The keys to 'Everybody Loves Daisy Jones', the most pleasant surprise on television

Watching the first episode of Everybody Loves Daisy Jones makes you think that it is a proposal well set in the musical world of the seventies with a fictitious rock band at the center of the action.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
28 March 2023 Tuesday 02:03
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The keys to 'Everybody Loves Daisy Jones', the most pleasant surprise on television

Watching the first episode of Everybody Loves Daisy Jones makes you think that it is a proposal well set in the musical world of the seventies with a fictitious rock band at the center of the action. Nothing else. But sometimes it happens that a piece, little by little, penetrates the viewer's heart and, when the final stretch arrives, one finds oneself chanting the songs and feeling that one knows the characters inside out, not so much to judge their actions as to understand them. This is Daisy Jones, the most pleasant surprise on television.

What is this miniseries broadcast by Prime Video, Amazon's content platform, and that it has already finished broadcasting its ten episodes? What are your keys? And why is it worth taking a look at?

Writer Taylor Jenkins Reid was fascinated by Civil Wars, an indie-folk group made up of a man and a woman who wrote love songs together while they were married to their respective partners, and suddenly one fine day broke up the band. Add to that the author's admiration for Fleetwood Mac, and especially for the relationship between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and the author had a plot that she couldn't get out of her head and that helped her sell more than a million copies. and that Reese Witherspoon bought the rights to adapt the book, entitled Daisy Jones and the Six in its original English version.

In Everybody Loves Daisy Jones, developed for television by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, screenwriters for movies like 500 Days of Summer or Paper Towns, the collaboration between Billy Dunne's band (Sam Claflin) and Daisy Jones ( Riley Keough), joined by a music producer (Tom Wright) who thinks they can help each other. Both have compatible sensibilities but have trouble creating solo hits, too obsessed with their own virtues.

Billy, a born leader, has his greatest asset in his family, with his brother Graham (Will Harrison) and his teenage friends (Josh Whitehouse and Sebastian Chacon) in the band. As good a lyricist as she is brave, Daisy is a lone wolf having been raised by parents who always treated her like a nuisance. And, together, they become a creative duo as volatile as it is fruitful.

One of the surprises is that, accustomed to audiovisual stories focused on the rock aura of men and the condition of women as fascinated groupies, this adaptation shows interest, fascination and empathy for all the female characters present.

For starters, Riley Keough is magnetic as the Daisy of the title as if stage presence could be inherited genetically (Keough, daughter of Lisa Marie Presley, is Elvis's granddaughter). But there's also fantastic Camila Morrone as Camila, Billy's childhood sweetheart, who must deal with the difficulties of being with a rock artist and her creative alliance with Daisy. The script strives to show her perspective while Morrone surprises with a maternal presence.

And, while Suki Waterhouse is there as Karen, the lyricist who always shows compassion for Daisy's eccentricities, understanding that she's a woman in a man's world, Nabiyah Be fills in the story as Simone, a singer struggling to make it as a lesbian. and black.

On paper, Simone could be considered a glob because she is disconnected and has the role of showing the role of minorities in the industry, but her plot works because of the affection that Neustadter and Weber have for her and the way in which Be convinces as future diva of disco music. When Everybody Loves Daisy Jones deviates from her to focus on her, you just want to know more of her reality.

Patti Smith's Dancing Barefoot plays in the credits. In the series, Goin Back by The Birds, I saw the light by Todd Rundgren, My room by The Beach Boys or the group of the Dunne brothers cover House of the rising sun by The animals or Suzie Q by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Even Fleetwood Mac with Gold Dust Woman plays. But really, the key to Everybody Loves Daisy Jones is how well and believable the songs by Daisy Jones and the Six, the fictional band, are.

Behind the songs is Blake Mills, a musician and composer who has worked with Lana del Rey, Julian Casablancas, Pink, Dixie Chicks, Norah Jones and has produced for Fiona Apple and John Legend. Do they work because they are good or because we hear them in the series and, consequently, we pour into them the emotions that the series arouses in us? I'm not sure about it, but the point is that, when Look at as now, Let me down easy or The river come on, one feels like the great songs that allow Daisy Jones and the Six to succeed in those seventies of cocaine to go on stage and sleeping pills

And the best? That on music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music you can find the entire album as if the group really existed. Aurora, it's called, the album.

Finally, another of the keys to Everybody Loves Daisy Jones are the concerts. In times of shows marked by artifice, he vindicates the purity of the live show with those Sam Claflin and Riley Keough always sweating on stage. “Maybe we should put fireworks in the concerts”, they propose when they reach success, to which she responds: “I am the fireworks”.

In addition, the script and direction make an effort to maintain the musical performances and the sequences in the concerts, even if this means complicating and making the production more expensive, allowing the music to be omnipresent and permeate the entire series, dancing with drama. And it is that, depending on how Daisy sings on stage, we can predict where the action is going.

It is curious because, by adding these elements and a setting built from the costumes and the light, and which does not seem to spare at any time, Everybody Loves Daisy Jones goes from being a functional false biopic to a story so pleasant that it becomes a of the unexpected surprises of the season. And it is wonderful to see that the appropriate resources are allocated so that the production shines, so that the music is alive within the footage, and not having to settle for the crumbs of yesteryear, when it had been shot indoors, with concerts without environment, music produced of balance and subplots without fitting.