Although “Daisy Jones & The Six” is mostly faithful to Reid’s source material, the adaptation makes several changes to facilitate a smoother transition to the small screen. Major alterations include the omission of the sixth band member, Pete, although his absence does not hamper the series in any major way whatsoever. However, what does hamper the series from emerging as a convincing adaptation is its failure to understand the book’s central appeal: The mystery and intrigue of unreliable narrators who offer conflicting versions of “the truth” behind why the band disbanded. As the show’s events serve a singular version of the events as the objective truth, the interview structure loses most of its agency and fails to justify itself as a narrative device key to pacing and character development.
Moreover, Billy (Sam Claflin) and Daisy (Riley Keough) have lingering, bittersweet feelings about their shared history because of their markedly different perspectives of how and why things went awry between them. As the show essentially omits the Rashomon device, we never know how their individual memories and recollections of the same event tint their perspective of each other in a way that’s meaningful or nuanced. The same can be said about the others involved in the event — although they offer some personal comments whenever the timeline shifts to the present, these quips hardly amount to form a moving, engaging oral history about the most sought-after trailblazer of a rock band that seemingly altered the musical landscape of their times. If anything, the constant to-and-fro between the show’s version of what really transpired and the personal interviews undermines the entire endeavor, giving way to awkward asides that add little to no depth to their respective characters.