Daisy Jones and The Six: Good Show, Bad Adaptation
Mar 15, 2023
Daisy Jones and The Six hit Amazon Prime on March 3, quickly gaining mixed reviews from the press and fans alike. Although no one can agree on its quality, its intrigued the masses with its unique story and style. It’s about the rise and fall of the fictional 70’s band ‘Daisy Jones and The Six’ and how messy the inner workings of some of the world’s most popular bands can be.
The show is adapted from the immensely popular book of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which is written as a series of interviews with old bandmates, producers, friends, and enemies. I am a huge admirer of the book and looked forward to watching the show for months. After viewing several episodes, I can say that Daisy Jones is not a great adaptation, but it is an engaging TV show.
The story begins when the characters are wayward teenagers, trying to escape boredom by creating a band, originally named the Dunne Brothers. Graham and Billy Dunne along with three of their friends find little success but are lured to Los Angeles in hopes of making it big. Meanwhile, Daisy Jones is neglected by her parents but finds joy in music and songwriting. Eventually, their paths intertwine, and they become Daisy Jones and The Six, making some of the world’s most popular music while enduring the stereotypical backstage drama. This show details the rise and sudden fall of a band that seemed destined to crash and burn.
The music is one of the most essential parts of this story, shaping its characters and their motivations. The soundtrack was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Blake Mills and written by many real-life musicians such as Phoebe Bridgers, Marcus Mumford and more. Since so many qualified musicians were working on the project and the music is so crucial to the plot, I had high hopes. I was wrong. First of all, the music didn’t sound like it was from the 70s. Instead, it comes off as someone who thought they were singing 70s music in 2023, but failed miserably. At best, these songs were a little annoying, but at worst, they took you out of the story and ruined the immersion.
While the music might have some issues, the cast is fantastic, with Riley Keough and Sam Claflin playing Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne. Keough brings light and humor to a character who makes a lot of mistakes, making viewers want to root for her despite her faults. Daisy’s level of obliviousness is both endearing and irritating, justifying Billy’s disdain towards her while still making her character lovable. If you look past the fact that Claflin looks much older than the rest of the cast, his portrayal is exactly how I imagined the character. He’s not likable and does a lot of damage throughout the show, but his actions are always behind some kind of emotion which is relatable (even if we wouldn’t like to admit it). My only criticism is the fact that his substance abuse issues are largely brushed over to focus on the central plot, which rushes his character development, and in turn, the later plot points make little sense. Warren, the drummer, and the rest of the supporting cast are hilarious, and they give light to a heavy show which keeps it moving forward.
If you’re going into this show as a fan of the book, you’re bound to be disappointed. The show takes out a lot of the most important scenes and replaces them in ways that don’t make a lot of sense. The writers chose to remove major character traits, story lines, and even one of the band members (RIP Pete), but if you’re willing to look at this story as a parallel universe instead of a direct book-to-screen adaptation, you’ll have a lot more fun. It still contains the same heart that was present in the original, and if you can manage to skip past the fact that it’s very different from the book, there are some fun ideas brought to the story. In fact, viewers who have not read the book may get more out of the show and wouldn’t notice that eliminating a band member means that it should actually be called Daisy Jones and The Five.