REVIEW: ‘Daisy Jones & the Six’

Prime Video’s series adaptation of the bestselling novel, ‘Daisy Jones & the Six’ features a heck of a performance by Riley Keough.

Daisy Jones & the Six quickly took over the book charts when it was published in 2019. The story of a fictional rock & roll band and their ultimate demise is a fascinating concept and author Taylor Jenkins Reid managed to successfully hook readers with their story. Translating that story to another medium, such as television, was never going to be easy… but the Prime Video television adaptation is damn near perfect thanks in part to a stellar cast and stellar songs.

Riley Keough stars as the titular Daisy Jones, a woman coming of age and trying to make her way in the music world. She works as a waitress and in her free time pens songs that she hopes to one day record. After having one of her songs stolen by a boyfriend, Daisy seeks to carve her own way out in the music world – not realizing just how quickly things will change, for better and worse. Starring alongside Keough’s Daisy is Billy Dunne, played by the always great Sam Claflin. He has Billy’s arrogance down to a tee; he’s stubborn, driven and easily gets wrapped up in the music. Like Daisy, Billy is driven to be bigger, to be more and live out his dreams of making music for a living. Something he eventually does with The Six. However, it isn’t until Daisy and Billy cross paths that their dreams truly take off and their worlds are changed forever.

Taking place in the 70s, Daisy Jones and the Six showcases multiple viewpoints of characters trying to break into the music scene. There’s Daisy, who starts off as a singer-songwriter too afraid to put herself out there, and Simone, a woman with a voice who finds herself too scared to speak up for herself. Finally, there are The Dunne Brothers led by Billy. They start off playing in their garage before seeking to play local gigs where they eventually run into another band that’ll put The Dunne Brothers on the course for world domination… as The Six. Getting to watch as these three acts set out to follow their dreams, each taking a different path than the other, it’s hard not to get caught up in the story of Daisy Jones and the Six.

One of the most fascinating things about Daisy Jones and the Six is that the series doesn’t try to make its characters likable. Daisy and Billy are both selfish assholes, and the series does not shy away from this; we see them as they battle addiction and as they struggle to work together. Even Simone, who is one of the strongest characters in the series, is allowed to make some mistakes along the way to her musical journey. None of the characters are perfect – in fact, the entirety of the Six is a pretty big mess – but that’s what helps to make the story so worth the ride it’ll bring audiences on. This is the type of the series that shouldn’t be binged. It’s full of heartache, anger, love and pain — which might sound bad — but in due time, we get to see these characters get to a healthier place… and the journey there is worth the time.

Keough and Claflin are electric on screen. Their story, in particular, is frustrating, anger-inducing, and yet, one of the most compelling stories the series has to offer. Keough delivers a career best performance as Daisy, and Claflin gets to show off his chops as Billy. The often-overlooked Suki Waterhouse is great as Karen, and Nabiyah Be is captivating every moment she is on screen as Simone. While there might be some departures from the book, Daisy Jones and the Six successfully captures the heart of the novel and delivers a heck of a powerful story perfectly captured for the small screen.

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