Plenty of sex, drugs and Rock 'n Roll, Daisy Jones and The Six is well worth the binge whether you've read the book or not.
BY BECCA JOHNSON MARCH 10, 2023
Author Taylor Jenkins Reid has made her mark on the book world, providing plenty of bestselling stories to avid readers. Stealing many hearts was Daisy Jones and The Six, the story of a fictional rock band stealing the spotlight during the 1970's. The new Amazon Prime show, directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), Nzingha Stewart (Maid) and Will Graham brings the band and their music to life, as we look back on their rise to stardom and most importantly, their downfall. With fantastic performances, genuinely well written music and plenty of sex, drugs and Rock 'n Roll, Daisy Jones and The Six is well worth the binge whether you've read the book or not.
Fans of the novel were apprehensive for many reasons, but the main worry was the casting. Luckily, it was a success, the performances becoming the shows best element. Riley Keough completely embodies everything we expected Daisy Jones to be, looking gorgeous and ethereal whilst doing so. She understands every aspect of Daisy's complex personality and life, tugging on our heartstrings and annoying us all at once. Starring opposite as frontman Billy Dunne is Sam Claflin, who not only impresses but gives a career best performance. It's easily his most ambitious and emotion-packed outing to date, and he mesmerises us every time he is on screen. The pair have a complex relationship that is at the centre of the show, meaning perfect chemistry is needed; they have it. The script demands a lot from them, and they give it all they've got. The show rides on it's leads, but the actors making up the remainder of The Six also deliver exceptional performances.
Billy's guitarist brother Graham is played beautifully by Will Harrison, Suki Waterhouse is great as fan-favourite keyboardist Karen Sirko, Josh Whitehouse gives an angsty performance as bassist Eddie Roundtree and Sebastian Chacon is effortlessly charming and funny as drummer Warren Rojas. The chemistry between them all is so believable, not once letting us question them as a band or as a family. The heart of the novel is easily Camila Dunne, wife of frontman Billy, and Camila Morrone does a fantastic job encapsulating her emotion, charm, pain, beautiful personality and love for her husband, even when he doesn't deserve it. Timothy Olyphant, Nabiyah Be and Tom Wright also deliver, adding a lot of depth to the story despite not always being at the centre of it.
The plot, whilst mostly a blessing, isn't perfect when translated from book to screen. On one hand, it features all the sex, drugs and rock 'n roll that you'd expect, looking great whilst doing it. The 70's setting is indulgent and cool, allowing for gorgeous colour grading and costuming. The story delves into love, heartbreak, addiction, the lust for stardom and what can happen once you reach it. It seems to give a good amount of screen time to all it's themes, yet unfortunately, some plot points feel a bit rushed and glossed over. It is fairly slow to get started, not giving us too much time with Daisy until the later episodes; some sharper editing at the front end may have made things feel more cohesive. It loses focus around the middle, ultimately leading to it's finale feeling too quick. The show is at it's best during it's quiet moments with the cast, as well as the scenes featuring our band killing it on stage – they are incredibly mesmerising. However, it sometimes focuses it's attention on the wrong things, and skims things that feel important.
Whether you're pressing play due to reading and loving the book, or just liking the sound of the show's premise, you're wanting one thing to be excellent – the music. Fans are excited to see the music from the novel come to life, and thankfully, they're right to be. Every song featured in the show is well written and well played, providing some catchy, poppier tunes and some slower love ballads to balance it out. Songwriter and lead producer Blake Mills excelled at creating an entire album full of bangers, that have great memorable lyrics and melodies very reminiscent of the 70's rock we know and love. It's plain to see that the music wasn't an afterthought; it's the heartbeat of the show, and it pushes those stage scenes to an exceptionally high level. Luckily, 'Aurora' has been recorded and made into a full album, so we're able to have it on repeat. The fact we can actually listen to the band Daisy Jones and The Six is ridiculously exciting.
Daisy Jones and The Six is not a perfect show, as it suffers slightly in it's pacing and focusing on the wrong elements. At times it feels messy and chaotic, struggling to find it's footing and tell the story that it wants to. However, it stays pretty true to the novel, creating a show that's exciting, loud, bold, energetic and heart breaking. The characters are deep and explored well, with career best performances across the board. The 70's essence is captured perfectly in it's aesthetic and vibe, with music that can be enjoyed away from the show as well as during it. The band are bound to capture your heart, and it's hard not to fall in love with them by the end. Daisy Jones and The Six is a great series, doing it's source material justice.