Chaos Attraction

The End of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

2020-05-18, 10:38 p.m.

recently on Chaos Attraction
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Cast list as of November 2019

Another crap stressed out day at work. During which:
(a) my boss said that all of our hiring was utterly thrown out the window, those people are not permitted to be hired.
(b) We are not allowed to hire two people at all.
(c) We can start yet another job search for ONE candidate. From scratch. Again. Who knows when. Presumably in a few weeks, but if you believe that, I got some of that drug Trump supposedly drinks to sell ya.
(d) Grandboss insists that we do all international mailing no matter what even if we know they're going to be wasted and lost. I am thinking that if Grandboss knew for a fact that people were perpetually tripping and breaking their legs, she'd be all "free will, let them break their legs!"
(e) Even though Tigress said she was skipping a retirement party until we can all be in person again*, she was told they literally have no money for a party for her anyway. Not that one was even happening this year, but for fuck's sake.

* which I'm guessing these days is gonna be the twelfth of NEVER in the darkest timeline.

I can't even start with how mad I am. I have had a headache all day. I did spent all day on BUT THE EMAILS, for what that's worth.

The one awesome thing of the day was that Mark (i.e. Tony from TnT) wrote an email to La Famiglia updating how everyone is doing in quarantine. It was fucking brilliant. He apologizes for running off at the end of the wedding, "but you guys were getting on our nerves, you know?" and also they never got around to the thank you notes.

* Grandma Nunzio punched out someone who told her to wear a mask.
* Maddy's new dance studio and the Coliseum are both closed down. Vinnie marched on City Hall with his sword demanding to re-open, was arrested for threatening a clerk, and Loretta refuses to pay his bail until he apologizes for everything. HEAR HEAR, SAY I AS LORETTA.
* Nunzio is still making money in the laundry business. Ahem.
* Mrs. V seems to be in a hypochondriac state of mind, but is getting a lot of hits on YouTube, as is Joey on TikTok (note: Jean chimed in later to say she's got a CD coming out).
* Barry and Connie had twins, named after Barry's favorite vices: Corona and MJ.
* Dominic and Donna are off-and-on as ever. I shudder to think of them in quarantine.
* Sister Maria ran off to Disneyworld.
* Father Mark took a sabbatical, is back, but not allowed to drink the communion wine.
* Michael married some girl named Trina, "which worked out great because he was able to add an R to his chest tattoo so it says Trina and not Tina."
* Sal the wedding photographer never had film in the camera and ran off with the deposit to pay her gambling debts.
* Johnny and Marina took a year to have their first kiss. Marina popped the question next month. "He hasn't answered yet, but give him a few more months. Or years.")
* As for TnT, they are "kinda separated," but not giving back the wedding presents. Tony blames it on the horses--he likes to bet on them, she likes to ride them. But they're still friends, so who knows?

I wrote Mark back and said I needed that. Fucking brilliant.

Now I am going back to watching Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, since for once I seem to have watched everything on YouTube. And what do they do? Start out with singing "Here I Go Again" in episode 10, "Zoey's Extraordinary Outburst." Excuse me while I down more more apricot brandy since I drank all the blackberry. Why do I even HAVE apricot brandy? I don't even like apricots, but here it is to drink. Having to water that one down too.

I am not so much into the work drama of Max moving to a different floor, his new boss, Leif apparently secretly being in love with Joan, and that other guy whose name I forgot getting a bunch of shrimp. And they call work fights a "bake-off," for some reason? This all leads to "The Boy Is Mine." Meanwhile Max just stands there and then goes, "Doesn't anyone care what I think?" No...well, Max elects to stay with the floor that actually wanted him since nobody but Zoey even said goodbye to him. I'm not a superfan of Max, but good choice.

Simon has broken up with his fiancee and invites Zoey over to his new pad. Except "You are just singing the same old song," Zoey says, literally, after going to Simon's apartment and he's doing some kind of interpretive dance (?) to "Mad World." She runs for it. "You just heard your first full reprise!" Mo says to this later. Then Zoey and Mo get into a spat. Later, Zoey tells Simon she could tell he was in a weird mood and Simon says he'd just gotten a call from his mom saying she was eloping to Vegas.

