Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist tells the story of a twenty-something computer coder, who through a freak MRI/earthquake incident, develops the ability to hear people in her life sing “heart songs” which are staged as epic show numbers.
So, why is Ohio End of Life Options writing about it? Well, this quirky communication is the only way she can communicate with her father who is dying of a neurological condition called PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) and can no longer speak. The show successfully blends hope and optimism all while tackling difficult end-of-life conversations and decisions. We see Zoey’s mother Maggie making choices about caskets and cemetery plots and when Zoey asks her why they hadn’t made these decisions in advance her mom shares a common response “we were young and we thought we had time.” It’s as big a challenge to get people to talk about their end of life wishes as it is to get kids to eat their veggies. However, when we mash up zucchini and put it in brownies it goes down a little bit easier. That’s what this show has accomplished.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is the creation of Austin Winsberg and based on his family and the story of his father’s illness. Winsberg comes from a musical theater background and would imagine different ways that he could communicate with his father. After getting the blessing of his family he moved forward to create a unique, funny, sad show for the whole family.
Ohio End of Life Options encourages you to start planning for the end of your life. Sometimes watching a show like this can prompt this conversation with your loved ones so that your wishes are respected just in case you can’t speak for yourself.
You can stream Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on HULU and on NBC.com.