Based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 bestseller, “Daisy Jones and the Six” brings the glamorous yet chaotic world of a Fleetwood Mac-inspired ‘70s rock band to life. The 10-episode limited series delivers the drama expected from the fictional but beloved band, but not much else.
The series chronicles the origins, rise and fall of Daisy Jones and the Six, as relayed for a documentary filmed roughly 20 years after the original events occurred. The Six began as a group of friends in Pittsburgh with Billy Dunne at the helm, and Daisy Jones struggling to find her footing in her early music career. With the help of music producer Teddy Price, the two forces create a musical powerhouse that becomes the most popular band in the world but not without its bumps in the road.
The actors certainly are not a weak point here. Riley Keough and Sam Claflin, playing Daisy and Billy respectively, use the entire emotional spectrum to tell the story of these troubled rock stars. They’re backed up by a talented bunch of supporting actors, who ultimately bring out the heart of the show. The original music is a fun addition, too. The songs are quite catchy and will inevitably become earworms after hearing them all repeated about 20 times by the end.
These aspects can’t make up for how the time period feels inauthentic, though. It feels as if the actors are cosplaying the ‘70s with their wavy hairdos, flowy clothes and huge sunglasses, and that ruins the immersion for the viewer. Beyond that, the show simply tries too hard to be cool. I get that it’s about rock stars, but at every turn, someone’s smoking a cigarette, writing some profound song lyrics or saying a cringeworthy one-liner about how great things used to be.
Once Daisy and The Six are brought together in the third episode, the series becomes repetitive. Daisy and Billy have strong personalities that clash – not without sparks flying, though – and that sets off a cycle of fights with a will they/won’t they dynamic that gets tedious almost immediately. Even worse, this develops into a love triangle where Billy toys with Daisy’s feelings while promising his increasingly suspicious wife, Camila, that he’s faithful. It’s clear that Billy is tormented by the situation, but it’s difficult to feel bad for him when he’s emotionally cheating.
Daisy and Billy are also stubborn and arrogant to a fault, acting like children during their arguments and not caring about who they hurt or affect. The show loves to parade that it’s about broken people with substance abuse problems – which can’t be ignored and I do sympathize with – but more than that, it’s about inflated egos. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the premise, but it makes it hard to care about Daisy and Billy.
There are some characters that strike the right chord, though. Simone Jackson, Daisy’s best friend and disco star in her own right, is easily a fan favorite. Her arc follows her efforts to musical success while struggling to conceal her queer identity and relationship with her partner, Bernie, and it’s a pity that she wasn’t featured more.
Then, there’s Camila with her level-headedness, strength and confidence that keeps the viewer rooting for her through all of her struggles. Teddy’s constant guiding hand makes the audience love him as much as the band does. What all of these characters have in common is they’re the voices of reason, keeping the show grounded in reality.
The final episode manages to bring some life back into the series, which may only be because it timelines the band’s final day together as everything comes crashing down. The band gives an emotional and soulful performance of “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” as the final song of their concert that brings everything full circle because it’s the song that initially brought Daisy and The Six together. It certainly manages to tug at some heartstrings.
If you can somehow look past the stadium-sized egos in “Daisy Jones and the Six,” then you might be able to get a fun time out of it. But more often than not, the series hits some sour notes.
Featured photo courtesy of @joshisatree, Twitter