Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist - Into a World Filled with Big Musical Numbers

Here at WADD, we take our movies and TV shows reviews very seriously.

Coming in second on our recommended must-watch feel-good shows this year after "Ted Lasso" is "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist".

There are plenty of feel-good shows out there, but we will provide you with our current favourites rated based on how effectively it sparks joy, brings warmth and laughter, and promotes human kindness most of all.


Premiered in 2020, NBC's new musical Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist is the very definition of feel-good. The story begins with Zoey Clarke (played by Jane Levy), who lives in San Francisco and works in a computer coding tech industry.

After an MRI checkup one day, she discovers a new power out of the blue. She begins hearing music everywhere, and it appears that people around are just singing out of nowhere.

It was not until later that Zoey realized she is actually hearing people's thoughts and emotions in the form of pop music. From here, the audience then goes on a ride with Zoey in her regular life but with an 'extraordinary' playlist.


Imagine living in a world where you can hear people's inner thoughts as musical numbers. Forget your iPod and Spotify; you are basically living in a world of soundtracks. 

For those who love a musical, you will definitely enjoy the show, but for those who don't, don't give up on this show just yet. Hear us out.

One of the many joys this series brings is how you never know when one character will break into another pop music. It is pretty entertaining to guess which song the character may sing to express himself or herself. You will  NOT be watching a musical in the like of "Phantom of the Opera" nor "Glee" or "High School Musical"

It is rather a modern and fresh musical take. With a creative spin, the TV series has brought in new aesthetic layers to entertain viewers worldwide.

The Backstory to the Creation of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Austin Winsberg (creator of the show) was inspired by his own real-life experience. Like the character Zoey' father, Winsberg's father also suffered from the rare degenerative neurological disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

NBC's Comedy Series Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Zoey and her father Mitch played by actor Peter Gallagher. Image source via NBC's Comedy Series Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

"In a year, my dad went from being this super dynamic, vibrant, outgoing guy to pretty close to a vegetable. For the last six months that my dad was alive, we didn't really know how much he was processing if he was processing what was really going on, in his brain." – Winsberg, Entertainment Weekly

As the disease causes one to lose the ability to communicate over time, Winsberg, who came from a musical theatre background, had hoped and imagined that the world his father lived in his final days were days that are filled with 'big musical numbers.' 

"That was my way in to the show. It actually made me feel happy. It actually felt joyous rather than just sad, the idea that suddenly he had this musical take on the world." shared the creator of the musical comedy series.

From here, you get the idea that the show is also very much about spreading positivity surviving through life challenges beyond our control. 

Just as infectious as music can be, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist is also contagious with good vibes, love, kindness and humanity.

Actress Jane Levy, who was nominated for her role in Golden Globes 2021, played out the character's discovery of her superpowers quite realistically. She questioned her own sanity and first saw it as an unwanted curse.

This is where the series takes on a different musical approach. All the characters are still going through their everyday lives; they are unaware when they belt out a song and or a dance number. Only Zoey, with her newfound superpowers, along with us, the audience can literally hear the music of your heart.

Here is a superpower that frees you from having to guess or wonder what is actually on another person's mind. Whether you like it or not, your friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers will plainly tell you how they feel with a song. Is this a superpower you'd love to have? One thing for sure, you better be a walking music encyclopedia.


Not to spoil the experience for those who have yet to watch this feel-good comedy series, all we will say is you will observe how Zoey gradually learns to accept her newfound powers. She turns the curse into an incredible gift when she begins to use it subtly to help people around her.  

Aside from having to be creative with ingenious humour and dance choreography, the writers of the show have also put in some thoughtful exploration into the complex human emotions. Each time a character breaks into a song, they reveal the genuine emotions that often contradict what they say, and Zoey's superpower allows her to look right past all masters of poker face man has become.


One theme that stands out is the depiction of a disconnected world we live in. When or how did man become so abashed and disconcerted with our innermost feelings? As a human, don't we all share the same emotions? Yet somehow, we have all become quite incapable and crippled when it comes to verbalizing them, and maybe this is where music comes into play.

Bright, buoyant with its tear-jerker moments, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist inspires one to be sympathetic and brave against hardships. Experience the timeless values that music imparts and how it connects people regardless of race, creed, colour, or gender.

The show puts these elements together to tell a sweet and delightful story. It's TV, it's light-hearted and entertaining as it should be, and we have really enjoyed the first season.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is now into its mid second season, so if you have run out of shows to watch and you are looking to have your spirits raised when it comes to watching a show, binge away and catch up!

Here's another one of our favourite moment from Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist to entice you.


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