‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ pays tribute to creator’s late dad

Imagine if you could hear other people’s thoughts.

Now imagine if all those thoughts were famous pop songs, and your brain was the living, breathing, dancing equivalent of a jukebox you could never switch off.

That’s the unique dilemma Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) finds herself in after getting an MRI during an earthquake: Everyone’s deepest desires, anxieties and fantasies become elaborate musical numbers in her mind.

That cute co-worker she’s been friends with forever? Zoey discovers he has a secret crush after he serenades  her with the Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” during an important meeting. And that chipper barista at her local coffee shop? She’s actually super lonely, which Zoey learns after hearing her belt Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” during a midday shift.

Jane Levy ("Suburgatory") plays the musically attuned protagonist of NBC's "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist."

Music is the soul of NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” (previews Tuesday, 10 EST/PST; then Sundays at 9 starting Feb. 16), but is Zoey hallucinating, or does she have a higher calling? The series has an emotional core behind its cutesy concept. The surreal, whimsical dramedy was created by Austin Winsberg (Broadway’s “First Date”), who was inspired to write it after his father died in 2011 following a battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare neurological disorder that rendered him speechless and immobile.

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