c/o Vanity Fair

c/o Vanity Fair

In a cross talk, two writers sit down to discuss a book, movie, TV show, or piece of art they both feel strongly about. Sometimes they disagree; other times, they’re in perfect harmony. Here, Executive Editor Jem Shin and Sports Editor Erin Byerly discuss “Daisy Jones & The Six,” a new series from Amazon Prime adapted from the book of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid. 

This article contains spoilers for “Daisy Jones & The Six.” 

Erin Byerly: Today, we’re crosstalking “Daisy Jones & The Six,” the TV show from Amazon Prime Studios. You and I came into the show with different backgrounds because I had read the book, so I pretty much knew what it was gonna be about. 

Jem Shin: I heard about the show because I knew the book existed, but I tried to read it and it just wasn’t my style of literature. But then I saw the trailers for the show and they looked really good, and the story sounded interesting, so that’s why I decided to watch the show.

EB: The first episode starts with the formation of the Dunne Brothers, with Billy (Sam Claflin), Graham (Will Harrison), and Daisy (Riley Keough) going to L.A. to start her music career. Then, the Dunne Brothers move out to L.A. with Billy’s girlfriend, Camila (Camila Alvarez). My favorite part of that episode is when the Dunne Brothers are on the bus and then Daisy walks past them on Sunset Boulevard, and Daisy and Billy make eye contact in slow motion but Camila’s holding onto his arm, and that’s when you already know shit’s about to go down. 

JS: I really liked the Dunne Brothers as a group. I downloaded their songs on Spotify—I liked “Have Love, Will Travel”—but I think the first episode just speaks to how music happens out in L.A. That’s where the music world is.

EB: In episode two, Karen (Suki Waterhouse) joins the guys in the band, and Daisy meets Teddy Price (Tom Wright), the music producer. The Six gets signed by Teddy and then Camila gets pregnant and they [Billy and Camila] get married. And then Billy goes on tour and cheats on Camila, and Camila catches him, and then Billy ends up in rehab. Do you have thoughts on that?

JS: Well, the thing about the first couple of episodes is that it takes longer than you think for them to meet and actually become a group. So I was waiting for that to happen for a while, and it doesn’t happen until the third episode. 

EB: The next episode is when Daisy and Billy meet and they record “Look At Us Now,” and they fight. 

JS: Yeah, they meet in the studio and Teddy doesn’t tell Billy what’s going on, and she has new lyrics that she wants to sing together, so they fight and leave the studio and have to rework the song, but then it becomes a huge hit anyways.

EB: That’s when Daisy immediately became my favorite, and Billy was already kind of annoying.

JS: I think he’s just being brave with his musical choices. Don’t hate on him like that. 

EB: Oh my god, you Billy Dunne defender. In episode four, they have a house party and Camila convinces Daisy to rejoin The Six, which is very interesting because I feel like there’s sexual tension between Daisy and Billy by this point. So it’s spooky that Camila’s the one who makes it happen and in the process, lowkey blows up her life but doesn’t seem super concerned. I don’t understand how she could want her husband to be writing music with some hot girl after he’s been cheating on her while she was pregnant.

JS: That’s kind of what happens during the entire show though. As soon as Daisy gets there, it’s just her and Billy writing everything for The Six, and then Camila has to be at home and wait for him to come back.

EB: That’s tough. I think the next episode is my favorite. Billy and Daisy write all their songs together and it’s really cute, and then Daisy and Billy kiss, which was a high point. That’s actually an important moment because in the book, they never kiss. But also, the difference in the book is that since it’s just interview form, there’s no visuals, so it’s their version of the story. But in the show we get to see things that might not necessarily be shared in an interview because I think the idea of the TV show is as if there was an actual camera on them in the ’70s. It’s not just everyone’s version of what happened.

JS: Do they actually feel like this for each other in the book too?

