Review: Delirium Pilot
Released by Hulu on 20 June 2014
Source: Seen online
Cast: Emma Roberts, Billy Campbell, Gregg Sulkin, Daren Kagasoff, Jeanine Mason.
Set in a world where love is deemed illegal and can be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway does the unthinkable, she falls in love.
Love is a disease; it’s dangerous, deadly, forbidden. But luckily, the government has a cure. Seventeen-year-old Lena Haloway can’t wait to get cured. That is, until she meets Alex. They do the unthinkable, they fall in love. And that brings consequences.
I was so excited to hear Delirium was going to be made into a TV show. It was one of my favourite series, and I love TV shows as well! Unfortunately, the pilot didn’t get picked up and we never heard from it again. Until now, because Hulu uploaded the pilot to their website, for twenty-four days only. Hulu is for American viewers only, but luckily I have a little program which allowed me to watch it anyway. And I’m conflicted.
Because even though I liked it, I also didn’t really like it. Personally, it felt way too rushed. Might be a spoiler, but I just want you to know that they put the entire book (or tried to at least) in one forty-three minute episode. From Lena’s evaluation interview to her escape, it all happens within this episode. Personally, I would have rather had a small part of the book, and then not being able to see the rest of the book come to live, instead of seeing this rushed version.
“Life without love isn’t living.”
They also changed a lot. I won’t go too much into detail with this, in case you haven’t seen it yet, but I will tell you this – Julian is in this pilot, even though he wasn’t in the first book at all. Personally, I would have liked it, had they not placed him in the same town as Lena and Hana. Because in the book, Julian lives in New York (right? I don’t really remember, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the books). And Lena and Hana lived in Portland. Here, they just all live in the same town, it felt kind of weird.
I did like the cast, even though they didn’t all look like their characters were described (but like I said before, I don’t really remember it well, because it’s been a while since I’ve read the books). I thought the acting felt a bit off at some points, but at other points it was really good. Emma Roberts was very good as Lena, and Daren Kagasoff was also a very good Alex.
I missed some of the dystopian/futuristic elements in this story, for example, Lena’s sister drove a car, and there were a lot of other cars in the street they drove through, even though I think in the book itw as very rare to have a car because there wasn’t a lot of gas anymore (am I getting this right?). I’m not sure how much futuristic stuff there was in the book (ok I am going to reread the series asap), but I was just missing it. For me it felt like it was happening ‘now’ in an alternative universe. Not in the (near) future.
Other than that, I liked the pilot. It was very well filmed, and I just loved the romance between Lena and Alex (big shipper here). But I am not sure if I would have continued watching the show, if it had aired like this on the TV. Maybe if they hadn’t rushed through the nearly 400-pages counting book as if it was nothing, maybe then I would have loved it.