Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist recap: The one that was all about sex

Skylar Astin as Max, Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.
Skylar Astin as Max, Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Pic credit: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC/Lionsgate

Last night, NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist delivered one of the most delightful hours of television I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Distraction” was exactly that — a reprieve of the all-encompassing grief she has been going through after her father’s death in the Season 1 finale. As Zoey (Jane Levy) herself put it, she needed a grief vacation, and Max (Skylar Astin) presented himself as an excellent distraction.

But what made this episode fantastic was that, not only was it fun and light and hilarious, it also followed Zoey’s decision to be with Max. That led to countless adorable and ridiculous situations where they just wanted to have some alone time but something always interrupted them.

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Zoey’s Extraordinary Sex Life

I never thought I would title any section of any article this, but here we are. Our dear Zoey’s sex life was front and center in last night’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist because she just wanted to have some uninterrupted sexy times with her new boyfriend. And honestly, who can blame her, right?

Picking up right where we left off last week, Zoey and Max are making out like teenagers in her childhood bedroom when Maggie walks in on them. They jump apart like they’ve been burned, as if they were teenagers caught by a parent. Everyone is embarrassed, and it’s awkward and hilarious, and Maggie won’t stop talking.

So after a very awkward moment, Maggie finally leaves and Zoey and Max decide to just postpone this and have date night the following evening instead.

But of course, nothing goes as planned, because there’s a crisis at SPRQ Point on Zoey’s first official day as Executive Director of the Fourth Floor. One of the new smartwatches is literally burning people, so they need to run against time to figure out what’s wrong and fix it.

Zoey tasks Leif, who has been recently promoted to team manager, to figure out what’s happening and fix it ASAP. However, Leif has zero power over the team and the fourth floor has basically become an out of control frat house where no one focuses on anything but games and hazing each other.

And through this entire nightmare of a day, Zoey just wants to get home — this time to her actual apartment — so she can enjoy a nice dinner with Max and make the best of every second of their alone time. Every time she excitedly shouted about sex in this episode had me in stitches.

Their first attempt at date night was a bust because Mo sort of had a disagreement with Max — and we will get more into that in a minute — and that put a damper on things for the new couple because Mo sang a really sad heart song to Zoey about this whole thing, and it just completely ruined the mood.

But Zoey is nothing if not a determined woman; she wanted to have sex with Max and she was going to make it happen, damn it! So after making Max and Mo talk, she manages to get everyone out of the house that night (including her mother), and she lures Max there with a misguided SOS text.

What follows that decision is probably one of the most brilliantly choreographed, written and directed scenes I have seen in a really long time. Because Max is super aware that Zoey can see his emotions through heart songs, he tried to prepare himself to not think about his feelings for Zoey when they finally spent the night together. So he tries to think about baseball — which makes him sing about baseball.

It obviously backfires and his real heart song sneaks up on him. That entire sequence of Max trying to focus and hilariously failing was just as funny as it was heartwarming. Because, sure, Zoey is choosing to focus on the very good thing in her life, but it isn’t just a distraction for the sake of distraction. If her father hadn’t died, they would have still ended up here, so this is where she chooses to be. The distraction from her grief is just a bonus.

So when she joins him in the heart song, it was just such an important moment. Sure, it was still funny and adorable, but this is such a monumental step for her. This was Zoey making her choice, baring all to the guy she loves, and it was everything I could have hoped for with these two.

I know that things will not always be this easy and that Zoey is still very much not okay, but at least she’ll have Max by her side. And right now, that’s exactly what she needs.

Alex Newell as Mo, Skylar Austin as Max, Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke — Pic by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC/Lionsgate
Alex Newell as Mo, Skylar Austin as Max, Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Pic credit: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC/Lionsgate

Max and Mo and the Restaurant

I just wanted to really quickly touch on this storyline. Max invited Mo to join him in a new business venture. They’re very excited about it, but it all comes crashing down when Max asks Mo to sign a business agreement. What seems to be a simple request to Max, serves as one hell of a trigger for Mo and he basically kicks Max to the curb and doesn’t even want to hear about doing business together anymore.

Eventually, we get the full story, and it was that in the past Mo made a really selfish decision and betrayed his business partner, that also was one of his best friends at the time.

Of course, that sucked, but what was really great about this subplot was that it showed just how much Mo has grown, but most importantly, how much he is still growing. And that’s true for all of us. No one is perfect; people make mistakes, but the fact that Mo is owning up to this and saying that he doesn’t want to risk his newfound friendship with Max is huge and a fantastic milestone in his character development.

This friendship is something that I didn’t really see coming, but I am thrilled to see where it goes.

Other highlights of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

  • Emily’s song about her sister was absolutely golden.
  • Maggie being so chill about Max and Zoey was hilariously adorable. When she asks, “so did you and Max finally do it?” I was laughing out loud.
  • The fact that Max tried to train for his big moment with Zoey is just beyond adorable, okay?
  • That entire morning after the scene with Zoey’s entire family was everything.
  • David and Max. David and Max. I need more scenes with them together!

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs on Tuesdays at 8/7C on NBC.

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