Daisy Jones & The Six: The YA book adaptation that beat the rest

Quilla Chavez, Staff Writer

“You’ll regret me and I’ll regret you,” sang Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne to each other at the Soldier Field in Chicago during their last performance to a sold-out crowd. In Amazon Prime’s latest book-to-show adaptation, the miniseries follows Daisy Jones and The Six, a fictional band loosely based on Fleetwood Mac from author Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The titular characters are Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin), the lead singer struggling with staying sober, Daisy Jones (Riley Keough), the other lead singer struggling with not staying sober, and Camila Dunne (Camila Morrone), the wife of Billy and mother figure to the band. The story centers around these three characters’ turbulent relationships during the height of the rock band’s fame and explores themes of addiction and love, both platonic and romantic.

Like its source material, “Daisy Jones & The Six” follows an interview-style format, switching between flashbacks to the band’s heydays in the late 70s to the present day when the band has broken up and the members are telling their versions of what happened. Despite the awful wig worn by Karen Sirko (Suki Waterhouse), the British keyboardist of the band, the interview format serves as a great opportunity to show rather than tell the audience what happened and how the characters feel about it 20 years later. It achieves this, but partly fails at convincing the audience that the band was as successful as they are portrayed to be.

Off of what is supposed to be their hit album “Aurora,” which was actually released on Spotify and Apple Music on the show’s premiere, only two songs really stand out. “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” and “Regret Me” are fiery, soulful, and heartfelt hits that make me feel nostalgic about a time period I wasn’t even alive for. Despite the rest of the lackluster songs, the album itself is still quite impressive considering Claflin and Keough, the main two vocalists, had never sung before.

As the band becomes more and more successful following each episode, the scenes that explicitly show the audience their gradual rise to becoming the biggest band in America aren’t supported by any of the characters struggling to deal with this newfound fame. Every band member acted the same before and after such a big life change, which made the story feel a bit disingenuous and less nuanced than the source material.

In fact, every time the show made a departure from the source material, it suffered. Without majorly spoiling anything, the ending was one of the most disappointing departures from the novel because it felt like the writers had missed the whole point of the tragic and forbidden love triangle between Billy, Daisy, and Camila.

However, what the writers lacked in, the cast made up for tenfold. All of the supporting cast members like Will Harrison, Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Tom Wright, Sebastian Chacon, and Nabiyah Be, added a lot to the show in terms of complexity and nuance. Their separate storylines brought a welcome reprieve from the extreme highs and lows that the three main characters experienced. Claflin, Keough, and Morrone truly made the audience feel the emotions of the characters and had electrifying chemistry with each other.

The costuming and production design was another one of the show’s greatest successes. Each characters’ outfits clearly represented them and felt true to the time period.

As someone who has been stung by the writing failures of a book-to-show adaptation, “Daisy Jones & The Six” exceeded my expectations. My lack of enthusiasm for the changed ending doesn’t take away from the nine other episodes that were heartfelt and left me feeling like the Fleetwood Mac fans who witnessed the sparks between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. If the cast members’ Instagram stories teasing band practices are anything to go by, perhaps we will actually get to see Billy and Daisy performing in real life.