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S02.E01: Zoey’s Extraordinary Return

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I don't know what it is, but something seems different about Skylar Astin. It looks like they got someone who looks almost exactly like him to replace him- appearance is almost precise, voice is almost exact- but everytime he speaks and expresses himself (only at the first scene with Max and Zoey), something just seems off. Like CGI Skylar or something. 

It's not just the facial scruff.

Am I completely whacky here?

I also had this reaction during their scene on the park bench. I couldn't figure it out either, and literally wondered if it was a different actor even though I knew it wasn't. I think it was something about his eyes? I dunno, it was bizarre. I finally decided I had just forgotten what he looked like, which I don't think really explains it happening to so many of us.

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The thread for tonight's (January 12) episode, there's a still of Zoey and Max kissing. For the first time I noticed that Max is sporting a scruffy, almost beard (what I, as an ancient one, call the Don Johnson/Miami Vice look). Max has always been so clean faced. Maybe that's what is throwing everyone off.

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17 hours ago, redpencil said:

I also had this reaction during their scene on the park bench. I couldn't figure it out either, and literally wondered if it was a different actor even though I knew it wasn't. I think it was something about his eyes? I dunno, it was bizarre. I finally decided I had just forgotten what he looked like, which I don't think really explains it happening to so many of us.

I thought that scene was odd but I didn’t think it was Skyler. The blocking and how the actors interacted was off somehow. With Jane and Skyler sitting on two separate benches I wondered if they were filmed separately or if there was a COVID barrier between them. The shadows and lighting we’re also off. 

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On 1/9/2021 at 7:47 PM, shapeshifter said:

Agreed. Especially during the pandemic.

Oh my God, everything takes longer now. It can be so frustrating.

On 1/9/2021 at 7:47 PM, shapeshifter said:

Mom couldn't speak the last 2 years. I found a faint "hi" and saved it.

Today I listened to a voicemail my dad left me asking me to buy lotto tickets, the last time the lotto was crazy high like it is now. It made me smile.

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On 1/8/2021 at 1:49 AM, bros402 said:

There was a polyamorous couple on Single Parents (which aired on ABC)

Don't you mean thruple?

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6 hours ago, dubbel zout said:

I thought it was green screen, which can make things look wonky.

I’m sure you’re right. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. The Golden Gate should have been a dead giveaway. The benches were probably the only thing on the actual set. I appreciate they are trying but I hope that’s the last mostly green screen scene we see. 

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3 hours ago, Dani said:

The Golden Gate should have been a dead giveaway. The benches were probably the only thing on the actual set. I appreciate they are trying but I hope that’s the last mostly green screen scene we see. 

I was cracking up during that scene because I thought only on tv does someone have time to go all the way over near Crissy Field to meet someone for coffee before going to work. I can barely drag my ass out of bed in time to get to work so I always wonder how people have the time to do all this stuff before work.

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3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I was cracking up during that scene because I thought only on tv does someone have time to go all the way over near Crissy Field to meet someone for coffee before going to work. I can barely drag my ass out of bed in time to get to work so I always wonder how people have the time to do all this stuff before work.

Yeah, all shows with people meeting up before work should have series finales revealing that everything happened in the characters' imaginations on their actual way to work.
This is one show where that reveal would work.

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I don't think it was that rushed for Zoe to go with Max, last season basically ended with her finally ready to choose him, but then her dad died and their relationship kind of got put on hold. I, too, wish the show would just kind of write off the triangle completely. Either make them poly, give Simon another romantic interest, or better yet have him finally admit he just needs to take time for himself before he's ready for another relationship. Find another source of drama and plot, show.

Maybe I just have a different relationship with my friends, but it's a little weird that it seems the whole friend group revolves around Zoe, to the point where they have to ask her permission to start their own business together? It really should have been like, "Hey, Mo and I are going into business together, I know he was your friend first, but if you have an issue with it grow up because we're all adults, not in middle school."

If everyone wants to go out to eat, but each wants different food from different cuisines, then why not go to a food court?

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21 hours ago, jaigurudeva said:

If everyone wants to go out to eat, but each wants different food from different cuisines, then why not go to a food court?

I assume their premise is that people would like to have food from good restaurants around town, rather than a food court sampling. And an open bar with an inviting atmosphere.

Edited by Clanstarling
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On 1/14/2021 at 10:17 AM, jaigurudeva said:

If everyone wants to go out to eat, but each wants different food from different cuisines, then why not go to a food court?

I usually like food courts but I’ve never been to one that compared to eating at a sit down restaurant in food quality or atmosphere. 

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8 hours ago, Dani said:

I usually like food courts but I’ve never been to one that compared to eating at a sit down restaurant in food quality or atmosphere. 

