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The First Fictional Band to Hit Number 1: 'Daisy Jones & The Six' Review




Yes, you read that right. Fictional.


When Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (best known for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) was published in 2019, it became an instant bestseller. The TV rights for it were quickly swept up by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine.


And on March 3rd, readers got to see their favourite fictional band come alive for the very first time on Prime Video’s Daisy Jones and The Six. It follows the rise and fall of one of the most successful bands of the 70s, exploring the events that happened at their last concert together and what made them split up. Like the book, the show is narrated by the band, twenty years after their split.


Our protagonist, Daisy Jones (Riley Keough), has always loved singing and songwriting but her complicated past led her to doubt her abilities. She began to make a name for herself on the sunset strip and by the time she was 20, she was well known among them. An infamous party-goer, It is while attending a party that she meets her future best friend, Simone Jackson (Nabiyah Be).


Simone is an early pioneer of disco along the lines of Donna Summer and Diana Ross. "Thank God I met Simone when I did,” Daisy says, looking back. It is Simone who encourages Daisy to pursue her passion for music. Daisy's dreams may come true sooner than she thought as she is discovered by Teddy Price (Tom Wright), the famed music producer of Ellemar Records. He offers her a record deal but surprisingly, she declines.


Daisy has always struggled to make herself seen as more than "just a pretty girl." Her romantic partners fail to see her as creative, and instead, they treat her as their muse. "I am not the muse. I am the somebody," she says. She realises an ex-boyfriend stole a song she wrote that becomes a number 1 hit. This becomes her last straw, and she finally accepts Teddy's offer.


The fictional band The Dunne Brothers includes frontman Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin), lead guitarist Graham Dunne (Will Harrison), hythm guitarist/bassist Eddie Roundtree (Joshua Whitehouse), and drummer Warren Rojas (Sebastian Chacon). They start small, playing for weddings and local functions. But, when Billy sees his estranged father, he declares, “We're gonna be the biggest fucking band in the world someday." After this point, the band decide to take their dream seriously, moving to Los Angeles, Billy's girlfriend Camila (Camila Morrone) joining.


Camila Dunne is Billy Dunne's girlfriend — but she is so much more than that. She is an artist, working as the band's photographer, and in their early days, works as a makeshift manager, calling LA bars begging for gigs.


When one of their bandmates leave, one name comes to their minds as his replacement — Karen Sirko (Suki Waterhouse). Hailing from the UK, Karen is a Debbie Harry-type twenty years later, and joins the band as their new keyboardist. She's also the one that suggest the name change to The Six, referring to the five musicians and Camila, their honourary final member. (An endearing reasoning to the band name, considering the real sixth member in the book was left out of the show.)


With the help of Rod Reyes (Timothy Olyphant), they find work as an in-house band for Filthy McNasty's, a bar on the sunset strip. The band's trajectory changes completely when Billy meets Teddy Price outside of a grocery store, and convinces him to watch the band perform, subsequently landing them a record deal.


Episode three tackles themes like substance abuse and infidelity. The band has released their debut album to success, but Billy's substance abuse causes them to cut the tour short, the label dropping the band as a result. The episode begins after his release from rehab, as he meets his daughter Julia for the first time. In spite of this, Billy decides to start fresh, demoing an early version of “Look at Us Now (Honeycomb)” to Teddy. He, and the executives, don’t like it.


While visiting Teddy’s home, Daisy hears it playing and offers to rewrite the song. Teddy agrees and decides to feature Daisy in the song with The Six. This is when we catch our first glimpse of what is to become “Daisy Jones and The Six”.


While the show remains faithful to its source material in most cases, very noticeable changes have been made. But, some decisions work in the show’s favour. The book serves as an oral history of the band and the members discuss for the first time what led to their infamous breakup.


The show takes a different approach to this, these oral histories being filmed as a 'twenty years later' type documentary. The book was formatted as a script, however, so this decision works really well. But, fans were quick to notice the lack of Pete Loving, the bassist for The Six. Character traits have been changed as well, with Simone being queer and Warren being Latino. Camila has also been changed slightly; whilst in the book it is implied that she is of Latin American origin, the show explicitly states she is a second-generation American, and speaks Spanish to her mother in certain scenes.


Some decisions didn't work as well. When we first meet Daisy in the book, she is naive but bright. She decides to leave home and move in with Simone at just 15 years old, and book fans adored her boldness. The show had the opportunity to explore what led Daisy, a shy and vulnerable teen, to become the charming, quick-witted and confident Daisy she is today. The show also made one of the most popular and impactful quotes from the book — “I am not the muse. I am the somebody”— a line that is just thrown around in a fight.


So far, it is the women of Daisy Jones and The Six that make the show what it is. In just three episodes, it has managed to cultivate intriguing backstories for its female leads. Their characters are three-dimensional and act with clear intent. But, was the book its most enjoyable when it explored these different yet fascinating women?


Accompanied by an amazing soundtrack, the first three episodes successfully managed to captivate the viewer. True to the book or not, Daisy Jones and The Six has been an exceptional piece of television so far.



Words by Aadya Paswan


Edited by Lucy Eaton


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