As a kid, I loved plenty of TV shows. While I could talk about my adoration for shows like Wizards of Waverly Place, or Drake & Josh, there's one show that my boyfriend and I both loved so much: Zoey 101.
The series followed Zoey, a young girl who attended Pacific Coast Academy, which was filmed at a real-life college and made my high school expectations too high. Now, fifteen years after the show ended, Paramount Plus released a sequel movie called Zoey 102, with most of the main cast, and of course, I had to watch it. And as I do, I had plenty of thoughts.
This Definitely Feels Like A More Adult Zoey 101
From the moment this movie starts, you can tell it was made for fans of the series but with adulthood in mind. Watching Zoey 102 almost reminded me of how I felt when I first watched the iCarly sequel series, which is still going strong with a Season 3 and big reveals on Paramount Plus.
It has the same characters, just older and in different sets. And instead of facing high school shenanigans, they are facing real-world issues – sexism, workplace relations, weird relationships, anything you could think of.
I certainly felt drawn in from the first few minutes of the movie, and to be honest, seeing all of them as adults is what made me keep watching. It was like no time had passed between the characters. We returned to the show with the same kind of humor, but now we're just older.
I Also Love How The Beginning Spoofs Modern-Day Dating Shows
Zoey Brooks is a producer on TV in Zoey 102. In the movie, you can see she is working hard to boost ratings of the latest hit reality dating show, "LOVE: Reality Charged," and instantly, you can tell it's a spoof of modern dating shows from how the characters react, and how it feels that everything is staged.
I don't want to call any particular shows out (*cough, Love Island, cough*), but that was a pretty funny bit.
The Fact That Logan And Quinn Are The People Getting Married Is The Best Thing Ever
Logan and Quinn were the original enemies to lovers' romance, at least for me as a child. When they got together in the show, I was legit flabbergasted because while they were never really enemies, I never saw them as attracted to each other until an apparent relationship began between them.
And boom, now they're getting married in Zoey 102, and to be honest, I'm so glad that was the couple, and this movie wasn't about Zoey trying to crash Chase's wedding or something horrible like that.
Dean Geyer Looks Like He's Having The Time Of His Life
Dean Geyer played Todd, an actor Zoey hires to go to Quinn's wedding and make Chase jealous while she is there, but Todd is probably the most energetic person here. And the actor, Dean Geyer, looks like he is having the time of his life in the role.
Granted, I know Geyer the best from his time during the fourth season of Glee, where he played Brody. And he has a killer voice – which he shows off in Zoey 102. But from his acting to his comedic timing, I enjoyed him in this role. I would gladly see him in a romantic comedy.
I Will Openly Admit That Zoey's Boss Annoys Me
Most nostalgic sequel shows or movies stick to the kind of comedy we enjoyed as children. From there, they try to elevate it in a way that young adults would enjoy. But I'll openly say that Zoey's boss, in the beginning, was so hard to watch.
The scenes were not bad; the line delivery and the jokes just didn't land. I was happy that those scenes were at least brief so we could move on to the better parts of the film, but I could have gone without seeing the boss again.
The Callback To Chase Running Into The Pole Was Great
There were a lot of callbacks in this movie that were done well and flowed easily, but there's just something about Chase walking into a pole that makes me snicker every time.
It references the first episode of Zoey 101, where Chase sees Zoey for the first time and is so entranced by her beauty that he literally runs into a pole on his bike. His character is always associated with that – even now as an older man. And yet, it still made my lips turn up in a smile.
It's So Great To See Almost Everyone Again
For Zoey 102, many main characters from the series were there, including Zoey, Chase, Quinn, Logan, Michael, Stacy, and her husband, Mark. These four were all from the original show.
Victoria Justice couldn't be a part of the film due to scheduling issues, but it was nice to see that almost everyone near the show's finale returned for the sequel, despite some cast members from the show not appearing.
I Didn't Expect PCA To End Up Being A Scam School
That joke threw me for a loop, but it made me laugh so hard at the same time. Pacific Coast Academy was always one of those schools I dreamed of going to, so it would make sense in the show that it wasn't a real school at all – just a big scam for the principal to spend all his money at a Vegas Casino.
That was probably one of the most adult jokes of the whole movie. And it's a fun little way to close out that chapter of their lives and connect with the the generation that grew up with the series.
Everything Began To Snowball So Quickly At The Wedding
That first wedding scene was just a mess from the beginning. From Zoey working literally at the same time of the wedding and talking into her earphones to Stacy calling out Todd for being a supposed murderer to Quinn walking out, everything that could go wrong did.
And man, it was so dramatic to watch. I almost wanted it to last longer because of how entertained I was. But this is a sequel to Zoey 101 – which means problems tend to get solved quickly, as is the case with the movie.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wished there was more drama.
Seeing Pacific Coast Academy Again – Even Abandoned – Actually Warmed My Heart So Much
Even though PCA was confirmed as a scam school in the movie, the main characters didn't know about that until it was shut down after they "graduated."
They still had very positive memories there, and to make up for Quinn's disastrous wedding, they decided to throw her an impromptu one on the abandoned grounds of the school. They made it look beautiful again and magical. I felt myself grin the entire time. There was so much to love about it.
It's also the combination of watching the high school students I loved come together in the place I always dreamed about going to. Combine that with a wedding, and it's a recipe for my happiness.
This Felt Like The Best Conclusion You Could Get For The Characters
When Zoey 101 ended, I didn't feel like it was a satisfying conclusion, even as a kid. It was rushed, and so many other stories could have been told. I was interested in where the story would go when a sequel film was announced.
And truthfully, I enjoyed this. Yes, it is a nostalgia-bait film. This kind of movie is made for older Gen Z people such as myself because we really enjoyed the show as kids and want to see the characters as adults. But the movie ended in a way where I don't feel we ever need to return to it.
Every person ended with the conclusions they deserved from the show, and I'm satisfied.
As a young woman, I can fully say goodbye to Zoey 101. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid, and it was enjoyable to see everyone again. However, I think we'll leave high school in the past and let PCA live on in my memory.