Daisy Jones & the Six (2023) | Review
By Grace Taylor
Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll; Daisy Jones & the Six supplies the 70s rock star drama but lacks the grit and rawness that the book depicts so well.
The Prime series is based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The mockumentary-style drama conveys the story of a fictional 70s band from their rise to fame to their sudden split during their world tour. However, the focal point is the tempestuous relationship between the band's lead singers, Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) and Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin). Reid claims much of her inspiration for the band from Fleetwood Mac. The series is coupled with a cast recording of the band's no.1 album Aurora which can be found on all streaming platforms. Some have criticised the quality of the music, but I've had it on repeat.
As a big fan of the book and Reid's other works, I counted the days until the series' release. I enjoyed the series, and Reid's ability to create a fictional world for a fictional band is exceptional. As much as I enjoyed the show, fans of the book will need to separate the series as some critical scenes and dialogues are missing, as well as the merging of the Loving brothers into one character, Eddie Roundtree (Josh Whitehouse). The most significant change is the difference in the period of the interview scenes. The characters' reflections on the events in the 70s take place in the 90s, unlike the book, which has a 40-year time jump to the 2010s. Perhaps this has been a conscious decision to leave room for a second season.
It's only fitting that the leading lady, Daisy Jones, was portrayed by Elvis Presley's granddaughter, Riley Keough. She holds her own despite the family ties, and I anticipate her future projects. As for other casting choices, Claflin captured the tortured singer well, and I was captivated by the chemistry between him and Keough. The most accurate portrayal was actor and singer Suki Waterhouse as Karen Sirko. She was exactly how I imagined, minus the English accent. If anyone is meant to be a rockstar, it's Waterhouse.
In the book, it is suggested that Billy remains faithful to Camila after his stint in rehab, despite the overt sexual tension and desire between him and Daisy. However, as Jenkins explains, the characters are unreliable narrators, and the show may just be reading between the lines of what is missed when reading the book. I was disappointed by the removal of pivotal scenes, like when Camila tells Daisy to leave the band for her health. It meant that the relationship between Daisy, Billy and his wife Camila became a simple love triangle, which was far more complex in the book. The series often portrays Camila as a jealous wife rather than a secure and level-headed individual, like in the book, who has faith in her husband and cares for Daisy.
As a stand-alone series, it presents a somewhat authentic tribute to the 70s rock 'n' roll scene but does not entirely do the book justice.