‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ will not be on repeat

Brian Connors, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Just as it seemed prime-time television’s obsession with musical comedies and dramas had simmered to a cool, the peacock network dropped a full-on karaoke crapshoot onto our television screens. “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” takes a semi-interesting concept, fuses it with popular songs and a killer cast, yet the result is anything but extraordinary.

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” tells the story of an introverted, quirky coder named Zoey. She is good at her job but does not have the confidence to go after the big promotion. Zoey’s father suffers from a rare neurological disease that renders him speechless which also puts pressure on her home life.

Nervousness over potentially having the same illness as her father sends Zoey to get a CAT screen, but an earthquake during the procedure turns her life upside down. Suddenly, everyone around Zoey is singing songs as if they were in a musical. The only issue is that Zoey is the only one who can see it.

Hearing people’s inner thoughts as songs is fun in theory as everyone in the world has a playlist constantly going through their heads. The execution into a television show, however, does not quite stick the landing.

The musical numbers come across as super random and forced. The . musical element seems as if it would be phenomenal as an occasional gag but does not have the strength to anchor this show. Each song selected for the episode has been used in countless other television shows as well. The songs are not bad and the performers are talented, but I just do not need to hear another cover of “Mad World” on my television screen.

The most unintentionally funny part of the show is the first musical number filled with extras. You can tell that each one of these extras is really milking their big break as “Soloist Number One.” The amount of effort they are exuding is truly hilarious.

The show is not all unintentional giggles and awkward songs. The moments dealing with Zoey’s dad are super sad and serious. The storyline brings about the musical number that works – a moment where Zoey’s father is able to communicate with her via the songs in her head.

The cast is phenomenal but they deserve a lot more than the show is providing. Jane Levy is hilarious in the title role, yet Zoey is not really an interesting protagonist. Skyler Astin is such a great performer, yet you can sniff out his “best friend who is secretly in live with the girl” shtick from a mile away! My favorite character on the show would have to be Mo, played by Alex Newell. Lauren Graham and Mary Steenburgen round off the cast with decent performances.

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” is a fun concept that I think would play better as a recurring, SNL skit. The show might find a better way of executing itself as the season airs, but I cannot promise I will be going along for the ride. “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”  begins airing Feb. 16 but the pilot episode is now available to stream.