As “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” heads into its Season 2 finale this Sunday, the heart songs are going to be bigger and better than normal. And let’s be real, few heart songs are bigger and better than those created by Taylor Swift.
“How do you top doing a 7-minute ‘American Pie’ oner in the season finale of Season 1? You do a giant group oner to Taylor Swift in Season 2,” showrunner Austin Winsberg tells TheWrap with a laugh.
Indeed, emotions are running high heading into the finale: Max is leaving for New York, Zoey’s really working on how she copes with loss in her life, and with all of that, their relationship is more fraught than ever. Swift’s “Shake It Off” is among those that made it into the finale because, well, shaking it off is something both Max and Zoey are struggling to do when it comes to the tension between them.
But really, everyone’s got their own stuff going on. Remember, Mo and Perry had a rough night last week and Simon’s struggling with a suspicious mind. So everyone is feeling the need to shake it off in order to give Max a proper send-off. So, for Winsberg, the song was the obvious choice — plus it made for a fun time.
For Winsberg, getting a Taylor Swift song had been a goal since “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” got off the ground. And at the end of the day, it didn’t matter if it was “Shake It Off” or any other song in her catalogue.
“We were trying to think of a way to just get everybody in the same place, in the same location, so that we could do a number with everyone, like ‘American Pie,'” Winsberg said. “And then it was, ‘What’s a big number we could do here?’ and Taylor Swift came up. And then, thinking about story-wise, what was going on in the moment, it was sort of everyone being bothered by different things. That was the song that lent itself to working in that moment.”
The real challenge was simply getting the rights to her songs. But then, over the course of the last few months, more songs became available and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” jumped on the opportunity. That said, Winsberg notes that “there’s plenty of other Taylor Swift songs I’d love to use in the future.”
You can check out a piece of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’s” take on “Shake It Off” below.
The Season 2 finale of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” will air on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.