Attention all Taylor Jenkins Reid fans! Amazon Prime just released the last batch of episodes for its adaptation of “Daisy Jones & The Six” and it is living up to expectations. As a big fan of the book and of Taylor Jenkins Reid herself, I was more than thrilled to learn that this story would be adapted for the screen. With the streaming platform releasing two to three episodes every Thursday, starting on March 3, I have been hooked every week.
As background, “Daisy Jones & The Six” follows the rise and fall of 1970s rock band, The Six, originally the Dunne Brothers, and their partnership with singer-songwriter, Daisy Jones. As they begin to perform and write together, lead singer Billy Dunne, and Daisy find that they share a strong bond. But with Billy married and certain members of the band jealous of his control, things are bound to fall apart.
This book is one of the most unique I’ve read in terms of the format and the storytelling. It is told completely in transcribed interviews of the band members and people who were close to the band at the time of their success. Some of these people include Camila Dunne, Billy’s wife, Teddy Price, the band’s producer, Simone Jackson, disco pioneer and Daisy’s best friend and Rod, the band’s tour manager. While some may not be a fan of this style of writing, finding it choppy and short, I was encapsulated by it. I have always loved books that tell stories from multiple perspectives, so I was fascinated to hear the different sides of the story of the band’s rise to fame and their eventual downfall. There are always two sides to a story and “Daisy Jones & The Six,” through its transcribed interview format, delivered conflicting views of the band’s highs and lows.
Having read a few other books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I have found that she is a master of portraying complex relationships in her writing. “Daisy Jones & The Six” is no exception. Through the interviews, there was such complexity to the characters. With the subtle disagreements between band members, the tension that slowly builds and the themes of love, drug abuse, desire and loss, Reid crafts a story that is beautifully layered.
Being one of my favorite reads at the moment, I will admit that, though I was excited, I was also a bit nervous to hear that it would be adapted for the screen as a series on Amazon Prime Video. With Taylor Reid as one of the producers for the show, released sequentially every Thursday beginning on March 3, 2023, this show is a must-watch if you are a fan of the book.
Though I am still partial to Reid’s work as an author, this is a story that is suited so well to the screen. As it follows the rise and fall of a band, the live performances are central. In the series, fans of the book get to hear the music that’s so central to the plot. It is one thing to read the lyrics on a page, but it is another entirely to see it performed live, to hear it come to life and fill a stadium with cheers and applause. It is one thing to read the resentment between band members that begins to form in the interview-style writing of the book, but it is another to see the looks on their faces as they perform together. To hear the anger in their voices and watch the scenes play out on the screen.
Probably the best part of the screen adaptation is the music. I even discovered that the album “Aurora” is fully recorded with the cast members singing and is available to listen to on Spotify. For the past few weeks, I have been listening to the soundtrack nonstop, with some of my favorite tracks being “The River,” “Look At Us Now” and “Regret Me.” I highly recommend that everyone go and give this music a listen on Spotify, even if you have not started the show. It will make it that much more fun to sing along to when you watch the performances in the show.
Another cool aspect of the show is that rather than telling the story in written interviews, it is told through recorded interviews, playing into the visual aspect, yet maintaining the integrity of the book’s storytelling. It was also a great way to introduce Billy’s daughter, Julia, as the storyteller behind the camera. It was just as it was in the book except in the show, she is behind the camera rather than the pen.
I think that the series did a wonderful job of staying true to the original story of the book, while also enhancing it with cinematic and musical elements. There were a few minor shifts in the plot that I felt were a bit unnecessary in the series. For example, Pete, the bassist was not included as a character in the show at all. I understand that he did not have a major role in the book, however, it made it so that The Six was not actually composed of six members. Another aspect of the series that was a slight change, but one that I felt was unnecessary was where Daisy met her ex-husband, Nicky. In the book, she travels to Thailand after feeling lost and heartbroken from writing the band’s hit album, “Aurora”. It is there that she meets Nicky, an Italian prince, who she marries on a whim. However, in the show, Nicky is the descendant of Irish royalty, and she meets him on a trip to Greece. Again, it is not a big shift and does not really affect the storyline, however, I just do not understand the motive or intent behind this slight change.
One of the biggest differences between the book and the show, which I was not a fan of myself, was the relationship dynamic between Billy and Daisy. A big part of the book focuses on the love that Daisy and Billy shared for each other, even though they knew they could not have each other. In the book, I felt that a lot of initiative was taken on Daisy’s part to begin a relationship, while Billy would refuse, knowing that he was married and it was wrong. However, in the show, it was Billy who initiated the relationship every time, making it seem as though Daisy was the one who was being more rational, despite her love for Billy. Though it made for some drama in the series, I was personally not a fan of these roles reversed and felt that it undermined Camila’s strength as a character throughout her marriage with Billy.
Overall, the show made me love the book that much more. Seeing the characters, the music and the plot come together on the screen was truly amazing. I can’t confidently say which I like better (the book or the show), as I feel they both complement each other so well. I am usually one to say that the book is always better, but in this case, I think that Amazon Prime did a fantastic job of portraying the characters that so many know and love on the screen. And I will definitely have the soundtrack on loop for a long time to come!