Prime Video’s Daisy Jones and The Six, adapted from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestseller of the same title, is as close to perfect as it can get. The series is sensational, leaving viewers with the same raw, haunting emotions left to the crowd who attended the final show in Chicago. The novel’s distinct interview process and style allow readers to focus heavily on the emotions, but the absence of substantial exposition leaves little room for imagery. Plus, in adapting a novel of this scale and turning fictional into real, modifications were necessary to sell the story as much as the band’s appeal.
It isn’t their breakup but the intimate details of their story behind closed doors that make Daisy Jones and The Six legends. There’s an unmatched emotional intimacy in the adaptation that hits exquisitely during the most unexpected and discernible moments. It’s everything that we get in between and alongside the pathos—the muted moments, the laughter, the love, the music, and the loud, unruly chaotic fires that made them who they are. The story is a haunting and indescribable work of art from beginning to end. It’s a compelling, profoundly lasting chronicle that encapsulates the best and worst of times
It’s the best kind of biopic that writers and the whole team at Hello Sunshine could give a fictional band. There’s not a dull moment in the masses, and it’s not an easy-to-watch spectacle either. This isn’t a happy story, but it’s a hopeful one—it’s messy and profoundly intricate, but at the end of the day, at its crux, it’s about healing. This story works, both in the books and in the show, because while there’s a pronounced love triangle dangling from the stage, the women aren’t pitted against each other, not in the traditional sense, at least.
No one in this band wants to hurt each other—no matter how toxic they are and how convoluted the story gets, it’s never about bringing anyone else pain. Still, it’s about fighting through the waves of sadness, each character having their own way of dealing with it. The four leading women, Daisy Jones, Camila Dunne, Karen Sirko, and Simone Jackson, are all powerhouses—complicated, flawed, and exceptional in all they do and stand for. This story hurts because these characters deserve happy endings more than pain for the trials they’ve walked through. There are beautiful moments with each of them, dark, messy ones too, but the love bursting through for one another is deep and indefinable.
The narrative changes in Prime Video’s Daisy Jones and The Six make the story more heartwarming and edgier. They deliver on the complexities in the book that get less exploration due to us hearing about the time spent instead of seeing it. Through the show, we experience every hardship and explosive turning point right alongside the band. The mini-series gives us as much of the blights as it provides us with the heart and the ever-growing vigor. The webs grow more entangled as the story unfolds, even when the truth remains a glaring shadow in the rearview, making the journey as daunting as it is stimulating.
This is a story about the fires caused by burning candles on both ends. It’s a story about being on top of the world, one storm after another, and the aftermath of life-changing high points. Daisy Jones and The Six is a love story about the people who don’t realize how much more they deserve—the ones who are sure of the things they want and those who aren’t. It’s about leaving your heart on the stage every night and then trying to find all the missing pieces elsewhere. It features some of the most beautiful performance sequences, one in particular that makes me burst into tears just thinking of it.
But a show like Daisy Jones and The Six wouldn’t be the triumph that it is without its remarkable cast. There’s not a single performer who doesn’t consistently bring their A-game, drawing on nods from the book while simultaneously bringing their distinct forms of embodiment that feel so raw, it’s uncanny. No matter how readers feel about Daisy Jones, it’s impossible not to adore what Riley Keough brings to the character. The passion and heart she brings to our screens are infectious. The way she moves through a scene, the gleam in her eyes, and the vulnerability she showcases add brilliant layers to Daisy Jones that require eons of excavation. It feels like the kind of role she was born to play because it’s hard to imagine anyone else filling these complicated shoes.
Billy Dunne is Sam Claflin’s best role to date. If you thought no one could break your heart more than Finnick Odair, then there’s no way to prepare for the cards Claflin leaves on the table. Billy Dunne is hard to love at times, but Claflin ensures that, if nothing else, we understand where he’s coming from. He pushes back, takes risks with the role, and sticks the landing every time with natural, indescribable fervor. Like every one in this role, Claflin is perfectly cast.
And then there’s Camila Morrone, who brings immense, incandescent warmth to a character who is the safest place in the book. Morrone is the kind of performer who could break your heart with a single look and heal it with another, bringing sharpness, fire, and tremendous adoration to the beating heart of the band. Camila Dunne is the irrefutable light of the books—she’s the grace in their cruel world, and the same can be said for the version we get in the show, but maybe even more so. She’s somehow better, more wholesome, vulnerable, and yet so innately human and flawed that it makes her an unbeatable character.
Suki Waterhouse is the most surprising performer for this writer; for my introduction to what the actress slash musician can do, Karen Sirko was one hell of a role to start with. Waterhouse is mesmerizing on the keys, but there’s a warmth to her midnight rain that feels like the cozy, familiar blanket we turn to on our darkest days. (We’re accepting it now. Taylor Swift’s “Midnight Rain” is a Graham and Karen song). Some of the warmest scenes in the show feature Karen’s innate goodness, and her complexities as a woman are vast and engrossing, making her a character people won’t ever forget.
Will Harrison stuns and shines exceptionally as Graham Dunne, bringing not only light to our screens but simultaneously the most charismatic moments. And Sebastian Chacon’s Warren Rojas is the kind of performer who breathes extraordinary life into a character who is given little time in the source material. Further, as hard as it is not to be frustrated with Eddie Roundtree, it’s easy to appreciate the work Josh Whitehouse brings to our screens. The character has more of a role in the show than in the books, which makes scenarios more complicated. Still, as he and Billy essentially go head-to-head, the performances make the scenes agonizing and entertaining to watch in the best way.
Finally, Daisy Jones and The Six understands Simone Jackson’s vital role in the story, allowing Nabiyah Be more screentime and some of the most gut-punching and rewarding scenes to work with. Be is unrivaled on and off stage, bringing to our screens moments that will give the audience much to appreciate. Timothy Olyphant and Tom Wright get Rod Reyes and Teddy Price down to the t, and there’s more to appreciate on the show than I could’ve hoped for.
Since Aurora will be released before all ten episodes of the series air, viewers will get a chance to listen to it before, and the music is utterly indescribable. In Reid’s own words, it’s “A stunning, nostalgic, timeless album that captures the drama, pathos, and yearning of the band’s zenith and nadir all in one. A snapshot of time, intoxicating and dangerous. That delicious moment that you know can’t last…Daisy Jones and The Six are real.” Nominate it for a Grammy. Let’s give a stage adaptation too. Heck, can we send the band on an official tour? It’s not merely a simple desire to see them on stage, but it’s a need.
Prime Video’s Daisy Jones and The Six gets plenty right. It starts a bit slow but picks up momentum relatively quickly. There are certainly ways it could’ve been better, mainly depending on a person’s preferences, but what we get is still fantastic. And to reiterate, while the show isn’t a carbon copy of the book, the changes all make sense, impacting the overarching story with storytelling beats that service the characters. The ensemble cast is given ample room to shine individually and as a stunning kaleidoscope of colors together. No talent feels wasted, and no moment feels misplaced. It’s a wistful frenzy that captures abounding scales of magic through every beat, big or small, underscoring what it means to experience a pinnacle of a lifetime. Their story is about to take over the world, and it’s a magnetic crossing to be a part of.
Daisy Jones and The Six premieres exclusively on Prime Video on March 3rd.