The Ferry Building in SF (where Zoey and Simon got cheesecake in S1) isn't technically a food court (their website refers to it as "a food artisan marketplace") but they have a bunch of amazing restaurants in one building. The Public Market food court across the bridge in Emeryville (right between Oakland and Berkeley) also lots of delicious food. I used to go there just to eat! There are restaurants there that serve alcohol as well as a bar.

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5 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The Ferry Building in SF (where Zoey and Simon got cheesecake in S1) isn't technically a food court (their website refers to it as "a food artisan marketplace") but they have a bunch of amazing restaurants in one building. The Public Market food court across the bridge in Emeryville (right between Oakland and Berkeley) also lots of delicious food. I used to go there just to eat! There are restaurants there that serve alcohol as well as a bar.

I’ve been to both and I still stand by my point. Both are great but neither is what Max and Mo have planned. I like food courts and marketplaces a lot but when I go to a restaurant it is for the experience and ease. That is lost anywhere you can get get food from multiple locations.

Before COVID my family would frequently end up eating at a few select restaurants where everyone could find something including the kids and my sister with multiple allergies. Most of the time someone settles for something that just sounds okay. My favorite restaurant is almost always out because my sister can only eat one dish there. It would be nice for everyone to get exactly what they want and also have the restaurant experience. 

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This show is funny and heartbreaking and I love it. I'm always tearing up when watching in but in a good way. I don't think I've watched show that dealt with grief quite like this.

I thought Zoey would be happy to know I she was missed instead of freaking out again. I can see her not being able to deal with people's problem songs, but the opening number was for her. 

I know about Lauren Graham leaving because of the Mighty Ducks show. While she was not the strongest singer I will miss her surprising turn to being Zoey's confidant. 

I'm team Simon, but I'll see how it goes with Max. 

I work for a tech company and we have unlimited PTO, don't think anyone's tried it for 6 weeks though. 

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On 1/6/2021 at 5:39 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I'm glad that the show is dealing with the aftermath of Mitch's death. On so many other shows, death is A Very Special Episode and then everything goes back to normal which is not very realistic. Even if you go through the motions (like going back to work right away), there is still so much to deal with from the grieving to going through their clothes to the financial stuff.

But I have to admit that I was a little annoyed about the whole "I can't get a copy of our marriage license because my husband had it in his email and I don't have the password for his laptop." He didn't die suddenly and he wasn't in a coma (While You Were Sleeping). He was sick for a long time but they found a way for him to communicate. Someone in that family should have thought to ask for his password while he was still alive! And if Maggie wanted a way around that, you can always order another copy of your marriage license from the county where you got married. You can request it online which makes it a lot easier if you no longer live in the same county.

Harvey Guillén will always be Alistair from Huge to me (I also liked him as Benedict Pickwick the mapmaker on The Magicians). If you haven't seen Huge, it's only one season (ten episodes). I loved it and was so disappointed that it didn't get another season. It's sad that he was SO GRATEFUL for Zoey telling Tobin to knock it the fuck off. He has clearly been bullied all his life and has never had someone stand up for him. I hope we see him become more confident now that he has been accepted by Tobin and Leif. Even if they become nothing more than occasional foosball teammates, just not being picked on constantly sounds like it will be an improvement for him. But I would love to see Tobin take George under his wing and become friends with him.

I have a feeling that we are going to get some kind of post partum storyline with Emily. She's clearly not doing well and she's trying to keep it together because she knows that David is still dealing with Mitch's death.

I'm glad that Zoey decided to take that promotion even though it sounds like it will be a lot of responsibility. She was so hesitant to commit to the new job or make a decision about ANYTHING which reminded me of that saying about how not making a decision is actually making a decision to not make any changes.

Zoey is really lucky that her boss and her company have been so kind during this time. I don't know many places that would let you have six weeks off for a death in the family. The last place I worked had a whopping TWO DAYS off and that was only if it was an immediate family member. I really understood when she got a little snippy with Simon because she was tired of everyone asking if she was okay. Everyone means well when they ask but they don't realize that they are the 9374778275th person to ask that today. I'm glad that Simon didn't take it personally and told her she didn't have to apologize for being incommunicado.

I have issues with Zoey's relationships with both Max and Simon, but I think that right now Max is the right choice because he knows her secret. If she had chosen Simon, it would have made me uncomfortable because he doesn't know that she can read his emotions by hearing him sing in her head, which seems like a really unfair advantage to have. I'm not saying that Zoey needs to tell everyone about her powers but being in a romantic relationship with someone who doesn't know you can read their thoughts/emotions is a pretty big thing to keep from them.

