There is a common saying when it comes to television series: Season two is typically worse than the first. However, the NBC comedy-drama “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” has proven otherwise.
Season two of the show aired on Tuesday, Jan. 5, but due to the pandemic, will be on hiatus between last week’s episode (episode six) and the next.
After season one ended with the tragic death of Zoey’s father, this season explores how each character grieves that loss, along with several other original storylines.
The show attracted much praise in spring 2020 with its inventive premise, which is that Zoey (Jane Levy) can hear people’s innermost emotions expressed through musical numbers. That element of the show has thankfully remained intact, with songs performed including “I Want to Break Free” by Queen and “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield.
Mandy Moore, the choreographer, has made the dances to these numbers much more pronounced, but not necessarily more complex, than they were in the first season.
Also, this season delves deeper into the relationships between the characters and allows the standout performer, Skylar Astin (Max), to deliver more heart-wrenching performances that make me question why he is no longer on Broadway. Those emotional performances include that of “Say Something,” originally by A Great Big World, and “Numb,” originally by Linkin Park. In those two songs, the producers allow Astin to showcase his wide range and how smoothly he can allow his voice to slide from one note to the next.
This season also added new characters to its cast, including Harvey Guillen as George and Felix Mallard as Aiden, to compensate for the loss of two characters from the first season: Zoey’s father Mitch played by Peter Gallagher and her former boss Joan played by Lauren Graham. As a testament to the writers, the loss of those two characters has not tarnished any of the joy that comes from watching the show.
If you are in the mood for a thrilling show that never ceases to entertain its audience, then I highly encourage you to watch season two of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” at 8 p.m. on Sunday nights on NBC or streaming on Hulu and Peacock.