Daisy Jones & the Six: Novel adaptation is ‘uneven’ and ‘underwritten’, critics claim in first reviews

Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ (Lacey Terrell/Prime Video)
Riley Keough and Sam Claflin in ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ (Lacey Terrell/Prime Video)

The first reviews are in forDaisy Jones & the Six – and it seems like Prime Video’s long-awaited TV series might not have hit all the right notes.

Based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s popular novel, the show follows a fictional rock band from the Seventies on their rise to fame. Riley Keough plays singer Daisy, while Sam Claflin is the band’s founder Billy Dunne.

While fans of Jenkins’ book have begged for an adaptation since it was released, early reviews for the series – which arrives on Prime Video on Friday (3 March) – have been less than glowing.

Vulture’s Roxana Hadadi compared Daisy Jones & the Six to “buying a Fleetwood Mac T-shirt from Urban Outfitters”, writing: “There’s an unignorable smallness throughout, a sense that, as with that Fleetwood Mac T-shirt, we’re settling for a copy of a copy.”

In a three-star review for The Daily Telegraph, Jasper Rees said that while the love triangle at the centre of the show between Daisy, Billy and Camila (Camila Morrone) is the most exciting part of the show, “other subplots feel underwritten”.

“Although the era is reconstructed with lavish attention to detail, there’s no shunning the impression that these are beautiful actors cosplaying Seventies-style hedonism,” he writes. “The orgiastic parties look sweetly innocent, the abuse of drugs and alcohol a mite performative… It may fit the plot, but which rock star ever did rehab before they were famous?”

Keough’s performance was singled out in Daniel D’Addario’s review for Variety, but he writes that “the lack of texture in a big cast contributes to the whiff of antiseptic on what ought to be a wilder telling of this story.

Riley Keough as Daisy in ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ (Lacey Terrell/Prime Video)
Riley Keough as Daisy in ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ (Lacey Terrell/Prime Video)

“One also can feel certain cut corners, so much so that the lush and elaborate Seventies rock atmosphere evaporates a bit: A scene in which Keough sings at a piano is carefully shot to exclude her hands from the frame, while the aging-up (by 20 years!) of the cast is little more elaborate than changing up their hair.”

IndieWire’s Ben Travers meanwhile called the show “a cacophony of bad choices” and “a rock-drama steeped in self-seriousness”.

In The Daily Beast, Nick Schrager said that the show was “uneven in just about every respect”.

“There’s as much frustrating phoniness as enlivening authenticity in Daisy Jones & the Six, but when the former lands, it overshadows the latter,” he wrote.

Daisy Jones and the Six is released on Prime Video on Friday 3 March.