Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by James Long, May 6, 2020.

  1. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2003
    Moments like this are why I watch TV.

    A seven minute scene with one camera edit (the transition from outdoor on location to indoor on a set). Everything after they enter the door is one uncut choreographed dance with every actor and extra hitting their mark and being where they need to be when they need to be there and being out of the way when they don't need to be there. The entire season is brought together in one scene - a cast reunion of all the important people in Zoey's life in the final scene of the season.

    Overall it is a decent show. The title character is affected by an MRI and can now read people's minds - it is expressed to her by her hearing their "heart songs". If a person is thinking a strong thought Zoey hears it as an appropriate song. It has been a season long musical and the creator has plans for season two - if renewed. I hope they get their renewal.
  2. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Overall I too enjoyed this show. It includes a selection of songs to effectively showcase the characters' feelings within a situation. The lyrics of so many songs in the show tie to the life I believe most all of us experience.

    I know I responded emotionally to the song selections and my hope was their choices would attract a broad age group. I'm not sure that worked out. Perhaps having a dying parent and spouse as an overshadowing story arc for a 12-episode season isn't as broadly appealing as one might expect.

    I feel like the show offers a soundtrack of my life- songs from my parents era through my grandkids era. Consider the list of songs in that first episode: "Angel of the Morning" (1968), "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" (1981), "Morning Has Broken" (1931), "Good Morning" (1939), "All By Myself" (1975), "Whatta Man" (1968), "Help!" (1965), "Lean On Me" (1972), "Mad World" (1982), "All I Do Is Win" (2010), "True Colors" (1986), and "I Think I Love You" (1970).

    And then consider the list of songs in the last episode: "Bad Moon Rising" (1969), "Jealous" (2014), "I Will Follow Him" (1961), "All of Me" (2013), "I Know You Want Me" {2009), "Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel)" (1993), Dream a Little Dream of Me" (1931), and "American Pie" (1971).

    When "American Pie" came out in 1971 for me it reflected a truth about my coming of age time, the culmination of which was the 1970 Kent State Shootings that represented tragic exclamation point to the end of the idealism of the era.

    The show's creator Austin Winsberg based the show on his dad Richard Winsberg illness and death from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Richard Winsberg was two years older than me and "American Pie" was his favorite song.

    I don't know a song more appropriate to expressing a young person's experience of loss while offering a rhythm frame for a choreographer. Peter Gallagher's role story arc is a thing "heading in the wrong direction" for Zoey and family.

    What most don't know is the underlying theme of the song explained by the song's writer and original singer Don McLean: “Basically, in ‘American Pie’ things are heading in the wrong direction. It is becoming less ideal, less idyllic." For example:
    • the “day the music died” was Feb. 3, 1959 when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash;
    • "While the King was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown" is about Elvis, The King of 50s rock and roll, and Bob Dylan, the court jester who becomes the revolutionary leader of the 60s generation;
    • "drinking whiskey in Rye" (note the "in" not the "and" many hear) is a personal reflection on change that is loss as McLean's home was New Rochelle, which did indeed feature a bar called "The Levee" which shut down or "went dry," causing patrons to drive across the river to Rye, New York.
    As McLean summed it up: "I was around in 1970 and now I am around in 2015; there is no poetry and very little romance in anything anymore, so it is really like the last phase of ‘American Pie.’ ”

    As if to confirm McLean's views, the first song on the show was "Angel of the Morning" which, though frequently attributed to Juice Newton who sang it in 1981, was written in 1966 by Chip Taylor (Angelina Jolie's uncle) and became a hit in 1968 through a recording by Merrilee Rush. IMHO it's lyrics reflect the 1960's evolving romantic idealism that love can come without strings attached.

    I know neither I nor McLean can speak for generation represented in Zoey's character. But five years ago I would have agreed with the idea that there seemed to be "no poetry and very little romance in anything anymore." Today, as Millennials work their way through their 30's, it seems different, with poetry and romance on the rise. And I suspect the pandemic will deepen that trend.
    Last edited: May 9, 2020

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