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'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist:' NBC's New Hit?

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By Francesca O'Hern

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, NBC's new comedy about a woman who can hear people's inner thoughts through music, began airing last month, but is already making quite an impact. According to SyFy's critics, Courtney Enlow and Carly Lane, the series is already quite the tearjerker. If you are looking for a good replacement for something like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or even Glee, this might be a good show to get into. Here's what you missed, and what need to know to start the show.

What's It About?

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Jane Levy stars as Zoey, a reserved computer programmer who lacks confidence. When up for a promotion, her boss, Joan (played by Lauren Graham) asks her what her strengths are, but Zoey can't even answer the question. After being in an MRI machine during an earthquake, she emerges with the ability to hear the thoughts of those around her-- except it's only through music. The new gift allows her to connect with and see the world in a new light, providing unforeseen opportunities and challenges.

Who Is in It?

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Aside from Zoey and Joan, the main cast is rounded out by Zoey's father, Mitch (Peter Gallagher), her mother Maggie (Mary Steenburgen), and her neighbor Mo (Alex Newell). The relationship between Zoey and her father is especially important, because Mitch suffers from progressive supranuclear palsy, which disables him from speaking. Zoey's ability to finally understand him, especially since it's through song, is one of the first heart-wrenching moments of the show. Another very important friendship is that of Zoey and Mo: Mo is obsessed with music, and is one of the first people Zoey tells about her new power. Mo helps Zoey come to terms with it, and assures her she isn't crazy.

There is Already a Love Triangle

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Max, played by Skylar Astin (you may know him from Pitch Perfect or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), is Zoey's best friend at work. After she's able to hear his thoughts, she learns that he's had a crush on her for a long time. However, Zoey finds herself crushing on another coworker, Simon (John Clarence Stewart, form Luke Cage and What/If). Love triangles are the lifeblood of TV plots, and one of the reasons audiences return week after week, so expect this to become a bigger plot point as the season continues.

She Deals With Sexism at Work

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Working in the male-dominated field of technology, Zoey, unfortunately, encounters some misogyny at work. However, this is a real issue many women face, so it's important that the series show how the issue can manifest itself in the workplace. When Zoey (spoiler) earns a promotion to manager, she is suddenly in charge of almost exclusively men, and some ugliness comes out, from performative wokeness to outright hostility. Thankfully, Zoey's boss Joan does her best to mentor Zoey and help her out.

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