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Daisy Jones and The Six - First Look
Photo: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video


‘Daisy Jones & the Six’ is as close to perfect as an adaptation of a beloved book can be

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel Daisy Jones & the Six comes to the small screen.

When a beloved book is getting adapted, the pressure is on for those in charge of the project to get it right. In the meantime, fans wait with baited breath to find out if this will be a solid adaptation of a book they love or if it will join the long list of great books with terrible movies/shows made from it. After watching the first six episodes, I can happily say Daisy Jones & the Six is everything I could have wanted from an adaptation of one of my favorite novels and more.

When it was first announced that Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones & the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo would both be getting adaptations, I was skeptical. Evelyn Hugo was getting the movie from Netflix and Daisy Jones would get an Amazon show. It was puzzling to me at first because out of the two of them, Evelyn Hugo certainly seemed like the novel more suitable for the television format given all the ground it has to cover (seven husbands and another lover) in two hours.

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Daisy Jones and the Six seemed like it could make the two hour movie runtime work just fine. I questioned how much they would stretch out the plot and what they would fill time with in Daisy Jones to fill the 10 episode quota because as we all know, sometimes shows meander and add useless fluff to material they cant seem to mine out enough.

I am so glad my skepticism was misplaced.

The show takes plenty of creative liberties with Daisy Jones & the Six to stretch the duration of the plot and it certainly makes its own various changes to the source material in the episodes we’ve seen. But almost every single choice works perfectly, whether its a direct change from the source material like Eddie’s reason for disliking Billy or an adaptational change like adding more to Simone Jackson’s character and place in the lore. There was clearly a lot of thought and care put into turning Jenkins Reid’s beloved book into a show and no choice was made frivolously.

Daisy Jones may just be one of my favorite characters in literature. She’s a creative force to be reckoned with, a whimsical free spirit, and underneath it all, a lonely woman who wants to experience love and wishes she was different. There are so many layers to Daisy’s complexity that are often written off because of her free spirit persona that is the most of Daisy Jones most people will ever get to know. The show takes its own steps to dig a little deeper into what makes Daisy tick, giving her a new backstory and expanding on the things we don’t know about Daisy from the book.

For starters, Daisy Jones isn’t even her real name in the show, a plot that was never in the books. In the first episode, we see young Daisy putting on a show in her house, showcasing her love for the art and natural star power even at a young age, but her mother tells her no one wants to hear her sing. An unsupportive, cold family isn’t the only thing Daisy endures on her road to fame, though. When Daisy is 15 and getting her feet wet in the music world, she’s raped at a party by an older musician. Daisy channels her pain into songwriting — and as we know, drug use becomes her more dangerous coping mechanism she acquires as well.

But seeing Daisy’s past play out it actually makes perfect sense why she’d change her name. Daisy Jones has never cared for other peoples’ rules and she marches to the beat of her own drum. If Margaret was the girl who people pushed around, forced restrictions on, and took advantage of, Daisy Jones would be everything that girl wanted to be — she’s a singer, songwriter, takes no s--t from anyone, and is an absolute pistol when she needs to be. It’s a change that works so well for Daisy.

And speaking of Daisy, you could not ask for a better Daisy Jones than Riley Keough. Keough embodies the role and brings so much life to the character and understands exactly what makes her tick. Keough is able to perfectly nail Daisy’s edge and whimsy but also her tragedy, making you fall in love with her and ache for her at the same time. Daisy is a complicated character, but she’s certainly in good hands with Keough. Her chemistry with Sam Clafin’s Billy Dunne sparkles just as it needs to, adding the necessary fire to the story of these two almost lovers.

Daisy Jones & Teh Six Nabiyah Be (Simone)

Nabiyah Be (Simone)

Speaking of good changes to the source material (and good casting), Simone Jackson and Camila Alvarez. In the book, Simone’s character mostly appears as a backdrop to Daisy because she’s her best friend and when a scene with Daisy needs to move along, she fits the bill.

Simone’s race nor sexuality are ever explicitly mentioned in the book, but the show made the choice to write her as a Black lesbian, demonstrating the great practice of “we should stop assuming every character is white and/or straight” (though Reid does say in the acknowledgments that Jackson was loosely based on Donna Summer). With such changes made to Simone (for the better), it’s great to see the show give her more to do and make her more of a presence.

