Friday 3rd March has been circled in red on my calendar for months. After endless press days, multiple teaser trailers and an entire album release, the opening three episodes of Daisy Jones and the Six have finally been released on Amazon Prime.
The series is based on current literary ‘it-girl’ Taylor Jenkins Reids’ best-selling novel, telling the explosive tale of a ‘70s rock band; from after-school garage practice to global stardom before their inevitable demise (complete with wild parties, sex, drugs, tangled relationships and life in ‘70s LA). Setting the scene twenty years later, the band members revisit their turbulent history to finally reveal the truth behind their infamous split. A transfixing aspect of this novel is the vibrance and life given to the characters, and even more enthralling is how they interact and intertwine with one another. Jenkins Reid manages to capture everything, from tragic love and sexual tension to addiction, clashing egos and animosity- and it makes for a truly addictive read.
In all its glamour and grit, the book has always been destined for the big screen. After its publication in 2019, the TV rights were quickly grabbed by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company, who have been working alongside writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber to create the TV adaptation.
The first two episodes delve into the band’s roots as we see the formation of the ‘Dunne Brothers’ in Pittsburgh, composed of school friends Eddie (Josh Whitehouse), Warren (Sebastian Chacon), Graham Dunne (Will Harrison) and his older brother Billy (Sam Claflin). They make a name for themselves back home, performing at weddings and occasionally small gigs, before finally deciding to properly pursue their career in California. At this point, Billy’s girlfriend Camila (played by Camilla Morrone, a firm fan favourite) has joined them on their quest for stardom, along with Keyboardist Karen (Suki Waterhouse), poached from another band.
Like many musicians of the time, their rise to fame is characterised by half-empty shows and endless rejection, before a sudden record deal (thanks to top producer Teddy Price) accelerates them into the limelight. They’re on the verge of ‘making it’ when Billy, despite his dreamy rockstar allure and angelic voice, succumbs to serious addiction and the struggles of new-found fame, meaning the band must cancel their tour.
We are first introduced to Daisy Jones as a timid young girl in a rather miserable home environment, who uses music to escape reality. As a teenager, she is drawn to the whisky and rock bars of LA’s Sunset Strip, where she is practically raised amidst drug-fuelled parties, sleazy musicians and California’s notorious music scene during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Despite her turbulent upbringing, her fascination in music and performing remains constant and utterly central to her life.
Riley Keough graces our screens as a twenty-something Daisy, the star of the story. She floats around LA like a sort of Stevie Nicks-esque goddess, ceaselessly scribbling lyrics into her tiny red notebook and performing with her best friend Simone (Nabiyah Be), a pioneer in disco music. Daisy has also been discovered by Teddy Price, who tirelessly pines after her trust and willingness to let him help her make a name for herself.
So, in order to kickstart Daisy’s career and relaunch The Six’s, Teddy decides to merge them together. The end of the third episode is when the tale of Daisy Jones and the Six really gets going. The story’s dramatic spine is revealed when both Daisy and Billy are forced to duet on a song together and, without giving too much away, there is undeniably something in the air between them. The seeds of a seriously conflicting, torturous love story are visually sown, and it makes me so excited for the rest of the series.
Even though I know what’s going to happen: the ending, the characters’ fate, the band’s break-up; I can’t help but look forward to seeing how it will unfold on screen. In a story crammed full of vivid personalities, colourful ‘70s nostalgia, roaring crowds, turbulent relationships and musical flair, I can only hope TV producers do the book the justice it deserves – which so far they have.
Written by: Tilly Milsome
Edited by: Daisy Jeffs