Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Zoey’s Extraordinary Reading List. Proceed at your own risk!
Oh, how the tables turned! Zoey’s Extraordinary Reading List ended its second season on Sunday with a heart song – but this time it was Zoey singing! And upon receiving her musical declaration of love was Max, who could suddenly hear Zoey’s heart song!
Prior to this cliffhanger, Zoey and Simon had gone their separate ways, and then the titular daughter received a dream visit from her father, who encouraged her to take risks and truly live her life. Zoey therefore decided to rush to the airport to prevent Max from leaving for New York with Rose. But when she arrived, she heard Max sing “When a Man Loves a Woman” and left without saying a word, assuming the song was about Rose. However, when Max unexpectedly showed up at the park where Zoey was sitting desperately, it was obvious the ode was about her.
Max explained that he and Rose broke things up because they could both tell his mind was on someone else. Then, as Zoey said she was on top, she started to burst into a rousing performance of “I Melt With You” from modern English, shocking a bemused Max.
Below, showrunner Austin Winsberg breaks down the great power twist and what it means for Max and Zoey’s romantic future. (And for the latest information on Zoey’s Season 3 ratings, keep an eye on our 2021 renewal dashboard.)
TVLINE | What got you excited about this twist with the powers and what it opens up for a potential Season 3?
I’m always trying to think of new ways to spin and spin and do new things with the powers. We talked about this pretty early on in Season 1, the idea of Max getting the powers at some point. Granted, when you think of superhero origin stories, it always seems like there is a place on superhero shows where they find someone else who has powers as well. So we liked the idea of being able to make our own version of it.
But the other thing that we had really established a lot in Season 1, especially in Season 2, was this idea that Max feels like there is an inequality in their relationship, because Zoey has the ability to ‘hear what is going on in his heart. , in his brain, and he can’t do the same with her. I think in any relationship in life there has to be some degree of equality for the relationship to work. So just in terms of thinking about how Zoey and Max might work in the long run, for me it was important for Max to understand what it’s like for Zoey to experiment with songs from the heart. And I also like the idea that Max can also know what’s going on in Zoey’s head. And certainly, from a romantic comedy standpoint, being able to act out stories where these two are a couple, but they also know exactly what the other person is thinking about, that seemed like a breeding ground for intrigue.
TVLINE | To clarify, both Max and Zoey have powers at the end of the finale? Or have the powers been transferred from Zoey to Max?
I don’t want to fully clarify this yet.
TVLINE | Zoey is sometimes a guarded person. So what impact will this have on her, and how will she feel about Max having all this insight into her?
That’s all there is to explore in Season 3. But I certainly think it opens up a whole new realm of stories to be told, stories about him experiencing heart songs, stories about how ‘she has to help him with songs from the heart, stories about him hearing her heart songs and what it means for their relationship. It just adds interesting new layers of complexity and complication.
TVLINE | Zoey’s heart song was so exuberant, so joyful and free. Were there other songs that were being considered at this time, or was it always “I Melt With You”?
For some reason, this was the song I kept coming back to. Obviously, there are a lot of love songs out there. We might have danced around a few others. But it still felt right to me. It was good for Jane [Levy’s] voice. I liked the idea that the first song we ever heard in the pilot was “It’s the end of the world as we know it”, and this song [goes], “I will stop the world and melt with you.” I thought there was a nice global bookend specificity to these two. I liked that she said, “Having sex with you has never been the second best,” after all Zoey / Simon / Max. There was just something about it that felt very right to me, so I stuck to that one pretty quickly.
TVLINE | Speaking of everything Zoey / Simon / Max, tell me about Zoey’s choices when it comes to Simon and Max in this episode. What went into the thinking behind these decisions?
When I plotted the arc of the season, right from the start, I wanted to make sure that Zoey wasn’t wavering and hesitant between the two guys and was not moving back and forth. So I really felt like what was going to frustrate audiences with this idea of Zoey choosing neither. And so we made a conscious choice that I thought was a bold choice for her to pick Max at the end of episode 1, and for them to at least try to do that and realize pretty quickly that he is still too early in his grief. so that she is truly ready for a relationship.
