There will be no musical numbers about COVID when Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist returns for Season 2 on Tuesday, Jan. 5 (NBC, 8/7c).
While many of this fall’s dramas and comedies have addressed the global coronavirus outbreak with significant arcs (see: Grey’s Anatomy) or the occasional mention and mask-wearing (This Is Us), Zoey’s showrunner Austin Winsberg has opted not to incorporate the pandemic into the dramedy’s new season.
“I feel like our show is a musical, and I feel like our show has a spirit of hope and positivity and wish fulfillment in it,” Winsberg explains to TVLine. “And just from minute one, when I started thinking about Season 2, it just didn’t appeal to me to have COVID be a part of this world.”
“I felt, also, like I didn’t want to see a bunch of dance numbers with people with masks on,” Winsberg adds with a laugh.
Plus, given the series’ sometimes weighty and emotional storylines — the upcoming episodes will explore the subject of grief following the death of Zoey’s beloved father — “there are enough challenges and enough complications that, perhaps, we could use some of the feelings that have been happening during the quarantine, and some of the ways people have been trying to carry on and deal with loss, to still talk about a lot of the issues that have come up during this last year, without having to remind people that they’re watching a pandemic show,” Winsberg continues. “I just felt like the show has brought us an opportunity to be a form of escapism. I didn’t want to get stuck in the literalness of what we’re all going through right now.”
That said, Zoey’s will tackle another real-world issue in Episode 6, which deals with systemic racism in Silicon Valley and at Zoey’s workplace, Sprq Point, “in a really, hopefully, deep way,” Winsberg previews. “We brought in a guest choreographer to work with [series choreographer] Mandy [Moore] on the episode, and I’m particularly proud of the musical numbers we do in that episode.”
Zoey’s Playlist fans, hit the comments with your hopes for Season 2!