DAISY JONES & THE SIX, based on the novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is going to be the TV show everyone is talking about for the next few weeks and rightfully so. It is entertaining, exciting, and most of all, the music (both original and from the era) makes for one of my favorite soundtracks ever. Amazon is probably concerned with how many times I have watched my screeners of the series because a lot of the times I would put them on again and again so I could hear the music playing in the background. It is criminal I have to wait until March 3 to get the full album.
But despite how much I did end up loving the series, I have to be completely honest. Upon my first viewing, I was disappointed. A lot of that disappointment is my own fault. I did not read the book and had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I had put too much faith in the promos, fan video edits, and chatter that DAISY JONES & THE SIX was just like Fleetwood Mac and the fiery love story between Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. However, this series is not as similar to Fleetwood Mac as I originally thought.
Yes there is enormous sexual tension between the lead singers, yes there are drugs, yes there is other romance within the band members. But to say this series is a slow-burn is an understatement. Despite how it may seem to non-book readers, I was shocked that the Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) and Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin) relationship may not be the “ship” fans root for the most. After I recognized what the series was actually about and understood the deeper relationships between the characters, I was all in… and have been in a DAISY JONES spiral ever since.
So now that I have told you that the show isn’t so much a story about Fleetwood Mac, let me tell you what it is about. The series is a Behind The Music-style look at the popular 1970s band Daisy Jones & The Six, exploring their origin story and why the band unexpectedly broke up at the height of their fame in 1977. Through interviews with the band members and their loved ones, they reveal the highs and lows of being in the band, the secrets they haven’t told anyone (especially each other) and how sex, drugs, and rock and roll isn’t all it’s made up to be.
For a series that revolves around music, I am so happy to report that music is the best part of the series, hands down. With original songs written by Marcus Mumford, Jackson Browne, Phoebe Bridgers, and many more, I know this soundtrack is going to be full of hits. There isn’t just one “good” song; they are all bangers. And I love that the vibes of the songs harken back to the 70s-era rock that my mom had blasting in her car when I was a kid. Additional songs from the era populate the scenes, with music from such artists as Carole King, The Beach Boys, Aerosmith, and yes, maybe even Fleetwood Mac.
Riley Keough and Camila Morrone are the clear standouts of the series. Whenever anyone has asked me what I thought of the series, their names (and a shoutout to the soundtrack) are the first words out of my mouth. Keough perfectly embodies Daisy Jones, making a character that some could perceive as unlikable, someone with enough charisma to light up a room and a character that I only wanted the best for… even at her times of :ahem: prime selfishness. And not only that, Keough is not only one of the most talented actresses working today, she proves she is a triple threat. It’s no wonder her grandfather is Elvis Presley because Keough has an incredible voice and natural stage presence. I hate to even mention her grandfather because Keough is a talent herself, making the character of Daisy totally her own; she makes it impossible to imagine anyone else in the role.
Morrone is the absolute heart of the band and the series. Her performance was such a surprise because this is one of the first projects I have seen her in and she absolutely blows it out of the water. I can already tell she has big things coming her way because she has an innate magnetism that makes you immediately relate to her and her character and enables her to steal every scene she is in, which is a tall order when it comes to Daisy/Billy’s white hot chemistry. So much of the promos for the series (rightfully) focus on the band and the tension between its lead singers, but the dark horse headliner of the series is Camila.
Besides not being a fan of the Fleetwood fake out, there were two other elements of the series I had issues with. The first was I never really got a sense of the timing of the band’s popularity, nor the scale. It was hard to tell how long the band had been on the journey together and it never really felt like the band was that famous… until maybe the final episode. I think a lot of that is due to COVID and the restrictions on crowds. But I wish that had been fleshed out a little more. I also wish that along with the drugs and the rock and roll, the series had been a little sexier, but I guess we can blame that on COVID too. Secondly, I didn’t love how Simone’s (Nabiyah Be) storyline was handled in the series. It felt to me that her story was forced, inconsistent, and lacked the development I would have loved to see from a character as interesting as her.
DAISY JONES & THE SIX may not be breaking new ground on the typical rock band narrative. But when you have a series with such great music and performances, as well as a binge-worthy storyline, what more can you really ask for? When you find yourself in a full streaming spiral, listening to Daisy Jones & The Six’s album “Aurora” over and over and debating whether Billy’s true love is Camila or Daisy… don’t say I didn’t warn you.
My Review: B+