Friday, April 03, 2020

Zoey Update

Here's the interesting thing. "Crazy Ex Girlfriend" and the movie version of "Chicago" both used a musical viewpoint as a thing the main character saw and everyone else didn't. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" even tied it to the character's mental health. 
"Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" keeps trying to have it's cake and eat it too. They also aren't picking songs that suit the voices of their cast. 
So, I am going to now spoil the hell out of this week's episode. 
I am all for Jane Levy getting a chance to sing. But spending this many episodes building up Zoey's ability to hear other people's inner songs as a super power, only to use it as a sign of suppression in the main character, well, it's ghost sex (to make a "Grey's Anatomy" reference). It's yanking the rug from under your viewers and telling them everything they have been told by the show is wrong, it isn't a cool trick. It sucks.
Also, sidenote. Apparently women are not allowed to not be romantically involved with a coworker. Platonic relationships don't exist. Also, their one LGBTQ character is barely making it past stereotype and that's mostly because of a stellar performance.
Back to the songs. In addition to the betrayal of the audience, its also a character betrayal. Zoey got a peek into folk's heart songs, but it was just Zoey. Zoey's songs were revealed to everyone. Uncontrollably. Zoey was embarrassed personally and professionally. 
Now I know these songs worked differently than the others. But then I'm back to the show needs rules. If the songs are sometimes in Zoey's head but sometimes not, without any rhyme or reason, then that's honestly a world building fail. In Broadway musicals people sing things that other can and cannot here, and there are clear ways to do that with staging.  The show is refusing to do this.  And then to use their lack of world building as an excuse to embarass their main character, it's pretty awful. Jane Levy is a wonderful performer.  I was thrilled to see this.  But there was not a convincing reason for her heart songs to work differently than other people's.  
I put up with a lot for good song and dance numbers. But this show is suffering an identity crisis.

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