Simone has her own plots going on and her own music, the latter of which is actually included on the Aurora album from the show. Simone’s biggest scene in the book is probably when Daisy crashes and burns to her greatest degree yet, marrying a man overnight and worrying those around her. She’s clearly a positive force in Daisy’s life and someone who cares greatly for her, but the show decides to let us see more of this friendship. Here it’s not just Simone coming to Daisy’s rescue, it’s Daisy being a positive influence on Simone, encouraging her to go for what she wants in terms of her music and her love life. You really get the sense that these two characters mean a lot to each other.

Camila was always going to be an interesting character to see adapted, mostly because in the book she’s nice but just kind of boring. But Camila Morrone captures a gentleness to her that makes you fall in love with her. Camila shows immense amounts of strength, giving up everything for a man who ultimately disappoints her time and time again. But Camila Dunne isn’t a quitter, and she holds Billy to his promises too.

Camila knows Billy is falling in love with Daisy, which makes the kindness she shows her all the better. Camila talking to Daisy at the party is one of the best scenes for both women, emphasizing the humanity between them when she approaches her on friendly terms and thanks her for everything her family has gotten to experience since Daisy joined the Six and they took off.

daisy jones and the six Sam Claflin (Billy), Camila Morrone (Camila)

Photo: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Reid’s work always has feminist themes looming over it, the point where she calls Daisy, Camila, Simone, and Karen “very different embodiments of female strength” in her reader’s guide pages of the book. Daisy and Camila could easily be written as at odds over Billy’s attraction to Daisy and repeated shortcomings with Camila, but it’s important that they aren’t — and what’s more, it’s important that those scenes like the party scene exist between these women to illustrate the depths of their strength and hearts.

Reid talks about Simone and Daisy’s relationship in the acknowledgment section of the book, writing, “these are not women that are fighting with each other. These are women who are very different from one another but art supporting each other” and that’s an incredibly important theme to keep and apply to Camila and Daisy as well.

Yeah Karen is British for some reason and not a tomboy, but Suki Waterhouse is so fun in the role I can’t seem to care much at all. The character who suffers the most from the adaptational bend is sadly Billy Dunne. Sam Clafin does a good job with what he’s given, but in the first few episodes take away what may just be Billy’s best moment and one of Camila’s best too.

The show makes the choice to say it’s Teddy Price who makes Billy go to rehab rather than the exchange in the book where Camila has the pair’s first child and tells him that he either goes to rehab or comes home to be a father now. It’s the moment Billy Dunne finally looks at his life and all he’s about to lose and makes the choice to change. Sobriety and addiction are all over the plot and themes of Daisy Jones & the Six, and Billy’s temptation towards Daisy and refusal to engage in the passionate affair with her we know he wants is emblematic of that moment.

Billy Dunne made a choice to get clean and step up and it’s something he held himself to steadfast for the rest of his life, making a vow to avoid temptation into his worst habits no matter how badly he wanted to otherwise from that day on.

daisy jones and the six Riley Keough (Daisy), Sam Claflin (Billy)

Photo: Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

The show is really good at planting the seeds of Billy/Daisy and their unquestionable draw to each other. Daisy and Billy are foils to each other, but also star crossed in a way. Billy sees himself as living in atonement for his mistakes that he made while using and the music he writes is the same time and time again, pouring out his feelings to apologize for all he should have been. Daisy clocks him on it in the first few episodes too when she says “you write songs about the person you wish you were, not who you are.”

While Billy lives by restraint, Daisy is someone who gives into her temptations and lives in the moment. Billy wears his heart on his sleeve, but Daisy hides hers well, using drugs to numb herself to the loneliness and heartache in her life. They recognize a pain within each other (which Billy points out when he says he never realized she was “broken” too) and in many ways, feel the most authentically themselves with each other.

Early on in the series, Billy talks in the interview portion about “right person, wrong time” and that’s exactly what Billy and Daisy are. Billy has a family and after his series of screw ups, he’s vowed to be a better man and be the person they deserve. Daisy is at the height of her spiraling and needs to love herself and heal from her past before she can involve herself with someone like that.

