The actual songs are, thankfully, not bad. “Look at Us Now (Honeycomb)” might even be catchy. Keough is clearly a gifted vocalist, and her throaty alto has a warm, almost Southern twang that carries echoes of her grandfather, Elvis Presley. If the songs can sometimes be obvious — the lyrics “You regret me and I regret you” stand out as uninspired — it’s at least fair to remember that Fleetwood Mac could be corny too. But Daisy Jones & the Six’s utter lack of stage presence sucks the air out of the music. Billy, who early in the show is compared to Mick Jagger for his vivid, undeniable star power, rarely does anything more interesting onstage than sticking his tongue out — although, once, in a state of heightened emotion, he plays his guitar vertically. Their costumes are lackluster, too. Billy typically resembles a mannequin displaying Uniqlo’s business casual basics, while Daisy always looks like she’s recreating a Coachella Pinterest board on a college student’s budget. She has the gaping bell sleeves of a classic Stevie Nicks look, but none of the unruly textures or layers; her gauzy robes are a poor imitation of Nicks’ kitschy, witchy flair.
As for Billy and Daisy’s romance, it’s a shame that the story never leans fully into the spectacle of them getting together. Billy spends the whole series pouting that he loves his wife, while Daisy spends it denying that she loves Billy. This shared emotional constipation is supposed to be the root of their transcendent connection, but it feels less like a love story than an adolescent spat. At least the Fleetwood Mac folks had affairs and got divorced! Billy and Daisy kiss exactly two times, and the second time, Billy only does it because he thinks Camila has already left him. Then Daisy tells him to go get her back.
For a story about rock musicians living at the height of hedonism, Daisy Jones & the Six is bizarrely prudish and pro-monogamy. Billy redeems himself by choosing Camila over Daisy at the climax of the final episode, but their marriage has already atrophied so much, after years of Billy pining after Daisy, that it seems pointless to reunite them. Why not let Billy and Daisy have their pent-up sex and force all the characters to reckon with a more complicated grief? Why make Camila the long-suffering saint and perpetual cuckold when she could be something more interesting?