I felt like due to the dynamic that had been created between Zoey and Simon, and the chemistry between them, I felt like Zoey really needed to play this in some way. another. And we found out as we were breaking episodes 9, 10, and 11, and dealing with Zoey and Simon’s relationship, that there was one basic thing she was hiding from her, which spoke to her about powers. I think she was scared to really open up to him that way and scared of what that might mean, especially since everything the path they encountered in the pilot was based on a little bit of deception. ‘a certain way. I think she just didn’t feel like she could be open with him or wanted to be open with him that way, and then the power kept getting in the way between them. I just felt like they were both trying really hard to make it work. So I liked the idea of exploring something where the fantasy or the expectation of it might not be as rewarding or fulfilling for one of them when they’re actually in it. It always led to this place, for me, that Zoey and Simon would go their separate ways at the end of the season and then see how it was with her and Max.
It was just important for me not to make Simon feel like the victim, not to hurt Simon. That’s why I wanted him to be the one to say, “I think we should break up,” and then also give Simon his own wins in the episode. [as the boss of SPRQ Point’s new minority-run acquisition], because we saw Simon in the depths of his despair in Season 1, and I didn’t want to end that way. I wanted to end him in a more positive, forward-facing place and feel like he was excited about the future.
TVLINE | Between the breakup with Simon and Zoey and Zoey’s declaration to Max at the end, is it safe to say that the love triangle is officially concluded and moving forward is about Zoey and Max trying really?
Certainly my intentions going forward are that she and Max are going to try to make it work in a real way. And I don’t mean to uproot that or implode that, but it’s also TV storytelling. You have to create complications and challenges in relationships. Otherwise, if there is no conflict, you have no show. But certainly my intention for moving forward is to approach Zoey and Max dating and being together in a meaningful way, so that they try to work out their differences and their challenges together.
TVLINE | It seemed like a very deliberate and mature choice to have Zoey come to the airport and not interfere with Max and Rose. But then it’s up to Max to take the first step. So how did you come to the conclusion that this is how the chain of events should play out?
In the spirit of not wanting to pit women against women or men against men, and what would it be like if you approach someone outside the airport and say, “Pass me by.” in its place ”is quite dramatic. I also got the feeling that there was a delicious mistake that she heard him sing “When a Man Loves a Woman”, and she thinks it’s about Rose, and basically, the happiness of. Max is what matters most to Zoey, and she doesn’t want to take that away from him. And so even though the reveal at the end is that he actually sang this song on Zoey, I think Zoey and Max has always had the other person’s best interests in mind, as evidenced by when he gave up the job for her in the last episode. So I think for her it was that awakening moment, where her happiness was more important to her than maybe her own loss at that time.
TVLINE | You’ve created some truly wonderful romance for Mo this season. Is there anything you can suggest about what we might expect in Season 3, if it goes forward?
Part of the design of the season was to wrap up some chapters in the lives of these characters or at least draw some conclusions about it, but also to chart the course for everyone. And for me, I’m really excited about Mo and Perry. I think David St. Louis was a great addition to the cast as Perry. I’m really excited to see what it’s like for Mo to be in a real adult relationship, but also to be in a complicated adult relationship with kids and an ex-husband, and the prospect of a character who is a sort of independent. , a free character who enters a domestic life, and maybe a little more than what he had negotiated, a kind of insta family. There are a lot of opportunities for comedy and drama in this area.
And I’m really excited for Maggie’s next chapter, too, and this idea of Maggie, potentially, slowly dipping her toes back into the dating world… The idea of Maggie and Deb as partners in crime, and Maggie exploring the idea of how a woman of a certain age, what it really feels like for her to try to get back into the dating world in a meaningful way, I think there are a lot of stories we can take from that .
Zoey’s Reading List fans, what did you think of the end of the season? Rate it below, then hit the comments!