Tuesday, September 19, 2023

TV Tuesday: Daisy Jones and the Six

Last December, I read Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (my first novel by the popular author), and it surprised me in a good way. So, when the TV adaptation was released this spring, my husband (who had not read the novel) and I watched it together. We both enjoyed the show very much, and it was fun for me to see the characters and music come to life on the screen.

It's the story of a 70's rock band, from it's humble beginnings in Pittsburgh to its skyrocket to fame in California to its sudden, unexplained demise. But it's also the story of its two lead singers who were both passionate, charismatic, damaged people: Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones. As with the novel, the story is told in hindsight, as an oral history of the famed (fictional) band, based on interviews with its members and other people who were involved. So, from the very beginning, you see the band members as they are today, talking about their propulsive rise to rock icons. The whole thing began with Billy Dunne, played by Sam Caflin, and his brother, Graham (played by Will Harrison) pulling together a band in their hometown of Pittsburgh with their friends. Their band was called the Dunne Brothers, and after playing some local and regional venues and slowly growing over the course of six years, they were noticed and invited to record their first album. The band's members had changed a bit over the years, finally comprising Billy as lead singer, Graham on lead guitar, Warren (played by Sebastian Chacon) as the easy-going drummer, Eddie (played by Josh Whitehouse) as the ever-resentful bassist who wanted to be lead guitar, and keyboardist Karen (played by Suki Waterhouse). After moving to L.A. and being renamed The Six, they recorded an album and went out on tour, living the wild rockstar life. Billy, in particular, got out of hand, with excessive drinking, drugs, and women, in spite of his beloved (and pregnant) wife, Camila (played by Camila Morrone), back home. Meanwhile, a young girl who had named herself Daisy Jones (played by Riley Keogh) grew up in that world of rock and roll, first as a groupie, but with dreams of being a star herself. Eventually, their mutual manager, Teddy Price, played by Tom Wright, brought Daisy's raw songwriting and singing talents to The Six, and there was instant chemistry between Billy and Daisy. Billy, though, was reformed by then and fully committed to Camila and their daughter. That passion and tension are at the heart of this band, as Daisy's inclusion takes them from moderately successful to global superstars.

It was really fun to see this novel as a TV series because while I was reading it, I kept wishing I could hear the music, which is at the heart of the story. The casting here is excellent for all of the characters, but Sam Caflin and Riley Keogh as Billy and Daisy really make their larger-than-life roles feel real (Riley is the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, so charisma and musical talent run in her family). The show is filled with catchy, original music; the band's full album, Aurora, is brought to life in recording sessions and scenes on stage. The story encompasses both the personal lives of the band members as well as the band's meteoric rise to fame, with spotlights on Billy and Daisy. My husband and I were both fully immersed in this fictional rock band's story and enjoyed going along for the ride.

Daisy Jones and the Six is available on Amazon Prime.

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