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The Unusual Way That Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas Came Together

In musical TV series "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," Jane Levy portrays a computer programmer named Zoey Clarke who one day acquires a sort of superpower with which she can hear the private thoughts and desires of others expressed in song form. Certainly by plenty of viewers' estimation, the series delivered on its high concept premise, ranking among the best TV shows of 2020 when its first season aired. Unfortunately for its fair share of dedicated fans, NBC pulled the plug on "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" after its second season in response to declining ratings, as so often becomes the case with cult TV shows.

Zoey Clarke's adventures aren't over for good, however. In November of 2021, the Roku Channel released a trailer for a Christmas-themed film continuation of "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" titled "Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas." As its title suggests, the film adapts the core premise of its predecessor to a Christmastime setting. Now, as of December 1, fans of the series can now watch its sequel through Roku's proprietary streaming service. Making "Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas" wasn't easy, however, as was recently detailed in a piece by Variety coinciding with the film's release.

Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas was completed in a very short amount of time

As Variety writer Danielle Turchiano points out, "Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas" premiered on the Roku Channel just about six months after the final episode of "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" Season 2 aired. In order to pull this off, virtually every member of the team working on the movie was required to finish their task or tasks on a compressed timetable. Series creator Austin Winsberg, for example, worked alongside a team of writers to complete the screenplay for "Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas" in just five weeks. Filming then began two weeks later, during which time its producers were able to land commitments from the majority of the series' original cast members.

"I had four days to learn all the musical numbers, to record all my music, to have all my fittings, to get my wig tested, makeup test, memorize lines," Zoey Clarke actor Jane Levy recounted. "Then I went to camera. Usually before the seasons we have two weeks." Once filming wrapped, the post-production team had less than a month to put their finishing touches on the final cut.

That "Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas" even exists is, then, is unlikely not just because it's a sequel to a cancelled TV series but because everyone who worked on the film turned around their contribution in a remarkably short span of time.