Every Song From 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' Ranked From "Adorable" To "Make It Stop"
If you're still waiting for the inevitable Glee reboot that's surely coming to FOX any day now… well, you'll have to wait a bit longer. But in the meantime, you can enjoy the songs on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, NBC's new musical series. Former Suburgatory star Jane Levy stars in this quirky, colorful show as the titular Zoey, whose world is consumed by song and dance numbers not because of her participation in an underdog show choir, but because of a mysterious mishap with an MRI machine.
Yes, really. After a series of headaches make Zoey worry that she's suffering from the same degenerative brain condition as her father, she goes into the hospital to have her head checked. Right as the machine starts whirring and the technician starts blasting some tunes, San Francisco is hit by a small earthquake. The music jumbles, Zoey's scan flares, and suddenly, she can hear everyone's innermost thoughts communicated to her through elaborately choreographed flash mobs and emotional power ballads.
This development proves to be simultaneously alarming, embarrassing, and (surprisingly) healing for Zoey, as her newfound gift both allows her to be ambushed by strangers' feelings and have heart-to-hearts with those closest to her — through the iconic lyrics of artists like Salt-n-Pepa, natch.
Here's every song covered on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist so far, from Céline to Cyndi:
Episode 1: "Pilot"
1. "All By Myself" by Céline Dion: The first time Zoey becomes aware of her new ability is when a sadsack stranger on the streets suddenly breaks out into a rendition of this karaoke staple. Grade: D for Depressing.
2. "Whatta Man" by Salt-n-Pepa (feat. En Vogue): As Zoey is reeling from her first musical encounter, she's suddenly enveloped by another when three women start belting this tune at the sight of a particularly swole gent strolling by. Grade: B for Biceps.
3. "Help!" by The Beatles: Zoey's world is turned upside down when the slow trickle of songs evolves into a full-on deluge with this giant production number, as she finds herself literally chased through the streets of San Fran by hordes of lonely strangers confessing their pain to her. Grade: A for Aaahh, What's Happeningggg???
4. "Mad World" by Gary Jules: Zoey's power starts to hone halfway through the episode, allowing her to focus in on specific people's thoughts… like this tearful ballad sung by her normally handsome and happy coworker, Simon. Grade: A+. Just an A+, he sounded great.
5. "All I Do Is Win" by DJ Khaled: Zoey's outwardly supportive coworker Leif (yes, Leif) turns out to be a secret creep when he's betrayed by his alarming inner monologue that involves a lot of (read: too much) white rapping. Grade: F for I'm Frightened, Please Make It Stop
6. "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper: The emotional high point of the premiere comes when Zoey's magical musical powers allow her to communicate with her comatose father. Although he can't speak, she hears his thoughts of love and encouragement communicated through a moving rendition of this classic. Grade: A- for Aw Gee, I'm Crying.
7. "I Think I Love You" by The Partridge Family: The pilot ends on an awkward cliffhanger, as Zoey's power reveals that, while she's been crushing on cute (and enfianced) Simon, her bestie Max has also been crushing on her, completely unbeknownst to Zoey. The way you want your crush to find out about your feelings probably isn't by crooning a corny Partridge Family song at her, tbh. Grade: C for Cringe
Episode 2: "Zoey's Extraordinary Best Friend"
1. "I've Got The Music In Me" by Kiki Dee: The episode kicks off with an elaborate dream sequence in which Zoey starts her day singing this classic tune while accompanied by Mo, Max, and hordes of backup dancers through the streets of San Francisco. Grade: B+ for Boogie Time.
2. "Sucker" by the Jonas Brothers: While the pilot episode ended with Max inadvertently confessing his love for Zoey through a rendition of "I Think I Love You," this time his feelings slip out again through this recent pop sensation. Grade: B for Been There Done That But Man, Skylar Astin Can Sing.
3. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" by Whitney Houston: While trying to make sense of her new gift with Mo, Zoey experiences a coffee shop full of sad loners break out in a slowed-down rendition of Whitney's classic anthem. Grade: C+ for Coffee Shops Should Be Quiet Zones, Not Dance Clubs
4. "Moondance" by Van Morrison: Once again, the emotional climax of the episode comes in the form of a song performed by Zoey's normally nonverbal father, Mitch. After grilling her mom about the significance of the song, she learns that it was at a Van Morrison concert, during that song, that her dad first told her mom that he loved her. Grade: A- for Am I Tearing Up Again?