It's the parents' anniversary and the restaurant calls THEM about their yearly reservation? Who DOES that?! Anyway, it turns into a whole thing about whether or not the restaurant can accommodate a wheelchair and whether or not Dad can eat the soup. Sigh. Turns out he can't (been there). Mom feels bad because last year she got a speeding ticket and was cranky at dinner. "I assumed next year would be better? How would I have known?" THAT'S HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE WHOLE PANDEMIC. Maggie concludes that no, they can't go to the restaurant.

Conversation between Leif and Joan:
"I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a cardigan I bought 2 years ago."
"But you kept THAT one?!"
Anyway, Joan confronts Leif on his feelings, Leif admits it while wondering how Zoey always knows ("does she watch my vlog? It's password-protected"), Joan shuts it down.

Zoey and Max have a nasty fight, with Zoey being all "Nobody gets why Ava wanted you," and I'm all BUUUUUURN. Fuck, now I'm on Max's side. Outburst, indeed.

Poor Zoey, as her dad seems to lock up more and more. She asks him to sing her a heartsong and he can't. She gets mad at the caregiver for giving him a sedative. Zoey has even MORE of an outburst....and then attacks Simon with her lips after she leaves her parents' house. She starts ranting about how isn't it time to get over the grieving, and I am all "oh fuck, girl, pot calling the kettle black when your dad hasn't even died yet, though I certainly feel ya on the anticipatory grief special hell," and that starts an even bigger outburst. Mo hears the whole thing and yells at both of them. They shall do the one rational party to "I Don't Care (I Love It)." I tried a bit of that myself. Not bad.

The family ends up setting up a nice dinner within the house (how very quarantine now). This leads to a heartsong between the parents (I have to say, I did enjoy seeing Peter Gallagher getting out of his wheelchair) to "Perfect."

Episode 11: Zoey's Extraordinary Mother:

I am horrified that the family is already shopping for funeral stuff before Dad has even died. JEEBUS H CHRIST I COULD NOT DO THAT SHIT. Isn't it bad enough once he's dead? It gets even weirder when Maggie and everyone else in the casket room breaks into song. "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place." (Also very quarantine.)

I am actually impressed with Joan being all "take all the time you need" to Zoey. Flabbergasted. I wasn't expecting much from her.

Oh god, Maggie wants her husband to decide on his own headstone. I can't even with this. Plus the joys of lock-in syndrome are kicking in.

Cut to Zoey getting hella drunk at Mo's. That reminds me, I need more apricot brandy. Mo's uh.... whoever? Anyway, he just got a gig on a cruise ship and I have a quarantine freakout at the words "cruise ship."

Wow, Max has some kind of insane personalized handshake.... thing. Also weird. Also weird is that there is a "Company Creativity Corner" and Leif has drawn a stunning heartbreak locket drawing of himself and Joan, while at work. DAMN DUDE, LEAVE THAT SHIT AT HOME.

Emily argues that their marriage contract is death do us part, but after death she can do what she wants, like be creamed. I... can't even.

Bernadette Peters has an awesome flower umbrella. I don't think anyone expects sexy dance outside in a graveyard, but here we are. I feel like I am not drunk enough for this. Let's work on that.

Random segue: after I wrote that, Mom called me on the phone, then on FaceTime, wanting to test Zoom again. But before that:

"Where are you at?"

She was the first person to finally notice my hamster...because she thought the water bottle was a penis. That's very Dad of you, Mom. Priceless.

Back to the show and the drinking: GOD I MISS THE BAR AND KARAOKE SO FUCKING BAD *cries* Anyway, Joan takes Zoey out to talk about her dead mom. "I was making my presentation for the Google Smart Pencil Do you remember that?" "Barely...?" Anyway, that's why Joan is so nice about these things. Then all the sixth floor bros walk into the bar, getting even more awkward. Leif says that everyone knows about Max's crush on Zoey. Now I have to sympathize with Max even more? Dammit. MORE ALCOHOL. Leif is now going to sing karaoke in front of his ex. Oh god. He's all out of love. "It's like I can see into his soul. Make it stop," Joan says. Zoey tries to get Max to stop it. Max instead breaks into Backstreet Boys, "Bye Bye Bye." This is kind of a fucked up mashup. Max is kinda killing it though. Leif drops to his knees, the girls flee.