EB: Are they sexually attracted to each other? I remember there’s a line in the book where [they are] recording a song at night and then after the take goes well, Daisy jumps into Billy’s arms and he smells her hair. So that’s more of the hint that you get that things are happening.

JS: So in the show, then they go on tour—

EB: Wait, wait, wait. I think it’s happened by this point, that Eddie (Josh Whitehouse) and Camila fuck. I hated Eddie. He was so annoying because he just wanted to be Billy, but he’s not Billy and he just needed to accept that. If he had been like Warren (Sebastian Chacon) and just accepted the band for what it was, he would’ve been way happier than chasing some success because he’s not likable enough to be a rockstar.

JS: He gives all bass players a really bad rep in this show. It’s not a good look for him, and he’s not even that good.

EB: You know who was great? Graham. 

JS: Just ’cause you’re in love with Graham—

EB: He’s such a talented guitarist. Where were we going with this?

JS: In episodes nine and ten, they’re on tour, right before the peak of the tour. It’s going really well, except the problem is that Daisy is using so many drugs.

EB: To deal with the man that doesn’t want her.

JS: There’s a lot of tension between Daisy and Billy here, but then Camila is seeing all of this now, like she has to be there for it. I really wanted Billy and Daisy to get together at that point.

EB: Yeah. I really wanted them to. I thought we were gonna get a real sex scene with them. 

JS: That show is the final show they do, but the band doesn’t know it’s their last one until the next morning. 

EB: A lot of things come crashing down at once, like Eddie quits and Graham finds out that Karen had an abortion the night before.

JS: After that show, the band breaks up because they lost everybody. And then it goes to the present, where they’re being interviewed.

EB: There’s been a lot of discourse about how they did not do a great job with the aging makeup. 

JS: They could have looked older. But Graham looked well-aged.

EB: Graham was the only one who was appropriately aged. Karen just got really weird bleach-damaged hair. Warren was just living his best life as he always does. Billy just did not look good. Shave the beard. 

Now we have to talk broader. So I’ve seen a good amount of debate about how authentic it felt to the period. A lot of people I’ve heard saying it felt very costumey and not very ’70s. I’ve heard some people say that their teeth all look too perfect to be authentically ’70s. I think just to a certain extent when you’re filming something on really good quality cameras with people who exist now, I don’t think you’re ever gonna be able to perfectly recreate that feeling. It’s like any period piece, too. It’s very hard to make it actually feel like you’re in the 1950s because you have media from that time period. Unless you can somehow perfectly recreate it, I don’t think it’s a reasonable expectation to make something feel like it was actually made during that time period. Besides that, I thought everyone’s wardrobe was on point. I will say the one thing I didn’t like was Daisy’s final costume with the sleeves.

JS: I liked her sleeves. I think the vibes overall were very ’70s, it felt very Fleetwood Mac-inspired. And the soundtrack for this show is great, like the non-Daisy Jones & The Six songs they used. 

EB: Oh yeah, like the opening song is by Patti Smith, that one’s great. They actually did get Fleetwood Mac in the show. They had “Gold Dust Woman.”

JS: The actual music for the show is also excellent. It’s very impressive that all the actors were actually singing and playing their instruments. 

EB: I know they’ve said they had all been cast before COVID. And somehow everyone managed to stay on the project, so they ended up having a year and a half to learn. So all of the instrumentalists had musical backgrounds.

JS: What were your favorite songs from the band?

EB: I would say “Kill You To Try” would be one of my favorites, and “More Fun to Miss.” Maybe “Let Me Down Easy.”

JS: Yeah, “Regret Me,” that was the single that they put out before the show, was really good. And then “Please” is also really good, a great performance by Sam Claflin.

EB: That’s actually also a great pivotal moment in the show. It’s the album photo shoot scene. and “Please” is playing in the background and Camila and Daisy are talking very awkwardly. And Camila was like, “Wow, you did a great job writing this song.” And Daisy’s like, “What? Billy wrote it.” And the song is like, “Please, I’m down on my knees, I have a family.” 

