Why Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Won’t Include COVID In Season 2

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

With Season 2 of NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist rapidly approaching, anticipation for the musical dramedy is on the rise. Being that the show takes place in pretty much real time, fans may wonder if they can expect to see Jane Levy’s titular character in a mask and hear musical numbers about social distancing. If you were concerned about the pandemic clouding the already emotional storyline of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, you need not worry, as it’s been confirmed that te COVID pandemic will not exist in the same world as Zoey and her friends.

The creator of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Austin Winsberg, assured fans in an interview with ET that the pandemic we are experiencing will not touch Zoey’s world. Here's how he put it:

I made the conscious choice to not have this show taking place during the pandemic time. The musical world of the show and some of the wish fulfillment, and some of the hope and joy of the show, I just didn't want it to live in a world where corona was happening. I wanted people to be able to watch it as an escape from that. I also thought the idea of musical numbers with dancers and singers in masks the whole time robs the show of what, hopefully, makes it special. So I didn't want corona to be a part of it, but I also felt like we can't not acknowledge a bit of what's going on in the world. So make some small nods to it. Certainly in the beginning of the season, with the idea that Zoey has been staying at her mom's house and where she's not leaving the bubble of that house for the last six weeks is a bit my nod to quarantining. Also this idea of what happens when it's all over and when we go back into the world: How have things changed? How have things shifted and how do we approach people differently after being in our own bubbles.

This is most likely a huge sigh of relief to fans, and a smart move for the show. Musicals like Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, although set in a realistic world, are still escapist shows. Yes, there are some strong emotions behind a lot of the musical numbers, but breaking into song and dance is not the status quo of real life, as much as we may wish it was. In these pandemic times when many people haven’t seen friends and family in close to a year, we at least want our fictional music numbers to be fun and fancy (mask)free.

Even though COVID is not present in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, viewers will apparently get to see some similar pandemic-centric emotions reflected in what Zoey is going through. At the end of Season 1, we saw Zoey lose her father and can expect to witness some lingering grief, at the very least, in Season 2. Whether metaphorically or quite literally, Zoey's loss can easily mirror the tragedies that have occurred across the country during the pandemic.

According to the show’s creator, we can expect even more nods to the hardships everyone has faced this past year, and will continue to face for the unforeseen future. Here's hoping they still find ways to pepper in the laughs and warm feelings, though.

Season 2 of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist premieres on NBC on Tuesday, January 5, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all your TV and movie news.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.