This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance: Alice Lee

April 11-17
“Zoey’s Extraordinary Mystery” | Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Alice Lee

Alice Lee in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
Source: NBC

We haven’t gotten nearly enough of Emily on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist this season, but on “Zoey’s Extraordinary Mystery,” Alice Lee was given the chance to touch on some incredibly rough heartaches, which she managed masterfully.

We do not see postpartum brought to life on television often, and even when we do, it seldom feels like it is given the proper attention that it deserves. Here is to hoping Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist actually delivers on what it is setting up because Alice Lee was brilliant in her evocative rendition of Demi Lovato’s “Anyone.”

The song is an emotional one as is, but the execution mattered in order to get the message across and have it tie into the story seamlessly. Therefore, much to no one’s surprise, Lee was crushing in her exhibition of revealing the fact Emily is lost in how alone she feels. She is there, but she isn’t really and Lee brilliantly showcased the brokenness of her spirit through both song and her physicality.

In this series, we generally get intricate choreography with the musical number, but with this number, we were given something that felt even more evocative because it revealed Emily’s inability to cope with things. The way Lee moved her body in the chair and how she used her hands to cling to her knees was harrowing to watch. You could feel every ounce of Emily’s darkness–the way she feels completely helpless, and the detail that she does not know how to handle any of it it came through so poignantly, it was heartbreaking.

The otherwise almost bubbly energy while she sang what was supposed to be Max’s song followed by the real one was done through a stunning switch that felt incredibly organic–mostly in showcasing Lee’s craft as a performer. There is a lot that is happening at this moment and what Lee ultimately reveals is that it is just the beginning.

This is an Emily we have not yet seen before.

That is not to say that there have not been some great moments of vulnerability prior, but what we are seeing through this episode and Alice Lee’s gut-wrenching performance is crucial to telling stories about women that are often glossed over. Emily is struggling and Lee shows the audience that there is so much the character is engulfed with, it is entirely too much to bear right now.

And interestingly with Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, sometimes sad songs can be replayed. Sometimes heavier moments, take the American Pie number for instance, can be revisited and rewatched. But this, this I cannot revisit. Alice Lee was so brilliant in her performance and so nuanced with the delivery of the song that it is actually too sad to watch, but so often when a scene is hard to revisit, it actually means it was that good in getting the message across. Alice Lee did her job and she did so with the kind of heartbreaking embodiment that left us stunned.

Who was the most noteworthy performer you watched on TV this week?

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