If you’re looking for what was truly extraordinary about Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2, Episode 11, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Double Date,” look no further than the incredible Mandy Moore. Nope, not her. The choreographer.
Not only did this installment of the musical dramedy’s second season have its usual collection of show-stopping dance numbers, but Moore also directed the episode. Seeing her creative vision play out across the entire 42-ish minutes, rather than just during the heart songs, was truly special.
Not to be overshadowed, Alex Newell reminded us, yet again, of why we will forever stan him and Mo. This was the type of television we signed up for, and that’s even in spite of rolling our eyes so hard they almost fell out of their sockets during the actual “extraordinary double date” in question.
So, what worked in Episode 11? (We already know what didn’t and aren’t wasting our energy.) Let’s take a closer look.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2, Episode 11 as Mandy Moore’s vision
If there’s been one thing about this series that has been consistently good, it has been the choreography. Period, full stop.
But one thing that is always annoying about watching dance on TV shows is how not everyone creating those shows understands the art form. That’s why it was so brilliant that the icon behind the movement got to direct “Zoey’s Extraordinary Double Date.”
Admittedly, this particular series has always been one of the better ones in terms of how it has showcased the choreography from Team Dance (Mandy Moore, Jillian Meyers, Jeff Mortensen, guest choreographer Luther Brown, and whoever we’re missing). But there is something, kind of beyond explanation, for how much purer of a look inside those creative minds Moore was able to bring us as the episode’s director.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2, Episode 11 featured six heart songs. And it was impossible to pick a favorite, from the opening “Overwhelmed,” to that huge Broadway number to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” during the Bay to Breakers event, and more. There was not a single awkward moment or passing thought of “ugh. Why is it at that angle” or “why can’t I see their [insert body part here]?”
That, friends, is the beauty of having your Emmy-winning choreographer as your director. But wait! There’s more.
Aside from fangirling forever—which, like guilty as charged—it’s also important to point out that even the parts of the episode that didn’t involve dance still felt like they did. Your musical show was more of a musical than ever, and there is exactly zero complaint on that.
Speaking of fangirling forever: Let’s talk about Mo
After Zoey heard Perry’s heart song, he explained to her that he was worried about Mo and his ex getting along. He claimed it was because they both had “big personalities.”
But everything between Mo and Brad worked out just fine. It started off with them asking each other about their pronouns (important!), then progressed to dragging Zoey’s hideous costume together.
It turned out Perry was the one with the problem. In fact, Brad picked up on what was eating at Perry and was immediately protective of Mo.
When Perry shared his fears of no longer being able to “pass” or have people see him the same once they knew he was dating Mo, it hurt on multiple levels. For Perry, who felt like he needed to be a certain kind of “masculine” to be accepted, and for Mo, who was getting his heartbroken.
But there’s one part of this whole ordeal to actually celebrate. Mo wasn’t having it.
Thank you for sharing your truth with me. It has been a journey to get to where I am today. Through all of the hate, and shame, and pain…and guilt. I swam through all of that to get to the other side…
Perry claimed to understand what Mo was saying, but he wasn’t having that either:
No, you don’t. Because if you did know, you would know that by the time I got to the other side, I promised myself that I would never go back to that person. The person that couldn’t look themselves in the mirror because they were harboring all of the hate and laughs to their core. I will always have love for that person, but he’s gone.
Alex Newell gets better with every single episode of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. This heartfelt and soul-crushing scene was remarkable, even knowing he consistently steals the show.
If this relationship with Perry doesn’t work, can we keep David St. Louis?
As someone who spent her pre-teen and teen years jamming to the likes of Matchbox 20 (who then weirdly started spelling out the Twenty), I’m pretty protective of them.
But David St. Louis killed “Unwell” with his slower and more angsty version. It’s better than the original, which is something I say about pretty much nothing—especially when it comes to the music from the good ol’ days.
Shoutout to Zoey’s therapist
This is one of those situations that doesn’t require much explanation.
You said you broke up with Max because you could hear his thoughts, but he couldn’t hear yours…Now, you’re in a relationship with Simon, and he’s not aware of your secret at all.
The only extra commentary that’s going to go here is that, evidently, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist has been lying to us all along about why Zoey and Max broke up. Silly us.
We thought it was about her needing to work through her grief before diving into things. That’s what Episode 3 implied—or outright said—at least.
Also of note: Zoey knows “it will be game over” if Simon finds out their entire bond is based on a lie. She’s just…apparently…OK with that.
Here’s hoping this therapist doesn’t go the way of Paula Agard from Suits and actually remains someone worthy of the title.
Tobin and McKenzie, enough said
Look: Tobin and McKenzie have been dancing around this thing since back when the love “triangle” started souring things. While Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist has messed up so much else about relationships, we are disgustingly here for this dynamic.
They have, thus far, exchanged jabs at each other. Episode 11 saw them taking out their frustrations with Leif…on each other’s lips. It’s almost like Niles and CC from The Nanny—except a much faster move to the feelings part and, well. Nobody is actually Niles and CC.
Basically, let’s make like Tobin and Leif: Grab arms and jump up and down!
Did you love Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2, Episode 11? Let us know! And keep watching Sundays at 9/8c on NBC!