Does Max know that Zoey knows exactly what he was thinking/singing at that moment in time?

Mo is a pre-emptive dumper. I actually have to agree because long-distance while a guy is on a cruise ship is probably not gonna work, and that was before. Oh look, it's Bernadette Peters and a posse. Hey, can you hang out with me? Uh, sure, why not, says Bernadette.

Why does everyone know Tobin's bathroom schedule? Good god, is that ever TMI. Oh, and speaking of, Leif wants to let Joan win. "You're worth the risk." "I'm really not."

Ohhhhh, Zoey's trying to fix Deb (Bernadette) and Maggie up as friends. "So, who's ready to talk about death?"
See, this is exactly why pre-planning seems like a bad idea here.

"Do you think Mitch cares what color flowers you pick?"
"Well, we are in the landscape design business...."

Wow, Joan just fucking tattled on Leif to Ava. Ava is all "I'm gonna fire him now" and Joan is all "I'll handle it" and Ava is all "WTF?" Joan offers an alliance and this isn't even Survivor. That came outta nowhere.

Mo, don't break up with a dude at his audition! That's cruel. At least wait until he's DONE. Also I guess that wasn't entirely in Mo's head because he walked straight on through the audition (while singing "issues.").

Hey Zoey, maybe don't bring up "first sign of the apocalypse right now?" Because I'm living in a plague and it's no longer funny.

Anyway, the lady bosses come together, hippie-style. They even hold hands. There is hugging (sigh) and arm-waving. Are the ladies gonna hook up afterwards? Asking for a friend.

Zoey and Max make amends, which suddenly reminds me that Simon isn't even in this episode. And then Max gets fired because Leif was leaking, which he had no idea about. Jeez.

Episode 12: Zoey's Extraordinary Dad. God, I'm gonna end up fucking crying, right?

Zoey's singing Bad Moon Rising and Mo is wearing a sweatshirt that says "N 1 Cares." Mo is unable to craft. I feel ya. Well, not that I've ever not been able to craft, but that would suck. Anyway, Zoey is having one of those days of impending doom. Yeah, I have those every single day now.

Zoey's dad is having "one of the good days." Wow. My dad honestly never had any. (Which if you knew my dad, was typical.)

SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW LEIF ISN'T FIRED BUT MAX IS?!?!? Also, where the omelet bar came from?

"Don't ask me about the smartpants!" and referring to buttdials from such. Oh, the fucking tech industry.

Oh, I forgot Simon was going to Vegas. Now all the guys are together. Awkward! I also want to know what a "cheesequake" is.

Yes, Simon, she wants both guys. And your acting this out in the restaurant is rather ludicrous, I gotta say.

Simon also went to the Nevada version of Medieval Times, I guess. Sounds fun. Sigh. Zoey politely calls him out on his jealousy and he admits to such and he is going to change from now on. Good job, Simon. "I am gonna wear this all the time. Unironically."

So off-camera, Zoey tried to fix Mo and Eddie up at an imaginary Gucci sale. Mo sings "I Will Follow Him." "We are now TWO Eddie love songs deep." "You know that power of yours? It's very annoying."

Emily had a bit of Braxton-Hicks, and her brother is disappointed the baby wasn't born before Dad dies. Emily is going on about nipples. Who is this random singing doctor? We don't need three dudes.

"I find you charming and disturbing. Like a Pomeranian wearing a tutu." It's the return of DANNY MICHAEL DAVIS AND HIS SMARTPANTS!!! DMD approves her rehiring Max, randomly. "Have them make me an omelet, hold the eggs." That' interesting concept for an omelet, sir. DMD apparently has a SHITLOAD OF LEGAL TROUBLE GOING ON and wants to transfer SparqPoint (I forget how it's spelled and I don't care, it's dumb) over to Joan. Wow. No one seems that fazed at all of the organizations looking for him, though?

Mo confesses his love to Eddie. They kiss. Awwwww.

