‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’: How Did Zoey’s Father Die?

When Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 2 returns, we get a glimpse of how Zoey (Jane Levy) is dealing with the death of her father. How did Zoey’s father die? Here’s what Showbiz Cheat Sheet knows.

‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ Season 2, Episode 1

Jane Levy on ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 ends with the death of Zoey’s father, Mitch (played by actor Peter Gallagher). During season 2, Zoey has a difficult time coping with the loss. She decides to take six weeks off from work so she can mourn. When Zoey finally returns to work, she becomes overwhelmed with all the attention. Everyone keeps asking her if she’s OK and a lot has changed in the office.

Zoey also has to decide whether she should accept a promotion. Her boss, Joan (Lauren Graham), tells her there is position open for someone to take over as executive director of the 4th floor. The only person Joan trusts in this role is Zoey, so she approaches her about it.

Zoey is also faced with making a decision about Simon and Max. Both men want to be with her, but she’s confused. Zoey is torn because she’s physically attracted to her co-worker Simon, but she connects on a deep, emotional level with her close friend Max.

How did Zoey’s father die on ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’?

The passing of Zoey’s father is mentioned throughout season 2, episode 1. How did her father die? It was revealed during season 1 that Mitch died from progressive supranuclear palsy. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a way for the show’s creator, Austin Winsberg, to pay tribute to his late father, who died from the disease.

“That last year of my dad’s life was such a charged, difficult time in our family — watching this man go from being incredibly vibrant, dynamic, and outgoing, to basically being how he is on the show, almost catatonic,” says Winsberg during a New York Post interview.

Winsberg says his wish is for the show to bring joy and hope to viewers. “I hope in some ways the show is joyous and hopeful and gives the people the message to recognize there’s a lot going on with people, and hopefully they can have empathy and understanding for that.”

What to expect for ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ Season 2

Jane Levy as Zoey | Sergei Bachlakov/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Jane Levy as Zoey | Sergei Bachlakov/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Much of season 2 will focus on Zoey’s grieving process and her life after Mitch’s death. Viewers will also see more of Zoey’s relationships with Max and Simon.

“The entire emotional arc for Zoey over the season is all about her stages of grief and all about the ways in which Zoey attempts to recover from this massive loss in her life,” Winsberg tells Entertainment Tonight. “When I was mapping out the season, a lot of it had to do with her own recovery and the phases of recovery, and the possibility of relapse and regression and rebellion and rebirth and redemption.”

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist airs Tuesdays on NBC at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

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