Daisy Jones & The Six Episodes 1-3 Review


Amelia Knust

Taylor Jenkin Reid’s hit novel Daisy Jones & The Six was released as a 10-part television series on Amazon Prime starring Sam Claflin and Riley Keough. The story follows a star-studded band in the 70s and the drama that led to their gripping breakup.

Amelia Knust, Staffer

To all book, music, and television lovers, Daisy Jones & The Six is the perfect story for all three. The original book by Taylor Jenkins Reid shares the fictional story of the biggest band of the 70s and their dramatic downfall through interviews with the band members and several flashbacks. Amazon Prime adapted the beloved novel into a 10-part television series, with the first three episodes being released on Mar. 3. The rest of the series will be released in weekly increments. Along with the episodes, the marketing for the series has gone above and beyond. Aurora, the hit album released by the band described in the book, was recreated by the cast members and released onto streaming services and vinyl pressings. “Regret Me” and “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” have collectively garnished over four million streams not long after their release. 

As the book was already so well received, the expectations for the series were very high from fans and critics. Many questions were circulated about the show’s content based on the many promotions that Amazon Prime released. Some of the biggest concerns included the extent to which Daisy Jones would be portrayed as a lover to Billy Dunne, the-already married-lead singer of the band, who had a “will they-won’t they” dynamic with her throughout the entire book. Many fans were also worried that Camila Dunne (Billy’s wife) would be portrayed as submissive and forgiving to Billy in the adaptation, even though she was the dominant figure in their relationship. However, with the exception of a few minor discrepancies, Daisy Jones & The Six did not disappoint. Here are a few highlights (and questions) drawn from the first three episodes.

The Cast

It’s hard to imagine a cast better than Daisy Jones & The Six already has. Billy Dunne, the passionate-but-controlling lead singer of the band, is played by Sam Claflin, well known for his iconic roles in the Hunger Games series and Me Before You. His stunning vocals throughout Aurora and the show were unexpected, as he had never taken on a part that involved singing. Daisy Jones, the free-spirited but enigmatic singer, is played by Golden Globe nominee actress Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley. Claflin and Keough have a fantastic dynamic through exchanges and performances. The talented Suki Waterhouse, Will Harrison, Sebastian Chacon, and Josh Whitehouse play the other band members, and Camila Morrone plays Camila Dunne. The cast efficiently worked together on and off screen to do the original novel justice. Regarding casting, getting better than what we were given would be challenging.

The Music

In a book where the story surrounds a 70s rock band, the soundtrack was expected to be exceptional, and they did not disappoint. As good as the music already is on its own, knowing that the actors on screen are actually singing and playing the instruments for the beloved tracks adds so much more to the experience, rather than having dubbed-over voices. The song titles and lyrics differ heavily from what is in the book for the most part but still convey the same messages and dynamics of the original songs. Claflin and Keough harmonize perfectly throughout the eleven tracks, and the keyboard, drums, and bass added in by Waterhouse, Whitehouse, and Chacon add so much to the already impressive tracks. 

The Storytelling

Since the source material was all written in an interview format, I knew that the television adaptation would have much more chronological storytelling than the novel. The show perfectly captures how “The Dunne Brothers” band changes to “The Six” and then to “Daisy Jones & The Six,” all within a few episodes. The original interview format is also woven throughout the show in The Office mockumentary style, creating the perfect balance of the past and present. With this format, we can see much more of the characters and even how their unreliable narrations in the book deviate from what happened with the band. So far, the episodes have all been highly entertaining, with a great mix of captivating performances, emotional character developments, and introspective interviews. Since the released episodes have only covered about one-third of the book and are already great, it can be hoped that things will only get better from here.

The Forgotten

With every book-to-screen adaptation, there are bound to be disappointments, no matter how good the adaptation may be. While there weren’t too many problems with the Daisy Jones & The Six adaptation, a few questionable changes were made. Most noticeably, Pete Loving, the original bassist in the novel, was cut entirely from the show, making “The Six” a band with only five members. While his character didn’t add much to the novel, seeing the band with only five members still feels strange when their name is quite literally “The Six.” Instead, Camila, who was made the band’s photographer in the show, became the unofficial sixth member to make up for Pete’s absence. Also, some fans complained about Daisy and Billy’s characters being too likable in the show. In the book, the characters were easy to spite, with Billy’s challenge to remain faithful to his wife and control issues in the band, and Daisy’s extreme addiction to drugs and alcohol. The show has taken its characterizations down a notch, perhaps to make the show more appealing, but it takes away from the characters’ reality. However, although the characters may not be entirely book-accurate as of the first three episodes, their imperfections will likely be fleshed out later.

Overall, Daisy Jones & The Six has become one of the most exciting television events of the year with its stellar music, cast, and production. Although it is highly recommended that you read the novel before you watch the show, it’s clear that anyone will love it, regardless of whether they have read the story or not.