Billy is tempted by Daisy, something the show makes a point to get across when they deviate from the book by actually having the two kiss and eventually, Clafin’s Billy makes the decision to not spend the night with her. Billy can’t leave his family for Daisy because he’d be choosing to fall to his temptation over them all over again and in doing so, he wouldn’t be the man Daisy fell for.

The book makes an obvious tie between music and passion, the latter of which being integral to any good love story. Billy and Daisy have passion through the roof and it sizzles off the page when they write and make music together. There’s a reason the Six only thrives when the two of them are together. Daisy and Billy connect on so many levels because they’re both passionate people who throw themselves into their music and they struggle with the same demons.

Neither of them wants to fall into each other, but they cant deny the parts of themselves that so badly do. The band has to disband by the end of the book if Billy wants to keep true to his promise to his family that he wont fall to his temptations and miss out on life with them again.

Eddie being written into this character who hates Billy because he harbors feelings for Camila is a change I really like. It turns Eddie into this figure who wants better for Camila and will hold Billy accountable for the times he falls short. Camila Dunne is so wonderful you want her to have people in her corner like that and what’s more, a part of you wonders if she may be happier with Eddie instead since she doesn’t have to worry about him falling in love with Daisy but she’s already given up so damn much for Billy that you can’t blame her for digging her heels in and refusing to give up her life.

daisy jones and the six aurora album cover

Photo: Amazon Studios

At its core, Daisy Jones & the Six is a book about music and the intense passion that music breeds and attracts from people. With a book all about a band from the 70s filled with interpersonal drama that bled into its work (and by proxy created the greatest art of their career), it should come as little surprise that one of the biggest influences for Daisy Jones and the Six is Fleetwood Mac.

In the last pages of her book, Reid writes that she “wanted to write about a band similar to Fleetwood Mac” because she “[had] always been really fascinated by Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham and their relationship.” Yes, she also notes that artists like the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash were influences, but Fleetwood Mac is by the far the strongest vibe. In the book we saw the lyrics laid out and had to imagine what they sounded like but with the show, we have the songs available to listen to.

And boy did the people working on the music for this show just knock it out of the park. Fleetwood Mac’s influence is intertwined with Daisy Jones and the people creating the music don’t just lean into it, they embrace it. Yes, the songs are all about interpersonal drama just like Fleetwood Mac’s famous “Rumors” was, but the influence is so much deeper than just the lyrics. “The River” is so obviously inspired sonically by “The Chain”, “Two Against Three” is the “Songbird” of the bunch with its soft, reflective sound, and “Look Me In the Eye” is the sister piece to “Go Your Own Way” with its guitar hook, ‘take it or leave it’ lyrics, and harmonized vocals.

The people in charge of translating the fake songs into real songs obviously put a lot of work in towards capturing the feel of Fleetwood Mac’s music and it shows. I challenge anyone to read Daisy Jones & the Six then listen to the Aurora album released for the show and somehow not think that they perfectly embodied the Daisy Jones sound.

Even the album art has its Fleetwood Mac inspiration, right down to the fonts chosen for the band and Aurora. When I was watching Daisy Jones & the Six I truly felt like I was watching the characters leap from the page in every way possible. It’s so easy to sit there and think “yes this is Daisy Jones and the Six” about every facet of the show. From the casting to the writing to the music, fans of the book and newcomers alike can find plenty to choose from to enjoy in this series.

New episodes of Daisy Jones & the Six are released Fridays on Prime Video.

Daisy Jones and The Six - First Look
Daisy Jones & the Six E 1-6 review
From the casting to the writing to the music, fans of the book and newcomers alike can find plenty to choose from to enjoy in this series.
Reader Rating0 Votes
The music is the perfect representation of what the intended sound is.
The casting is incredible and the characters feel like they are ripped from the pages.
Many of the changes made feel additive and like smart choices for the characters.
Riley Keough is so perfect as Daisy Jones it's like she was born for this role. I couldn't ask for a better Daisy.
Billy's big moment of choosing to go to rehab for himself instead of Teddy dropping him off and leaving him is stripped from him.

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