Max proposes a 'sausage party" (I... guess it's a movie thing?) and Zoey says she got Max his job back. Max doesn't wanna. "I was good at it" (he says, about being a manager), and I'm all, dude, you did it for how many days?! And got fired for not knowing what one of your team members was doing? And then Zoey kisses him and....Okay, still not into Skylar Astin, but his rendition of this song is great. He doe John Legend well ("All Of Me"). Zoey interrupts to tell him what he's doing. "That's so embarrassing." Can you think about something else? Something dirtier? Yeah, that just went into "I Know You Want Me." And then we have the Phone Call of Dad's Dying.

"What was that?" "The bad moon. It rose."

Zoey's dad lost the ability to swallow. The end is nigh. Lotta trigger stuff right now. David is all mad the baby hasn't been born.

Wow, Max just called Simon to tell him about Zoey's dad. Good job.

Max has already said his goodbyes and ah, let Mitch know how he feels about his daughter. "I'm pretty sure he knows," says Maggie.
Mitch is singing his goodbye to Emily/the baby and David is doing the same to his dad. Goodnight, my angel. How is Mitch still on the couch if he's dying? That's hospital bed time.

Zoey hugs Max goodbye and Simon brings over lasagna. "I know. And I'm here. Whenever you need me." Awwww. He'll get her her own grief basket.

Oh, there's the hospital bed. "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" by Maggie.

"Death is hideous and ugly and grotesque and wildly, wildly unfair. Or maybe death is beautiful and spiritual and transcendent and sometimes a very necessary and freeing escape from our physical bodies when they are no longer habitable." -Howie's words of wisdom. Whoever wrote that, good job.

Zoey tells her dad she's not minding the big musical numbers so well, as they might actually be helping her. OH GOD HE'S DEATH RATTLING. Then from across the other end of the house, her dad wants to talk to her and dance with her and there's my crying. He says she'll always hear him. "True Colors" plays, instrumentally. And he's gone.

This is a lot nicer than actual death, just so you know. I bet it was a lot prettier than the showrunner's actual dad's death. Which I of course looked up:

“I can say that everything that happens and has happened over the course of the season with Mitch and the family was based on something that actually happened in my own house and stuff that happened with my own dad. So everything that happens in the finale is me trying to do my own version of what went on in our house and trying to be true to that.“

"The end for my father unfortunately was not the happiest ending, for lack of a better word. My mom was concerned about the degree of authenticity of that and how far we were going to go with that. And that was certainly some level that we had to modulate in the editing room, just how graphic we wanted to be in the depiction of that."

"Everything you saw over the course of the season in the house was literally stuff that happened in my family's house during those months — everything from the Taboo buzzer to him asking for lemonade on the computer, to the crying sprees to falling down the stairs to bringing in a caregiver, to the challenges with my mom trying to figure out the final resting place. It all came directly from our own lives."

"Then, this whole season, everything that happens in the family and with Mitch is based on what happened with my own dad. Literally, to an episode, every story that happens in the family is something that happened in our own house. The day that my father passed away, a hospice worker came to our house at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and said, “Your father’s going to die today.” Then, they left, and we were left to our own devices, trying to figure out what to do. For the next eight hours, friends and family members came over to say their last goodbyes. It was kind of this living vigil that we were doing in the house."

So, I’d always pictured doing an entire episode that took place over this vigil time, where the family was there, and friends were coming by, and we were just experiencing it, almost in pseudo-real time with the family. But as we started breaking that as an entire episode, it felt so tonally different than the rest of the show. It just felt really, really sad and depressing, and I think that Zoey’s fires best on all cylinders when it’s a combination of comedic and romantic, and emotional and musical, and all of those things."

"I guess we gotta face the music sometime, right?" Maggie says, about going to the funeral. It is, of course, pouring. And then ... American Pie. The last time I heard that song was at karaoke. It was a lot more fun then. Zoey's guys shake hands. Mo pours drinks. Even Joan's there. Is this an uninterrupted camera shot? Damn. To that song, even? Wow. This may be the best filmed funeral ever. Zoey has a moment with each dude. The funeral ends. Zoey sings alone at the end. (I'm slightly amused at 'drove my Chevy to the levy" when that's her last name IRL.) And that's the end. Missing him on the couch.

In loving memory of Richard Weisberg.

Well, that's another one-season wonder sort of show that I like and is clearly never getting a second season even if the world hadn't crashed and burned. But it was good. Hard to watch, but good.

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