This is where “Daisy Jones” starts to lose its momentum. When Billy and Daisy get together on that breakthrough track, it’s fire. When they’re still bouncing writing ideas off each other and making goo-goo eyes at one another three hours later, the flame has fizzled a bit. And it’s here where it starts to lose something by being so focused on its two admittedly wonderful leads. It’s not a criticism of Keough and Claflin to say that the show falters by not giving more members of the band time in the spotlight. Yes, the arc of the drama for some of them is that they get pushed to the background, but they’re barely defined before that happens, so it lessens the impact.
There’s also an increasing sense that the show wastes its setting and period by staying in the studio or Billy’s house for such long stretches of time. When the series explores the life of Daisy’s best friend Simone (Nabiyah Be) and how her sexuality has to be hidden from the public eye while Daisy & Billy’s potential romance becomes a selling point for The Six, there are rich ideas about fame and double standards that should give a superficial show depth. But the writers don’t do enough with it, quickly returning to the love triangle at the center. Ultimately, it’s a show that feels small for a band that was reportedly so big.
Later in the series, a wonderful Timothy Olyphant, as the band’s tour manager, tells Billy and Daisy that they should consider some pyrotechnics in their show. Daisy responds, “I’m the fire.” By that time, I didn’t believe her. I wanted that passion of the first few episodes to sustain. And, yes, that’s part of the point—this is a story of creative fires put out by personal waters—but perhaps that point works better in a tighter format or on the printed page.
Lester Bangs famously said in “Almost Famous,” “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” “Daisy Jones & The Six” is too concerned about being cool instead of finding the true currency underneath the façade of rock history.
Whole series was screened for review. The first three episodes of “Daisy Jones & the Six” are now playing on Prime Video.