In many ways, Delirium appears inspired by The Giver but is more angled toward appealing to those who would like something Divergent style.
Review (with Spoilers)
WIGS is a web station which has a sole focus of having women in leading roles, well for the most part white women, but it has to be said that most of their programming certainly does force the idea that just because something is web-based, it doesn’t mean it is an inferior product. Especially when compared to something which traditionally would premiere on TV. Delirium is no different for while it does seem like a CW show, or maybe one of ABC Family’s weaker offerings back when The Secret Life of the American Teenager was their biggest hit, it nonetheless surely has an audience.
Topic 1: A Loveless Society – Lena & Hannah
Sometime in the future love has seemingly become taboo and banished from a person’s emotions when they are 18. Up until then, everything, in school anyway, is separate. Boys have classes with boys and girls have classes with girls, and then when you are 18 you lose the ability to develop love for someone and are paired off. Needless to say, this seems less than ideal but, in their world, it solves so many problems.
For example, heartache, and the violence which can come with it, seems to be eliminated. For example, Lena’s (Emma Roberts) mother killed herself upon being told her husband died, thus leaving Lena to be raised by her older sister and husband. However, just because people are taught to avoid love like it is cooties, it doesn’t mean girls don’t get giddy over the prospect of who the government will arrange their spouse to be. Lena’s best friend Hannah (Jeanine Mason), for example, is skittish and worries over who her husband is to be. Though, lucky for her, she ends up getting the son of a senator.
Topic 2: Those in Power – Thomas
A group known as DFA, a major supplier of the Deliria prevention drug, is run by Thomas Fineman (Billy Campbell). A man who seems solely invested in the treatment of Deliria due to his heart being broken by a young lady named Sunny when he was a teenager. But while he may tout the end of the plague, which is love, as being something good, and a nationwide issue, he is a slight hypocrite. Which I say solely because not only does he have banned literature and music in his study, which inspire feelings of love, but also still holds onto a picture of Sunny, the girl who broke his heart. All of which is discovered by his son Julian (Gregg Sulkin) who has yet to be vaccinated, and may not be able to due to a low white blood cell count. Though if Thomas had his way, he would never mind what the doctors say and make sure his son got vaccinated. Something which may have to be done soon since Julian seems to be a bit of a voyeur with Hannah being a prime target.
Topic 3: The Resistance – Lena & Alex
However, Hannah isn’t the only target of someone, or should I say something, on the show. Lena is a target as well, but more so of the resistance movement. You see, very much like The Giver there is a fence, or wall, which separates those being controlled and those who are not. Something Thomas worries about especially when the resistance movement attacks his facility and steals documents. Leading to why Thomas and Senator Hargrove (Michael Michele) meet. For his 5 million DFA members, all he wants it the ability to search people’s homes without a warrant. Something he gets.
What he doesn’t realize though is that the resistance has infiltrated his armed forces, as well as the senator’s staff. As for why Lena matters in all this? Well her father, the would-be dead Conrad Holoway, was a major player in creating the Deliria cure. But, from what we learn of the resistance members, it seems he realized how destructive the cure was so he decided to try to reverse its effects. Due to this, not only was he locked away, but his family was told he died. However, with his escape comes a 2nd chance for the end of the Deliria cure and Lena is the key to finding Conrad for they expect him to come looking for her.
Thus leading to them sending Alex (Daren Kagasoff) in to romance her and bring her beyond the fence. For with his position as a cop he has a wide range of movement and, with him being young and attractive, I’m sure they figure him a better operative than someone who could try to convince her with words alone. And damn if he not only befriends Lena, and makes her feel the emotion of love, but to seal her fate he delivers a nice ole’ kiss on the girl.
Unfortunately for Lena though, when she decides to have a moment with Hannah and share her feelings, it backfires. Hannah tells Lena’s older sister, her sister calls the cops, and Lena is almost forced into getting the Deliria cure. That is until Alex rams the cop’s car and saves Lena, though at the sacrifice of himself. Leading me to wonder if Alex is going to be punished, or try to play as if he couldn’t keep control of her.
Either way, I got to admit this was kind of a boring show. Roberts just doesn’t make for a good lead in this “I have been lied to my whole life” type of story, and none of the characters, whether hero, villain or in between, really get your attention in this pilot. Making me wonder if the book this is based off of is any better.