NBC's musical dramedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist built up its core fanbase thanks in part to covering popular songs of the past and present with performances both big and small. However, in the latest episode, not only did the characters celebrate Zoey’s 30th birthday, someone very important to Jane Levy's Zoey honored her in the best way possible: with a fully original non-cover song.
Zoey’s brother David (Andrew Leeds) and her Aussie neighbor Aiden (Felix Mallard) gave audiences a first-of-its-kind performance for Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, taking on an original track for the titular character's birthday party, which she was originally going to cancel. The new song, titled “Crimson Love,” was co-written by executive story editor Lindsey Rosin and showrunner Austin Winsberg, and the latter told TVLine that they’d been wanting to tackle an original song since the show's earliest days, and it was all just a matter of finding the perfect time to make it happen. Winsberg explained:
We’ve been wanting to do an original song on the show from the beginning. It’s just about trying to figure out the right way in which to make it happen. So by David getting into the band and coming up with this idea that Aiden could sing to Zoey at her birthday party, we realized this could be a funny way to have an original song on the show.
Sunday’s episode, dubbed “Zoey’s Extraordinary Birthday,” involved Zoey grappling with her feelings for Simon, Max and Aiden, all while trying to celebrate the big 3-0. Part of her emotional mindset centered on her dad's belief that big moments, like turning 30, should always be celebrated. Lindsey Rosin and Austin Winsberg described the original song as “comedic, heartfelt and a little bit awkward,” which also described the scene itself feature Zoey and other party guests watching the band in action. But despite the super-cute moment, Zoey’s heart went in a different direction at the end of the party.
Zoey has been struggling with her feelings for Max and Simon for a while now, but after the introduction of Aiden, she found a whole lot of new feelings creeping up. But just how long will such infatuations last? Although the end of the latest episode showed Zoey’s true feelings come out about a particular guy, will those emotions hold strong forever? Probably not. Just when things in Zoey’s life finally start to slow down and take shape, something, or someone, always gets in the way.
With one original song under its belt, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist could possibly crank out even more new-to-viewers ditties. Even though the covers and their choreographed performances are one of the best parts of the show, the original song in Sunday’s episode proved that the series doesn't need to rely on existing pop music to make those sequences work. It's awesome that Austin Winsberg & Co. were able to find what they felt was the perfect time to make it happen, and if there are more ways to write tunes that fit in with the storylines going forward, this Playlist could start sparking some major hits of its own.
Keep your eyes and ears open for more music when Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.