JS: Crazy. And “The River” is really good, and “Aurora.” Most of the album is great. 

EB: It took a while for it to grow on me, but then I just listened to it a lot and now I am actually quite a fan. I think I came into it not knowing what to make of it, because, I kind of thought of this TV show as AU [alternate universe] Fleetwood Mac and this is like AU Rumours, and obviously it’s not as good as Rumours. I came into it with high expectations of hoping it would be as good as Rumours, which was really unreasonable. Now I really like it a lot.

JS: I wasn’t expecting the songs to be this good when I was getting into the show. I like that it could be a real group that really released this album and I hope they go on tour. 

EB: I also hope they go on tour and we can go. 

JS: Inspired by the show, what are your favorite Fleetwood Mac songs?

EB: “Rhiannon” is one of my favorites. “Go Your Own Way.” “Everywhere.” “You Make Loving Fun” has such a good baseline. And “Silver Springs.” 

JS: I’m basic.

EB: Is it “Dreams”?

JS: No, it’s “The Chain.” I love that song. But I will say other top ones up there—again, “Gold Dust Woman,” “Landslide,” and then I’ve been in a real “Bleed to Love Her” mood recently.

What else are we gonna talk about now—the cast? I love this casting. I think they did a great job. 

EB: I totally agree. Truly one of the hottest casts in TV or film history.

JS: And really good actors overall, great acting, very believable, and such good chemistry between everybody involved. I believed every relationship, but especially Billy and Daisy. I just think they should have happened in the show.

EB: Yeah. I was a big fan of the drama. I was totally rooting for them to be really messy and cheat on each other’s partners with each other.

JS: I think we all wanted that to happen.

EB: I was just hoping to get a kiss so I was really glad that we got that, ’cause they give us tiny crumbs in the book. Warren was also one of the best parts of the cast. He was consistently so funny. I love Graham. I feel like they got kind of sidelined though. That’s one criticism I have, once Daisy and Billy’s relationship starts getting really acrimonious, I feel like it starts forcing a lot of the rest of the characters to the sideline.

JS: It’s hard because you have a limited number of episodes that you can do something with, so not everybody in the band gets that amount of time on screen.

EB: Wanna know a fun fact? In the book there are actually six members of The Six. And Daisy is the seventh, so it makes sense. But in the book Eddie plays rhythm guitar and they have a bassist who is really bland, which is funny because Eddie’s even more unnecessary, so the guy with the biggest ego is the least essential.

JS: I liked that the number of people in the band doesn’t match the name. It’s fun and quirky for them. And I was definitely surprised by the ending. I did not know it was gonna be Billy and Camila’s kid doing the interviewing.

EB: It’s a pretty crazy plot twist in the book, too. I threw the book when I read it.

JS: I think it was a good ending. And I hope that in the future of the show they get to have a very nice happy life together.

EB: It does make me sad that Camila was like a sacrificial lamb. She was just a roadblock in the way of happiness. Was Camila ever actually happy with Billy or did she just convince herself that she was happy?

JS: I’d recommend the show. It was great to watch over spring break for me ’cause I had so much time, and I like that they did the weekly release thing too. That kept me going.

EB: Yeah. It really says something about the new streaming era we’ve entered because it used to be that you could get everything on demand all at once and that was what made it better than live TV. But now that streaming is just so popular, they don’t really need to actually worry about that ’cause it’s not really a deciding factor.

JS: If the quality is good, people will be there. Because they want to see Billy and Daisy kiss.

EB: Also, as someone who has been previously very involved in the BookTok world, it was nice to see an example of a book crossover do pretty well as an adaptation. Hopefully, it will encourage further adaptations of good books. We’ll see what happens. 


This article has been edited for length and clarity. 

Jem Shin can be reached at jshin01@wesleyan.edu

Erin Byerly can be reached at ebyerly@wesleyan.edu

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