'Daisy Jones & the Six' Almost Makes Its Fictional Band Feel Real

Created by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

Starring Riley Keough, Sam Claflin, Camila Morrone, Will Harrison, Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Sebastian Chacon, Nabiyah Be, Tom Wright, Timothy Olyphant

Photo: Lacey Terrell / Prime Video

BY Eva ZhuPublished Mar 2, 2023

Daisy Jones & the Six isn't just another TV show about a fictional band. We're all too familiar with the campy, feel-good storytelling of a scrappy band who, out of sheer luck, get a record deal and tour the world, amassing countless die-hard fans in the process. This 10-part miniseries, based on the novel of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid, follows '70s rockers the Six as they climb to the top of the world — all while fighting to prove everybody back home wrong. 

The series takes us behind the scenes of the Six, from members fighting for the spotlight in a cold, corporate music industry to battling sexism, racism, homophobia and addiction. Daisy Jones & the Six has it all and then some. The show doesn't just document the rise and fall of a band — it illustrates an entire era of music.

Daisy Jones & the Six starts 20 years after the band combusts, with each member of the group sitting down for an interview. As they reflect on what went wrong — and right — in their short-lived era of superstardom, viewers are taken back to the '70s via flashbacks.

Their story starts with Graham (Will Harrison) and Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin), along with Graham's friends Warren (Sebastian Chacon) and Chuck (Jack Romano), forming the Dunne Brothers in the Dunne's garage. They're decently talented and end up gaining a bit of hometown fame, playing anything from weddings to birthday parties. After opening yet another show, they meet Rod Reyes (Timothy Olyphant), who tells them that California is the place to be. 

Armed with this knowledge, they're joined by a new keyboardist Karen (Suki Waterhouse) and rhythm guitarist Eddie (Josh Whitehouse), who replaces Chuck after he loses his nerve and decides to apply to dental school. The quintet, along with Billy's girlfriend Camila (Camila Morrone), the glue that keeps the band from falling apart, head to California.

After a few months playing seedy venues on the L.A. strip, the group, now named the Six, get their big break when Billy spots record producer Teddy Price (Tom Wright) and begs him to give them a shot. Teddy relents and the Six go on tour, although it turns out to be short-lived.

While out on tour, Teddy is introduced to Daisy Jones (Riley Keough), a talented songwriter who's unloved and unsupported by her parents. Teddy immediately becomes enamoured with Daisy and believes her to be the key to getting the Six re-signed. After a tense back and forth, all due to Daisy's immeasurable ego, she agrees to feature on one of the band's songs.

After the single's success, the band, now known as Daisy Jones & the Six, record a debut album, which goes to No. 1, and begin a country-wide tour — and so begins the downfall of the band. From love triangles and jealousy over the spotlight to unplanned life-altering accidents, a multitude of events threatens to be the band's breaking point.

Motivating the group, though, is each member's desire to prove themselves with everything at stake. Billy wants to show that he's more than his past and that he's willing to take responsibility for everything, even when it's not his fault. Daisy is determined to prove her parents and ex-boyfriends wrong and prove she's more than just a pretty face. And Graham, Karen and Eddie — but not Warren, he's just happy to be there — are on a mission to validate their talents beyond just being Billy and Daisy's backing band.

For a series about a fictional band, the music in Daisy Jones & the Six is exactly what audiences will hope for from the golden age of classic rock. The lyrics are well-written and follow relevant themes like love, relationships and self-doubt. Musically, the instrumentals fit the bill, too. The drums are groovy and the guitar riffs have that rhythmic, bluesy and sometimes dreamy sound that were common in bands like Fleetwood Mac or Big Brother and the Holding Company. 

Daisy Jones & the Six is Keough's first time in a leading role in a major production, and while she does a great job at making us believe she's a rock star with big talent and an even bigger ego, her performance can at times be one-note. However, she's terrific at portraying anger and cocky angst in a character that has never been shown tenderness, with her quick temper frustrating viewers just as it frustrates Daisy's bandmates. 

The success of the miniseries is due in large part to the chemistry between all of the characters. The anxiety when something consequential happens works because the dialogue among them feels emotionally charged. We develop a genuine connection with the characters as their existential struggles with relationships and the music industry are deeply felt. By the final episode, there's an overwhelming sadness to say goodbye.

Daisy Jones & the Six tackles the overdone band biopic genre and comes out on top. The series aptly shows that the glamour in being a rock star is fleeting, and that there's a consequence for a life of "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll."
(Prime Video)

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