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TV Review: 'Daisy Jones & The Six' is beating its own drum

Taylor Jenkins Reid's bestselling novel, "Daisy Jones & The Six," about a fictional band from the '70s with as much drama as the legendary Fleetwood Mac, finally has come to the big screens. The first three episodes have been released to the subsequent Amazon Prime, each one seemingly more addicting than the last. While it majorly follows its derived source, it changes quite a few things and beats its own drum without taking away from its overall quality. 

The three episodes comprised the two separate origin stories of free-spirited Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) and the charming Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin) with his band of brothers and friends. It was a good decision by the show's writers to draw out the character introductions between two to three episodes to allow viewers to grasp the lives of these musicians and hopefully get them to witness wonderful character developments later on. 

On par with several book-to-on-screen adaptations, a few twitches are made to the script. For the most part, the show stays true to its original documentary format; however, it shortened the time jump between the two from 50 years to 20. That way, the creators didn't have to worry about the egregious aging process for the actors. 

One noticeable change is that one of the original sixth members, Pete, is not even included in the show. They made Camila, the fan-beloved girlfriend of Billy, the honorary sixth member of The Six. Perhaps the show didn't want to take on so many characters and focus on fewer arcs. Another original member, Chuck Williams, did not leave for Vietnam in the show; instead, they made him quit the band to study dentistry. 

Other minimal changes include character name changes and missing lyrics. Karen Karen (Suki Waterhouse), the band's keyboardist, is now Karen Sirko. And the fan-favorite lyric "When you think of me, I hope it ruins rock-n-roll" from "Regret Me" is not included in the show's song. Some changes have made fans weary, but there are worse things the show could have changed to create this unique mini-series. 

The use of Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot" as the theme is a seemingly perfect fit for the show, a song that is from the designated time and has some form-fitting lyrics that match the two main character's relationship. Smith sings, "She is the root connection / She is connecting with he," as if she's explaining the plot. This wonderful song choice wasn't the only wonderful one throughout the show, several other recognizable songs from the time period are included to add the correct audible ambiance that the show would do awful without. 

As far as the album itself goes, it doesn't actually lead up to its inspiration, "Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac. Their 11-track fictional album, "Aurora," which is now unbelievably made real, has its share of worthy tracks, which somewhat resemble those by Fleetwood Mac. 

Keough's vocals give off a bit of Nick's inspiration but don't contain the same deep raspiness. "The River" is similar to Fleetwood's "The Chain," both guitar-driven with high tension. Daisy Jone's "Two Against Three" is the most somber song on the album, but not as somber as Nick's "Silver Springs." All in all, the album songs are exactly like how you would think they would sound for that era, thanks to the material it was inspired by and the author that wrote the lyrics.

The show's casting is definitely suitable yet ambitious, casting Elvis's granddaughter, Keough and the book adaptation king, Claflin. On the other hand, Camila Morrone as Camila Alvarez Dunne is truly one of the most on-par casting decisions in all of TV history. Her descriptions in the book come across exceedingly well on-screen, still able to grab hearts and crush them with her moving performance, all in the span of the first few episodes.

The acting chemistry between Claflin and Keough is already presented strongly, despite only being in one scene together. This book wouldn't be served its justice if the two main titular characters couldn't feed well off each other. Apart from each other, the two actors are already giving wonderful performances, and time will tell if they are nominated for anything because of it. 

Their scene in the studio together, singing "Look at Us Now (Honeycomb)," is addictive and thrilling, essentially the best way to end the first released part of the series. The entire song isn't presented in the episode, which regretfully leaves out the gripping guitar instrumentals. Still, this song becomes their first hit single so the possibility of it recurring is very likely. 

The next three episodes are to come on March 10 and an overall amount of ten episodes in total. With the end of the third episode ending with one of the most pivotal parts of the story, the next few episodes are going to strive off of that strong momentum. So far, it's a glorious start to a glorious book, and despite all the minimal changes, it's still very much rock and roll.  

@Loganhumphrey_

lh129720@ohio.edu


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