Max’s got the power — but does he really know how to use it?
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist returns with a Christmas-themed movie, debuting this Wednesday, Dec. 1 for free on The Roku Channel, and it picks up where the cancelled NBC musical dramedy left off — with Zoey’s beau suddenly able to hear heart songs, as well. But unlike Zoey when she first got her gift, Max is really taking to his newfound ability.
“Everything’s kind of coming a little easy to him,” star Skylar Astin previews in the above video interview. “He’s just solving people’s problems with no issue, which actually might be a little frustrating for Zoey to witness because I know she’s struggled with it, especially early on.”
Leading lady Jane Levy says she found how “Max’s smugness and borderline arrogance about the powers” is portrayed in the movie to be “pretty funny. “I feel like it’s — without stating the obvious — pretty CIS white male behavior,” Levy adds with a laugh. “But it’s also really charming, and they’re cute, and I think that there’s a lot of comedy to be mined there. He’s obviously wrong, and he’s in over his head, and so is she.”
Given that Zoey has experienced the weight of the powers for far longer than Max, “I think she bears the responsibility of it all, and I think Max is just seeing it as like these awesome concerts he gets to witness every day,” Astin shares. “It’s all fun and games until you hear a real heartbreaking, heart-wrenching story, or even can hear your entire office singing about how much they dislike you or anything like that, and I think when it gets real for Max is when he starts to learn the greater responsibility of the powers.”
For Zoey, this Christmas is also an emotional time because it’s her first big holiday without her beloved father Mitch. “When this movie opens, Christmas has made her go bananas” as she tries to recreate the perfect family Mitch-mas, Levy describes. “She’s just like vibrating and sort of spins into like space, and so she’s just pretty thrown off in this situation and understandably so.”
But in grappling with what she’s lost, Zoey realizes what she does have and throws her heart into her new relationship. “Someone said this quote to me right before I started [filming], which was, ‘Grief is love with no place to go,'” Levy shares, “and I thought it was so beautiful because, to me, that really encompassed what that really big heartbreaking feeling is. Because it’s not just sadness. It’s extreme amounts of love with no place to go.”
“And so, what I love about this movie is we see Zoey get to love Max,” Levy continues. “It’s taken a really long time, and it’s been messy, and she’s made mistakes along the way, but I believe that him getting this power, maybe as a gift from her father or the universe or whatever, has allowed them to really bond and be able to trust one another and finally be in this loving relationship, and I think that that’s such a nice thing. It’s a very warm feeling during the holidays.”
Reminder: Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas debuts for free on Wednesday, Dec. 1, exclusively on The Roku Channel — which does not require a Roku device — in the U.S., Canada and the UK. All 25 episodes of the series are currently available to stream on the service.
Press PLAY above to hear more from TVLine’s chat with Levy and Astin, including why no one should let Zoey near kitchen knives.