Delirium Pilot: Review


Author/Writer: Lauren Oliver/ Karyn Usher

Publisher/ Distributor: HarperCollins/Hulu -Wigs

Summary: Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t. (Via Goodreads.)


I was really excited when I heard that Delirium was going to be made into a TV series and then I was very disappointed when it wasn’t picked up. Flash-forward a year later and Hulu (or in my case for me are releasing the pilot and the excitement grew once more. Now I have watched it and I understand why it wasn’t picked up.

There were a lot of problems in the pilot. Emma Roberts voice over in the beginning felt rather stilted and flat, like she was being forced to talk or something. It just didn’t set me up for the show once it began and then it stopped rather abruptly. I expected another voice over to end the episode but it just faded to black. So to me that made the episode appear a little unbalanced.

The actors were fine. I thought they did an okay job with what they had to work with, the problem really was the script. When a book is adapted into a TV show most writers actually stretch out the book, either to a full season or half a season or two episodes or something. They did not do that wit Delirium. They condensed the entire book into one 45 minute episode and it was awful.

The result was that everything felt rushed and so the relationships were just not believable. Alex and Lena’s relationship had no progression. They met and then they were in love. Lena had no real difficulty with this. In the book she’s terrified of becoming like her mother and getting the disease, this is briefly mentioned in the episode but quickly moved past. Lena suddenly has no qualms about falling in love and being with Alex. It just wasn’t good. It wasn’t loyal to the characters. I did not like it.

A lot of the dialogue too was awkward and cheesy. Some of the things that were wonderful on the page just didn’t translate well to the screen so at times it was difficult to watch. I feel if they had tweaked it some bit it could have been better but alas, no.

They also changed a lot of things from the book. Aunt Carol, Uncle William, Jenny and Grace do not exist. The swapped Lena’s mother as the prisoner for her father which seemed unnecessary. Mayor Hardgrove is a woman, used to be in love with Thomas Finemen, is now a senator and running for President. Fred Hardgrove is only 17 and does not seem like a psychotic Jackass. It was strange. And Julian is extra creepy in the show. It is one thing to look at girls, it is another to hide in the bushes and look at girls. I also didn’t like the characterisation of Hana and how her relationship with Lena was portrayed. I felt very let down by that.

I think if they had stretched out the first book to six even ten episodes, as opposed to piling it all in, the series probably would have been picked up.

However, I also think is Fox had given the series a chance as it, the remainder of the season would have been good. It just had a bad pilot. Although I’m sad that the series wasn’t picked up I do understand why.


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