By Jordana Seal, Third Year, English and Theatre
The Daisy Jones and the Six (2023) is a TV adaptation of Taylor Jenkin Reid's bestselling book, and the first three episodes are now streaming on Amazon Prime. The book and show tell the story of the famous fictional band's downfall immediately after a sold-out show at Soccer Field. The story is told in a documentary format from the band's perspective in the ‘90s, with the drama playing out in flashbacks.
The narrative's documentary style translates better on screen, making the fictional band appear real. This is amplified by the original songs, makeup and cinematography that are straight out of LA in the ‘70s. The TV show adaptation of Daisy Jones and the Six plays on ‘70s visual nostalgia in a way that the book was unable to do.
The first three episodes focus on Billy (Sam Claflin), the lead singer of the band and his relationship with his girlfriend/wife, Camila (Camila Morone). These episodes, on the surface, reduced Camila to a timid wife figure rather than the vivacious character she is in the book. However, this seemed to be an active decision. In not being as gusty as she was in the book, she is established as the supportive bedrock of the group or the unofficial sixth member.
This was effectively shown through her hair and makeup, which remained the same in the flashbacks and present-day interviews. Her aesthetic was simple but ingrained in who she is as a character, establishing her sturdy and essential role in the group.
The first episode establishes Billy and Daisy's (Riley Keough) childhood backstories alongside each other, and this sets up the parallels between the characters right from the start. Their shared electric personalities introduced the twin-flame concept that was so prevalent in the book and grows throughout each episode.
The cinematography is captivating and shows LA in a gritty and lustful way, making the viewer desperate to be part of a time when the music scene was so exciting and full of opportunity. The costumes also played on nostalgia extremely well; the character's repertoires all consisted of bootcut jeans, flowing tops and pointy boots.
What is truly commendable about the show is the way that they don't glorify drug abuse or cheating. It is able to imply how certain characters use their up-and-coming rockstar status to take advantage of these vices without displaying these scenes graphically; the subtext is great. This means that, at times, the show is a little too glossy. It would be nice to see more grit in the next few episodes, digging deeper into the serious topics displayed.
However, the chemistry between all the characters makes for a great watch, and the music certainly complements the sunny setting making it a perfect cure for cold weather blues.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Lacey Terell, Amazon Studios on IMDB
Did you find the series stays loyal to the novel?