Episode 3: 'Zoey's Extraordinary Boss'
1. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones: Zoey is uncomfortable when her ability forces her to eavesdrop on the private thoughts of her prickly boss, Joan. Turns out Joan is frustrated both professionally and personally, as she expresses through this classic rock tune. Grade: B+ for Bosses Have Feelings, Too.
2. "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" by the Bee Gees: The Clarke family has, understandably, been so focused on caring for ailing Mitch that no one has spared much of a thought for Maggie's emotional wellbeing. Fortunately, Zoey realizes that her mom needs help too after hearing her sing this emotional ballad. Grade: A- for Asking For Lemonade Is The Final Straw.
3. "Jesus Christ Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar: The toxic dudebros of SPRQPoint greeted Joan's awful husband with this Andrew Lloyd Webber showtune, literally worshipping him and carrying him in on their shoulders. Gross. Grade: N/A. I won't even dignify this one with a letter grade.
4. "NO" by Meghan Trainor: When Zoey breaks the news to Simon that Joan's husband has dropped out and he needs to find a new headliner for their demo on short notice, her hunky coworker breaks out into a panicked version of this song. Grade: C for Chill Out, Simon.
5. "Roar" by Katy Perry: After dumping her douchey husband and deciding to do the tech demo herself, Joan expresses her newfound power with this rousing pop anthem. Grade: B- for a Bit On-The-Nose, But Still Fun.
Episode 4: "Zoey's Extraordinary Neighbor"
1. "The Great Pretender" by The Platters: Zoey's friend Mo finally gets his first big solo, crooning this ballad that belies the heartache and loneliness under the singer's bubbly, sparkly exterior. Grade: A for those Amazing Vocals.
2. "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett: If children are supposed to be seen but not heard, then Zoey's and Mo's downstairs neighbor is the opposite. Our first impression of the unseen tenant is her rendition of this Caribbean-themed tune. Grade: B- for Beach Time.
3. "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys: Around the time of her second beachy classic, did anybody else start to get the sneaking suspicion that Bonnie was actually a parrot? Just me? Grade: D for Don't Tell Me Bonnie's A Bird, This Show Is Weird Enough Already.
4. "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus: Just because Zoey's boss Joan ditched her douchey husband last episode doesn't mean all her problems are fixed. Yeah, she's better off without him — but she still loved him, and divorce is hard. (Listen, I love Lauren Graham but maybe pop anthems by the likes of Katy and Miley aren't the best fit for her?) Grade: C for Could've Been A Better Song Choice.
5. "This Little Light Of Mine," Traditional: Mo brings the house (nay, church) down with this soul-stirring anthem of self-acceptance and self-love. Grade: A+ for 'Allelujah!
Episode 5: "Zoey's Extraordinary Failure"
1. "Just Give Me A Reason" by P!nk (ft. Nate Ruess): Turns out that — plot twist! — the marriage between Zoey's brother and his pregnant wife isn't as picture-perfect as it seems on the surface. (Isn't that the theme of every episode?) The choreography teeters on the edge of silly, but their emotional connection to the lyrics keeps the song grounded just enough. Grade: B for Boring-Seeming Couples Have Problems, Too!
2. "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)" by the Beastie Boys: David is telling his wife he's staying late at work but is really going out to have drinks and play pool with the guys in order to avoid helping her put together a crib? Oof. And he's singing the Beastie Boys while he does it? Double oof. Grade: F for Failure Of A Husband.
3. "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.: Oh, Leif. You really are the worst. (And not just because your name is Leif.) But I can't deny that this despondent crooning of this ballad was the hysterical highlight of the episode. Grade: A- for Anonymous Peer Reviews Can Lead To Awkward Moments In Egg Chairs.
4. "It's Your Thing" by The Isley Brothers: When Maggie considers shutting down the business she and Mitch used to run together when he was well, he (subconsciously) encourages her to keep doin' her thang with this classic tune. Fortunately, she takes his (unspoken) advice and decides against throwing in the towel. Grade: C for a Cheesy Song Performed With Gusto.
5. "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" by The Clash: I don't condone cheating… but if I were Zoey, I would also feel torn if Simon sexy-danced around my apartment and crooned at me. Will Zoey become the other woman? Or will she encourage Simon to go back to his perfectly lovely fiancée? Grade: A for Agonizing Moral Dilemmas Can Be Sexy.
