Amazon’s new limited series charms its audience into believing in the legend of Daisy Jones and the Six, led by a show-stopping performance from Riley Keough.
In Amazon’s new limited series Daisy Jones and the Six, based on the best-selling novel, something magical happens during the third episode titled, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.”
For the first two episodes, the fictional band The Six struggles to make it work in LA, while in a parallel storyline, wannabe songstress Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) searches for her voice. It’s material we’ve seen before and includes a Bingo card filled with unwanted pregnancies, drug-and-alcohol binges, early band member exits, and even someone getting thrown into a pool at a Hollywood party (because like Chekhov’s Gun, with Hollywood’s Pool rule, you can’t show a pool in a party scene without someone getting pushed or falling in).
But then, Daisy Jones walks into the studio and meets Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin). Before this, if you felt like a concert-goer with a bunk lighter, it’s in this moment you finally get the spark you’re looking for. To quote Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous (as well as Daisy Jones and the Six‘s Instagram page profile), “It’s all happening.”
Daisy Jones and the Six should be an unfilmable limited series, a project saved for the bigger budget of a feature-length film, which makes what it achieves equally impressive and incomparable, in the same way that flash-in-a-pan bands like Daisy Jones and the Six come along once in a lifetime. Showrunners Scott Neustadter and Will Graham meet the challenge of not only depicting the rise of a fictional band with new, fictional hit songs (written by Blake Mills) that could conceivably be a part of a cultural phenomenon, but also matching the hype of Taylor Reid Jenkins’ book itself (which executive producer Reese Witherspoon snatched up the rights to before it was even released).
After years of getting praise for her supportive characters, Keough finally gets the role she was born to play and showcases her musical genes in addition to her acting chops. It’s a star-making turn that’s both iconic and transcendent. Reid Jenkins’ has not been shy about her book being inspired by the relationships within Fleetwood Mac, and DJATS fills the Stevie Nicks biopic void we’ve all been clamoring for. As the Lindsey to Keough’s Stevie, Sam Claflin has never been better. He, too, has been great in a lot of smaller projects in recent years, and with Billy, he captures the nuances of addiction in addition to thoughtful reflection on how artists compartmentalize their relationships. Rounding out the supporting cast includes standout performances from Camila Morrone as Billy’s long-suffering wife, who might be the backbone of the entire series, and Nabiyah Be’s Simone, whose friendship with Daisy becomes an emotional touchstone.
Aside from the performances, the other extraordinary feat is the depiction of the rock concerts themselves, which feel genuine and raw. Some recent rockstar biopics do not achieve the same level of authenticity as what this limited series does. It’s this care and attention to detail that elevates Daisy Jones and the Six from fan fiction to legend in her own time.
The first three episodes of Daisy Jones and the Six are streaming on Amazon starting March 3.