How Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Translates Musical Theatre to Television
Over time there has been no shortage of musical television shows: Smash, Galavant, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and of course Glee. Musical comedies always pop up and theatre lovers find them, but have you seen the newest hit, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist? NBC has cited it as the network’s top digital launch of all time. With the season 1 finale airing two weeks ago, the series has an 8.1/10 audience rating on IMDb. The show follows Zoey Clarke. After an MRI scan, Zoey is able to hear the deepest thoughts and feelings of those around her as music. Created by Austin Winsberg and starring Jane Levy as Zoey, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is undoubtedly one my new favorite shows on television.
I really enjoyed Glee during high school. I wasn’t in my high school’s show choir, but I was (and obviously still am) very involved with theatre. Glee’s stories resonated with me, but I love Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist so much more. For one, I am now a 24 year old college graduate with a young child. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist has such an amazing focus on family, being there for each other, and supporting each other no matter what. We really never know what life will throw at us.
I also love the music choices. So. Much. While there are one or two musical theatre songs, the show is primarily popular songs from almost every era. My favorite part about the music in this show is that it is not “musical theatre.” It doesn’t sound like a show choir taking a pop song and singing it in a classical way. They take the pop song they are given, make it their own, and hold onto the integrity of the original. I could, and would love to, hear all of the songs (in the version from the show) on the radio. The cast is flawless at each of their numbers and, who knew that Lauren Graham could sing like that? I sure didn’t. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then drop what you are doing and watch this show immediately.
I can’t recommend this show enough. It is available to stream on Hulu. Since many of us are still social distancing, now is the perfect time to binge the best new musical-comedy show on television, but don’t take my word for it. What are you waiting for? Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is waiting for you!