‘Delete’ Netflix Review: A Show That Deletes Its Own Details And Substance


The only thing we have to say about Delete is that it should have deleted at least two episodes of its running time. We understand the vision that the writers had for the series, and it feels like they got it right to a good extent. But things really fell flat because we just could not empathize with the struggles of the protagonists. The idea was to show that deleting people from our lives does not delete the problems we have with them. No relationship is simple, and we give just as much as we take. Even when the scales become unbalanced, there is often a debt owed to someone in the relationship. We cannot ignore that even when we want to end a relationship because it would never allow us to truly move on. This had to be the idea behind the series Delete.

Aim and Lilly are in an extramarital affair, and neither is capable of breaking up with their partner, so they decide to take the easy way out. When June is suffering from a heartbreak of her own, she finds that the best solution is to erase every sign of the person who is the object of her unrequited love. She has the same reaction to someone she is angry with while ignoring that there are problems that she needs to fix within herself. There was a lot to unpack here, and the series could have been one of a kind if it had taken the time to do that. Instead, it simply became a matter of who deleted whom first. We also found it surprising that at no point in the entire eight episodes did the characters try to find out the origin of the phone. There was not even a mention of the fact that what they were doing was murder, until it was a little too late. Just because it could never be traced back to them due to a lack of evidence does not mean that it was anything different. 

If murder was truly their intention, shouldn’t there have been some communication between the couple regarding this, considering that they initially did not know that the deleted people could be brought back? Then there was the case of Too, and we absolutely never realized what the issue between him and Lilly was. A past incident was implied, but was that it? He looked like he had put in the effort to understand and repair his relationship with his wife, but she had already moved on. Even though we can accept that, we certainly don’t understand why she decides to raise the child with him when he is not the father. Does it have something to do with a fear of society, or is it something entirely different?

By leaving these glaring holes in the narrative and providing such vague explanations when it actually bothers to, Delete did not allow us to invest ourselves in the story. Even in the simple case of the love triangle, who were we supposed to root for? What sets Aim apart from Too? How was Aim, a judgy scam artist, a better person than Too for Lilly? Finally, why was Lilly unable to walk out of her marriage with Too? Was he abusive, or did he have some sort of control over her life in some way? These were basic questions that would not have taken even a minute to answer and would also have greatly increased the appeal of the series. The only part that remotely held our interest was the story of June. She was a kleptomaniac who was in love with her sister-in-law, and she did not care about blurring the lines between right and wrong. Why did she not have a greater role in the series, and even better, why was she not the center of things? That would have really elevated the script.

One of the moral aspects that is openly discussed and not just implied in Delete is that of euthanasia. Claire thought that she was doing something noble by ending people’s lives in the hospital. She mentions that the people she had deleted begged her to do so but something doesn’t seem right about this matter. We never come to know how she got the phone to begin with, but she must have talked about it to the patients, for them to realize that such a choice existed. This means that Claire must have made the decision regarding the level of suffering of the people and who she would tell about the phone and who she would not. It may have been the choice of the patients at the end but there was some meddling on her part. In the countries where euthanasia is allowed, like Netherlands, Canada, Luxembourg and a few others, there is a strict set of conditions that must be followed, including a few sessions with a therapist in some cases, to see if the patients’ decision could be reversed. Claire’s empathy is not a good substitute for these prerequisites and her actions were extremely irresponsible. She wanted her friend to stay alive for the sake of her mother but even the other patients had families, who they left no explanation for before their disappearance. That seemed odd to us. Claire wanted to delete herself because she believed that she had made a mistake by deleting her friend, who had seemingly changed her mind at the last minute. Yet, we cannot ignore that despite Claire’s good intentions, her irresponsibility with euthanasia could not have made the other patients any different. Maybe she starts acting out because she finally realizes that. 

It is weird that the people who were supposed to be the bad guys, Too and June, were the ones who showed consistency and coherence. Aim and Lilly had none of it. Additionally, we want to know whether it was just us who did not understand the lie about Aim’s book. He said that he had run away from camp, and then a story broke out that he couldn’t backtrack from. What was the story that broke out, and where did he run from the camp? How did the lie form to begin with?

Despite the lack of character in this series, we persevered till the end. The fact is that the last two episodes were primarily chase sequences, yet we found them boring because everything prior to them had been soulless. At the very end of the series, when we got a revelation and a new mystery that has absolutely no connection to the present one, we were just annoyed that it wasn’t a part of Delete to begin with and had been introduced at a point when we had decided that we don’t want to watch any more.

Delete could have been so good; in fact, it could have been a riveting display of the interconnectedness of various human emotions and the price paid when one is given more importance over the others. Despite the obvious potential, we got nothing, and this just remained a huge waste of time.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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