop through the second half of the entire episode. Weirdly, I found it a little cathartic because of the realism.

And A+ for that continuous shot of the last number. That required a lot of work and it was done beautifully. Several years ago, a show that did a continuous shot had a behind the scenes video that showed all the hustle and bustle behind the camera with people running around while the actors looked perfectly composed. It really made me appreciate how difficult those shots are to compose, choreograph, and shoot. The American Pie one had the camera weaving in and out of different rooms of the house so it must have been really complicated to do.

ETA: Here is a side by side video of a one shot scene that was less than two minutes long. The right side is what is seen on camera. The left side is what's actually happening behind the scenes. Now imagine adding singing and several rooms and you'll get an idea how complicated shooting the last scene of this episode must have been.

 

On 5/3/2020 at 8:08 PM, UGAmp said:

I just can’t believe this is what she wants to be doing in tv after carrying several shows on her own but a paycheck is a paycheck) in the event the show gets renewed. 

I can believe it. Being the lead is a lot of work and it's a lot of pressure, and it's even more work when you're on a show with singing and dancing. There's choreography rehearsal, having to record the songs (almost no shows with music use live singing), and having to shoot scenes multiple times so that the cameras can get different angles. Being a secondary character is less of a time commitment and a lot less work. Lauren Graham knows what it's like to be the lead and how much work is involved. Being a guest star allows her more flexibility in her schedule and gives her the opportunity to do other projects (Chris Noth did the same on The Good Wife - if you are a guest star, you aren't locked into the mandatory seven year contract with a first position show).

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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another interview with Austin Winsburg about the finale (Entertainment Weekly)

 

Quote

Has your family seen this episode yet?

They have not. My mom read [the script] but she has not seen it.

Have you had conversations with the rest of your family about it?

They know the gist of what's coming. The end for my father unfortunately was not the happiest ending, for lack of a better word. My mom was concerned about the degree of authenticity of that and how far we were going to go with that. And that was certainly some level that we had to modulate in the editing room, just how graphic we wanted to be in the depiction of that. There were some discussions about what photo we should use at the end. So I did carry on a conversation with my mom throughout the process to some extent, while also still trying to not inhibit things that I felt were important to show.

The "in loving memory" end credit tag dedicated to your father at the end was lovely – what did that mean to you getting to pay tribute to him in this episode?

Are you trying to make me cry? [Laughs] I wasn't sure if I wanted to include a picture of me and him, or just him. And that picture was kind of a placeholder that I put in just when we were doing our first cut, but it seemed to get a reaction from a lot of people that felt like I should make it about both of us instead of just him. I think part of it is certainly honoring him and his legacy and trying to be some kind of, for lack of a better word, representation of what he went through. I think also at this point it feels like in some ways it's gone beyond that. I've gotten a lot of emails and messages from people who have family members that are either suffering with or have passed away from the same disease that my dad had, and it's a pretty rare disease so I think to bring awareness to PSP is something that goes beyond just my dad and what he went through. I also wanted to put a little bit of a face to it because I don't know how many people who watch the show are actually aware that this really happened. That was always a little bit of my intention, to put in there, whether people know it or not, showing my dad at the end is to imply that this isn't just a musical fantasy but that what the Clarke family is experiencing is what we actually went through.

 

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Though it's been almost two years since my father passed away under circumstances that were too close to these in too many ways, this was rough, very rough. And too real. Not a false note anywhere (insert autotune joke as you wish).

And I'm choosing to believe that Max contacted Simon because Max is, despite much nonsense, actually a good person, and not because he just wanted Zoey to believe he was a good person so that she'd sleep with him at some point in the near future.

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5 minutes ago, ahpny said:

Though it's been almost two years since my father passed away under circumstances that were too close to these in too many ways, this was rough, very rough. And too real. Not a false note anywhere (insert autotune joke as you wish).

And I'm choosing to believe that Max contacted Simon because Max is, despite much nonsense, actually a good person, and not because he just wanted Zoey to believe he was a good person so that she'd sleep with him at some point in the near future.

It never occurred to me to think otherwise about Max, despite not having cared for him over the last few episodes.

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3 minutes ago, Clanstarling said:

It never occurred to me to think otherwise about Max, despite not having cared for him over the last few episodes.

Same here. Max has a genuine love for Mitch and the rest of Zoey's family. Max isn't a monster. 

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As soon as the piano rang out the first chords, I audibly yelled "Nooooooo".  Almost 3 years ago, I sang "Lullabye" to my daughter in a dark, almost empty room in the NICU at 2am.  My wife was recovering from the emergency c section and couldn't even hold our first child.  I was relaying updates as best I could, not knowing who to spend my time with, and going crazy running around the hospital.  (We're all happy and healthy now, fwiw)  I was exhausted, scared, and pacing the floor when the lone nurse said "Sing to her.  She knows your voice".  So I sang this song.   I am a half decent singer and even though I wasn't at my best, I think it calmed daddy and baby down, but left the nurse in tears.  She apologized, saying she lost her dad the previous year and he sang it to her all the time.  

I used a lot of words here to say that I cried a lot watching them do this song. 

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One other point after watching American Pie a few times: Howie sitting with his little duffel bag getting ready to leave the house -- and taking one last look at the room where Mitch's hospital bed had been - gutted me. Such a strange role for the hospice nurse - he becomes a critical part of the family unit during the worst and most emotional time and then leaves. 

Also - Zoey greets an Asian man by the buffet after she and Simon embrace. It took me a few views to remember that this is Mitch's doctor who delivered the bad news. 

Edited by LisaM
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