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Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones and the Six
Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones and the Six
Lacey Terrell / Prime Video
Culture > Entertainment

Review: ‘Daisy Jones and The Six’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

WARNING: *Spoilers ahead*

It’s here! The first live-action adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “Fab Four” Universe: Daisy Jones and The Six! Starring Riley Keough, Camila Morrone, Suki Waterhouse, and Gen-Z heartthrob pioneer Sam Claflin —you know him and you love him from The Hunger Games and Me Before You— as members of the biggest rock band of the seventies who are telling their sides of the story for the first time in decades. Reid’s New York Times bestselling book is largely inspired by the real seventies rock band Fleetwood Mac and the infamous love and cheating scandals that surround them. DJATS is a novel written as an interview as the characters give a tell-all to a very lucky interviewer (IYKYK) about their time in the band and what led to their abrupt breakup. The book mainly follows lead singer Billy Dunne (Claflin) and his growing feelings towards singer Daisy Jones (Keough) as he tries to navigate fame, his alcohol and drug dependencies, and his marriage with his wife Camila (Morrone). The first three episodes premiered on Amazon Prime (take advantage of Amazon Prime Student if you haven’t already) on March 3rd and thousands of die-hard fans of the book tuned in, including me, and here’s everything you need to know.

Within just three episodes Riley Keough’s already delivered a hell of a performance; you immediately want to root for her as she gets knocked down and picks herself back up time and time again. Keough’s ability to convey emotions through just a glance or slight change of the features is something extraordinary and the heartbreaking performance she gives of “By Myself” on the piano in an empty bar —a defining moment for Daisy as she’s about to admit defeat on her dreams— showcases her low and smooth vocals, a result of the months of band camp and singing lessons she took in preparation for the show. Keough is an accomplished actress and director, but she’s also the granddaughter of the one and only Elvis Presley, and it’s clear that his natural charisma and ability to grasp one’s heart with his voice has been passed down to her. As they said, like father like daughter.

Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in Daisy Jones and the Six
Lacey Terrell/Prime Video

Camila Morrone as Camila Dunne is quickly shaping up to be the emotional backbone of the entire series. Morrone has already had some of the heaviest scenes in the show thus far: leaving her family at 19, having to find Billy cheating on her, and giving birth all on her own. Keep in mind, all the actors are playing characters in their early twenties but also in their forties and fifties, as the show is the visualization of them giving an exclusive interview. Morrone’s ability to convey both the naivete and blind devotion of a nineteen-year-old girl on this whirlwind and the emotional maturity she has to shoulder it all. It’s no surprise she’s a favorite of both fans and critics.

While the show flawlessly transports the viewer into the sparkling seventies, it struggles to find its footing and there are moments where it strays from the book for the worse. Most glaringly, Camila and Billy’s relationship. Anyone who read Daisy Jones and The Six for the first time will remember how their love came to be; two twenty-something sweethearts whose unadulterated love surges through the imminent complications that come from them being apart while Billy tries to make it as a star. Although in both the book and the show, Billy is unfaithful to Camila before he meets Daisy, it’s his wildly passionate growing feelings for the lead singer that truly pierces the heart of their relationship. 

Despite that, they got together for a reason. Some argue that he did until the end, but at the beginning of the story, he truly loved Camila through and through, something the show is failing to convey. For example, in the second episode, Camila tearily admits she’s pregnant to a less-than-enthusiastic Billy, causing them to get married that night, where his alcoholism continues to develop. This is a stark contrast to the text in which Billy proposes getting married over the phone after receiving a record deal. “Imagine achieving your wildest dream and feeling empty inside. It didn’t mean anything unless I could share it with Camila… when Camila answered, it was like laying down in bed after a long day. I felt so much better, just hearing her voice. I said, ‘I miss you. I don’t think I can live without you.’” 

Stripping Camila and Billy of their original love for one another does them both a disservice as individuals and works against the tension Billy is supposed to have with Daisy. What makes the book so addictive is that Billy and Daisy have electric chemistry and a genuine connection that develops at the cost of his deteriorating relationship with Camila, which has provided him with stability, constant chances, and children. While Billy Dunne is a complex character in the book, battling between two callings within him, the show pretty quickly paints him out to be detached and plays into stereotypes, which not only works to remove any sympathy the viewers might have for him early on (a huge mistake considering we’re only on episode three) but also sands down what makes Daisy and Billy’s enemies-to-lovers development so intoxicating.

We’re only three episodes in, so there’s still a whole lot of love, angst, and rock and roll to go! With three new episodes every Friday there’s still a number of storylines to get through and hopefully as we enter the actual formation of Daisy Jones and The Six as they take over the world, the show will be able to capture the depth and chaos that made the book such an incredible read.

Lily Barmoha (she/her) is a university student who is currently studying English and Creative Writing, as she has been doing at her performing arts middle and high school for the past seven years. She loves reading new fiction and classic literature, listening to music and going to concerts, and going to the movies. She especially loves writing reviews about pop culture events and hopes to one day work at an established arts and fashion magazine or start her own one day!