Episode 6: "Zoey's Extraordinary Night Out"
1. "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi: Max gets a reality check on his "good guy" status when he discovers that his ex isn't taking their break-up as well as he thought. Even better, Autumn's feelings don't stay hidden in the world of musical fantasy; after she's done singing with her barista coworkers, she stands up for herself and reads Max the riot act in real life, too. Grade: B+ for Break-Ups Are Hard.
2. "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha: Enough! Lauren Graham is a beautiful, talented performer but these pop anthems from Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and now Ke$ha are doing nothing for her. Can we expand Joan's genre horizons, please? Perhaps a folk song or a soft rock ballad? Grade: F for Find Something Else For Lauren Graham To Do, I Beg You.
3. "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child: Because this is a TV show, Jessica learns the truth about Zoey's and Simon's flirtation at the worst possible moment — in the middle of their engagement party — and is none to pleased. Like all spurned fiancées do, she channels her frustration through this classic R&B track. Grade: C+ for Can I Get A "Say Yes To The Jess" Shirt, Please?
4. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers: Max may have just dumped his ex, but he's always been in love with Zoey, and those feelings spill out as he's trying to help her get to her injured father. The stakes are high, the song choice is unexpected but fitting, the vocal runs are on point… love it. Grade: A- for Anytime He Wants, Skylar Astin Can Serenade Me Too.
Episode 7: "Zoey's Extraordinary Confession"
1. "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley: Tired of seeing Zoey and David bicker all the time, Maggie vented her frustration with this Elvis tune. Does she know the song is all about shutting up and getting dirty with a crush? Not exactly an appropriate choice for singing at one's children… Grade: D for Don't Sing Love Songs At Your Kids, Please.
2. "If I Can't Have You" by Shawn Mendes: In the show's most surprising musical twist yet, Zoey groans when Max starts singing another love song to her in his head — only it's not in his head at all. Turns out this one's a real-life flash mob. Grade: A for Anyone See That Coming?
3. "Don't Speak" by No Doubt: Even douchebros have feelings, it turns out. When Leif skips out on his and Tobin's "Spellaversary" (ugh) to work on a new project with Joan instead, Tobin directs his heartbroken angst at his best friend with this break-up song. Grade: C+ for Can We Get Some Couples Therapy For These Two?
4. "Bailamos" by Enrique Inglesias: Mo and Eddie may not be the most verbally communicative couple, but they let their bodies do the talking while tearing up the dance floor to this song. Grade: B for the Body Language Is Vibing.
5. "I Put A Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Turns out Leif wasn't just working with Joan on exciting new ideas, he was also working Joan, if you know what I mean. He boasts of his new sway over his recently-divorced boss by screaming out this classic song in the conference room. Grade: C- for Creepy Move, Dude.
Episode 8: "Zoey's Extraordinary Glitch"
1. "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley: After a whole season spent listening to other people sing about their problems, Zoey herself finally got a turn in the musical hot seat, as her powers glitched out and forced her to express her feelings through song — but actually out loud, not just in her head. Grade: C for Crazy? Maybe. Embarrassing? Definitely.
2. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by The Jackson 5: Zoey mashes up her anxiety over the SPRQ watch's Christmas-themed glitch and her knowledge of Joan and Lief's affair into an awkwardly out-of-season rendition of this holiday tune — much to her boss's befuddlement Grade: D for Don't Sing Christmas Carols In March, Zoey.
3. "Pressure" by Billy Joel: Zoey fully cracks under the pressure during a big meeting with SPRQPoint's Mark Zuckerberg-like CEO, gets on the table, and belts this Billy Joel standard. Luckily, Max sees the train wreck happening and joins in; it doesn't make things "better" exactly, but at least Zoey doesn't have to suffer alone Grade: B+ for that's what Best Friends Are For.
4. "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz: After seeing Max stick his neck out for her, Zoey is compelled by her power to admit that perhaps she does have feelings for her best friend, after all. Grade: A- for Awww.
5. "I Want You To Want Me" by Letters To Cleo: Too bad Zoey is also still incredibly attracted to the incredibly attractive Simon. This song (performed inside SPRQPoint's hitherto unseen meditation studio??) is almost sexy… until it's revealed that Max witnessed the whole thing Grade: C+ for Check Both Ways Before Serenading Your Coworker.
6. "How Do I Live?" by LeAnn Rimes: By the end of the hour, Zoey is finally able to confront the feelings that she's been suppressing, leading to her musical glitch: her grief over the knowledge that her father is dying. It's an emotional wallop as star Jane Levy delivers a heartbreaking performance. Grade: A for Ack, My Heart!
This list will be updated throughout the season.
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