Zoey´s Extraordinary Playlist ...
... has overplayed itself into a corner.
Dante Alighieri once said that the darkest places in hell were reserved for those who maintained their neutrality in times of moral crisis.
What could be worse than staying in the perfect middle, not falling over the edge into the pits of gory, nasty emotional depths of a human soul, yet not being completely PG 13 with their shallow storytelling either?
Zoey's extraordinary playlist.
Undoubtedly, the boom of the sing-along genre on television that greeted our ear canals back in the early 2000s with the High school musical phenomenon, and is still persistently holding on to that one piece of the door in the middle of the Atlantic, just won't sink. And that's fine! Who didn't envision themselves with a sparkling mic, blasting Start of Something New by Troy Bolton's side at least once?
The unforgiving crime in this otherwise entertaining show is a waste of ginormous potential.
There is nothing logical about people breaking into a song in the middle of a conversation. The musical genre appeals to our emotions, not neurons in our grey matter. To spin a tale told a million times before, a bunch of triple threat, nation-wide beloved actors, just won't do the trick anymore.
The premise that a coder pragmatic decision-maker girl is given a superpower to dip into people's intimate thoughts while they sing it to her, (in a slightly old string of pop -bops covers) is a Powerball ticket of television lotteries. So why am I so utterly bored?!
The cinematography is colorful, the characters' pillars are solid, not even the not-always-the-most-original-musical numbers bother me that much. (Although, they do have a tendency to either last too long, or not long enough). After all, the setting is that they are singing their deepest desires, not auditioning for Chicago, it is supposed to be weird and disconnected.
What is the truly criminally punishable crime of TV entertainment, is that the transition scenes are disconnected, and the main focus of what could send a message to many of us, is a mama-forking love triangle. And if we truly decide to build Zoey's life around two men who work within five feet of her (so she could continuously rummage between them with hesitation in her eyes), why on earth would we not give them a personality? Is Max's only item on the to-do list is "to be there for Zoey", "trying to get over Zoey", or "making up with Zoey"? Couldn't there be more to Simon than being a potential cheater?
On the other hand, the only voice of reason, Mo, Zoey's BFF, does not get nearly enough air time, or recognition. A pop-diva spitting some hardcore facts about Zoey's jacked-up relationships. Mo is not perfect by any standard, what works about her development is how relatable and redeemable she is. Most importantly, she's not wasting any time on a conflict that could be swiftly resolved by a phone call.
Zoey's extraordinary playlist is trying to convey a positively commendable message: There is more to us than meets the eye. The quirky, rude nerd can be afraid of losing his best friend, the terminal illness does not mean a man should be written off as an invalid, a powerhouse businesswoman can doubt herself from time to time, too. It is humane, it is relatable, and it is television material addiction. Or it should be. If the show didn't consistently write its characters into corners by letting them behave like a cartoon version of themselves.
Please, someone, save this show by starting to address these clichés and give them redemption that every human being, whether a TV character or real, deserves.