It’s like Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist didn’t end in this Christmas-themed movie – but that statement is for better and for worse.
|Screenplay By||Austin Winsberg|
|Where To Watch||TV Movie (Roku)|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT, Musical|
|Duration||1 Hour, 39 Minutes|
|Perry||David St. Louis|
|Simon||John Clarence Stewart|
|Jack||David James Elliott|
It’s Zoey’s first Christmas without her father, and with everyone making plans, from Maggie going with Deb to Hawaii to Emily having David and their son go spend time with her sister, Zoey only has Max. This isn’t terrible, but he is Jewish, so Christmas doesn’t hold the same warm and fuzzy feelings for him. He tries but, it’s not the same. Plus, with him able to hear heart songs now, he has kind of gotten annoying.
As for Mo? Well, they have their own thing going with Perry and his kids. So that leaves Zoey to play the “My dad died” card until the paper wears out, to convince everyone to do things as Mitch would do one more time. But whether or not she can recreate what her father did, never mind attaining the Christmas she wants so bad, that will be a challenge.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Reason(s) for Film Rating: Outside of drinking and talking about past drug use, it’s tame.
- Simon is barely in the movie.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
Mo & Perry’s Storyline
It has been two weeks since the second season finale, which became the series finale, and in the movie, Mo and Perry are going strong, and Mo has made quite a bit of strides when it comes to Perry’s kids. This, considering how selfish Mo is, is the kind of progress you like to see. Now, do they still have a lot of adjustment and learning to do? ABSOLUTELY! Mo takes over Amirah’s Christmas pageant and makes it about them, which doesn’t lead to any beef, but definitely some course correction.
However, there is no doubt in my mind that the only couple Mo and Perry can be considered second to is Maggie and Mitch, and considering Mitch isn’t around anymore… I’m just saying.
Jack and Maggie
Maggie is still struggling with the idea of moving on, and thankfully she isn’t like Zoey about it. Yes, Maggie is seeking out distractions and is still apprehensive about taking any man who approaches her seriously, but sometimes it seems because Zoey can’t let go, Maggie’s guilt is doubled. Yet, with a gentleman named Jack, who sells Christmas trees, you see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. He knows about plants, appreciates her work, and seems like a good match for her.
However, even with it being so long since Mitch died, you can’t discount all the years Maggie’s life has operated as Mitch and Maggie. So no matter what Deb presents as an opportunity, the jobs Maggie gets on her own, or even attracting the attention of men her own age, you can’t undo decades of being intertwined with someone purely based on will. The healing process doesn’t work like that.
I fully recognize this show is about Zoey, but seeing her selfishly change everyone’s plans to suit her needs made her unlikeable. And I know, it’s not the best thing to judge a character by their likability, for no human being is likable every last moment of their life. However, I’m of the opinion, depending on the genre, your lead should be someone whose appeal outweighs their flaws – and in a musical comedy? Yeah, the lead should be quite likable.
But as Deb presented, she plays that dead dad card to the extent that it has become tired. And don’t get us wrong, we get Mitch was, before Simon and Max, one of the people who understood Zoey the most, and his long decline was likely traumatic for her. The issue is, I think she has gotten to a place of misery liking company, and, as noted when talking about Maggie, I think she isn’t letting people begin the process of healing and moving on in their own way. Everything has to be on her timetable, about her anguish, and it increasingly makes her insufferable.
And considering it wasn’t too long ago, Zoey was told about how self-centered she can be in the franchise’s timeline, it does feel like we took some steps back in her development.
So, They Just Dropped Max Having Powers?
At the end of the movie, we learn Max no longer has powers and the reason he was given them? Yeah, the theory was for him to understand Zoey more. He was given powers in order to have more empathy for what she goes through.
I don’t know about you but, while I understand this franchise is in limbo and may or may not continue, I feel like shutting this gift given to Max was corny. In fact, I think it showed just how much this show can’t tear itself away from trying to use Jane Levy’s charm to compensate for how insufferable they write her character at times. Because, can you just imagine, whatever force gave Zoey powers, to decide to give Max, for two weeks, the same power just so he could have some empathy for Zoey? I get the show coerced the two to be endgame, but this is getting ridiculous.
On The Fence
David and Emily
What needs to be appreciated about David and Emily is that they can be seen as normal. At least, if you look at their personal lives. David is recovering from a life crisis paired with a new kid and his wife being in a dark place. Emily is learning what it means to not just be part of a family but have one and actually put work into maintaining the relationships expected of you. Also, Emily is still dealing with her own struggles and with being seen as perfect for so long, trying to slowly give up the idea people could perceive her as anything but that.
When you think about everyone else we see on this show, they are the most relatable and exist in something close to our universe. Now, does that make them boring at times, and did the show often seem to forget them? Yes. But in the movie, it does feel like we got to see all they’ve become since their initial introduction, with a few leftover quirks to remind you there is still more room to grow.
Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
While it is nice to see Zoey and the gang again, I feel like we equally got the flaws of the series, as we did the high points. If not, because the movie doubled down so heavily on Zoey getting what she wants, the bad outweighing the good a bit. For while we loved the choreography and the singing, as usual, there are times you almost have to wonder if the writers don’t know what to do with Zoey if she isn’t sad and miserable. Never mind trying to pressure people to do something about it.
Hence the mixed label. As someone who has watched the show since the beginning, there is a nice bit of nostalgia that comes from watching the film. However, with being reminded how Zoey exists in a form of arrested development, I can’t say I’m clamoring for Roku to renew the show for a third season.
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