“Daisy Jones & The Six” is a reader-approved adaptation of the novel
"Daisy Jones & The Six" is a reader-approved adaptation of the novel
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling 2019 novel Daisy Jones & The Six told the story of the ups and downs of a fictional 1970s rock band and was met with rave reviews. This year, it was adapted into an Amazon Prime miniseries, with episodes released every Friday from March 3-24.
The series is filmed in the same documentary style that the book is written in, and begins with the original “Dunne Brothers” band in Pittsburgh – lead singer Billy Dunne (played by Sam Claflin), guitarist Graham Dunne (played by Will Harrison), drummer Warren Rojas (Warren Rhodes in the novel, played by Sebastian Chacon), bassist Eddie Roundtree (Eddie Loving in the novel, played by Josh Whitehouse). They are accompanied by photographer and Billy’s girlfriend (later wife), Camila Alvarez (Camila Martinez in the novel, played by Camila Morrone). Meanwhile, Margaret “Daisy” Jones (Daisy Jones in the novel, played by Riley Keough) is a girl from Los Angeles who grew up with neglectful parents and has coped by going to nightclubs and writing songs from a young age.
The band later invites keyboardist Karen Sirko (Suki Waterhouse) to join them as they decide to move to Los Angeles to attempt to get a record deal. Although there were only five members of their band at this point, they decided to change their name from the Dunne Brothers to The Six, because “we can’t be ‘The Five,’ there’s The Dave Clark Five, The Jackson 5, everybody’s ‘The Five.'” Camila also acted as an honorary sixth member of the band, following the crew around taking pictures and screening new songs.
As The Six slowly begin to reach fame, producer Teddy Price (played by Tom Wright) introduces the idea of Daisy joining them on the song “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb).” Billy is reluctant to do so, but it ends up being the biggest song of their career. After the release of this song, Daisy formally joins the band, establishing Daisy Jones & The Six.
The entire cast did an incredible job of portraying their characters and had a powerful “family” bond off-screen, which made the chemistry and dynamics between each character even stronger on-screen. They all showed an outstanding amount of dedication towards the show. The lead actors spent time at band camp learning to play the instruments their characters played. Keough and Claflin learned to sing exclusively for the series. Each actor embodied their character perfectly. Camila in particular was portrayed as even more resilient than in the novel, making her an instant fan favorite for viewers.
While the show is extremely well-made, there are quite a few big differences between the series and the novel. Notably missing from the series is bassist Pete Loving. It can be assumed though that Pete and Eddie Loving’s characters were combined to create the character of Eddie Roundtree (although the reason for completely eliminating Pete’s character from the series is unclear).
Another key difference from the novel is the band’s third album, Aurora. The songs from each of Daisy Jones & The Six’s albums were described in detail throughout the novel, and as Aurora was their most impactful and highest-charting album, the lyrics to each track were included at the end of the book. The cast recorded a full album for the show, but the songs were entirely different than the ones in the book. While the cast and songwriters did a fantastic job, it is puzzling why the creators did not simply use the songs that were already written.
The biggest difference between the book and show, however, is the love triangles. Billy and Daisy are broken and flawed characters in both the novel and the book. Both struggling with alcohol/drug abuse, but their actions are different in each. In the novel, Billy and Daisy have a very obvious connection, but they do not let it progress into anything. Camila is fully aware of this but is much more concerned with Billy’s sobriety than his potential infidelity. Billy’s love for Camila is much deeper in the novel, and he chooses to stay loyal to her and their children. The series is much more emotionally-driven, and Billy seems constantly conflicted about whether he loves Daisy, and ends up staying with Camila mostly out of obligation. In the show, Camila acts out of anger and has an affair with Eddie, who has always loved her. The Camila the reader meets would likely never crack in this way.
Nevertheless, both forms of this story are remarkable. It is possible that fans of the novel will view the show negatively because of the large differences, but it should be seen as a separate entity from the book. While the storyline was significantly changed in the adaptation, the music and the phenomenal acting make the series just as enjoyable as the novel.