I always liked Zoey and Max as friends, and the scene with the ring reminded me why. They can be supportive and kind to each other while still joking around and being silly.

I totally get why it was so weird for Zoey to see Mo, Max, and Simon hanging out together without her. I've been in a kind of similar situation where two of my friends who only knew each other through me became friends and at first I was like wait, when did this happen? It wasn't a huge deal, but it was momentarily weird and I'm sure it was even weirder for Zoey since she knew that both Max and Simon had feelings for her.

I continue to love the mix of music they choose for the show. A Broadway song (I'm always here for the big musical numbers - and props to John Clarence Stewart for having the highest kicks!), a beautiful ballad, and a rocking song! Musical trivia: Peter Allen, who wrote Don't Cry Out Loud, was LIza Minelli's first husband and he cowrote Arthur's Theme with Christopher Cross, Burt Bacharach, and Carole Bayer Sager. Bernadette Peters said that the Don't Cry Out Loud lyrics about keeping everything inside were about Peter's father's death.

I don't know how Maggie and Zoey were able to resist watching those videos of Mitch. My dad died almost six years ago and if he had left a video, I would have watched it immediately (and repeatedly). I know they felt it was too painful, but I would have gladly taken anything like that if I had the chance. I'm glad David ended up watching them.

Even though Lauren Graham is one of the two weakest singers in the cast, I'm going to miss her friendship with Zoey.

That part about the 6 weeks off was the only thing I found completely unrealistic,  you don't get that luxury in any job I have ever heard of, and her particular field is pretty cut throat.  My mother died suddenly and I got a whole week off,  was grateful for the generosity of my bosses.  Had to take vacation time and make up the work but was grateful nonetheless.

 

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On 1/8/2021 at 2:20 PM, D Angel said:

The central question of the narrative is where Zoey's "gift" comes from and why. It can't be called a "power" since she has no control over it. While the Max v. Simon drama is (or at least was) compelling for a while but then just annoying, and SPRQ Point offers a good backdrop for some low-stakes drama and high-concept comedy, Zoey's spiritual journey is what gives the story its forward motion and they've only just started it. I'm hopeful that Season 2 digs into it more and suspect that it will.

One could have argued that Zoey receive her special ability (or sometimes curse) so she could connect to her beloved father, but since it's back there has to be a deeper purpose from an external source. That begs the corellary question: Why her? Random?

Note that Zoey told Max, who ultimately believed her and accepted her "extraordinary" claim without "extraordinary" evidence, but she didn't tell Simon and I'd guess that's a pretty significant factor. She also used that gift to her own benefit to connect with Simon and advance her romantic interests with him, essentially under false pretenses. She always felt guilty about that, too.

Zoey also told he father, who also believed her, but hasn't told her mother or brother or anyone else except Mo. When challenged on how she could be so perceptive, Zoey bluffs her way through. But there's something deeper going on and I suspect that only showrunner and lead writer Austin Winsberg knows what that is. The show is too good for them to be winging it. Zoey is a prophet.

There have been two hints I noticed. First, in S1 E4, Mo's kindly and hip pastor gives Zoey her first opportunity to seek counsel from someone with spiritual training. And he proceeds to throw three dart bullseyes in a row. Then after telling Zoey that "empathy is a gift", Zoey throws a bullseye without even aiming when she got nowhere near the dartboard on her first three tosses. Second, in S1 E12, Zoey's at the hospital to meet Emily who her brother indicated was in labor. Despite it being a false alarm, Zoey comes face to face with both the MRI machine where she received the gift, and the MRI technician who says that that machine has "helped so many people", then whistles "I've got the music in me." Zoey notices.

If Austin Winsberg gets the big reveal right on Zoey's spiritual journey, this will be a special TV show on par with great works of art.

If I were to guess, they will never answer exactly how she got the power and why her.

As to the ability to control it, two things: First, in comics and superhero movies, it's not unheard of for people to not be able to control their abilities, especially when they first develop them. Which brings us to second, there is a chance that Zoe does try to  train herself how to better control the ability.  

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On 1/6/2021 at 5:39 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

He didn't die suddenly and he wasn't in a coma (While You Were Sleeping). He was sick for a long time but they found a way for him to communicate. Someone in that family should have thought to ask for his password while he was still alive!

Forget that, everything should have been resolved way before he lost his voice. Why wasn't everything already in Maggie's name? She should have had power of attorney for anything that was post-mortem or have had those documents already both digital and originals in a safe. They have a son that's a lawyer - this should all have been done way in advance (maybe not by David, but he'd know the right people). Nothing should be tucked away in private accounts that would require his personal password.

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