‘Delete’ (2023) Review: The Thai Drama Takes Us Back To The World Of Technophobia In An Intriguing Web Of Lies 

From blockbuster Shutter director Parkpoom Wongpoom (Oh) comes a new Thai drama on Netflix titled Delete. The show follows a young man and woman, Aim and Lilly, who are having an affair. Both of their partners will know the truth soon enough. But when Aim and Lilly get their hands on a camera device that removes a person from existence with just one click, they decide to use it to lead a happy life together. A seemingly simple idea creates a dramatic series of events that change Aim and Lilly’s lives for good. I think Delete had the potential to be fantastic, but there are a few things that drag it down. For an 8-part series, mostly everything gets left unanswered by the end of the season, and even if a new chapter is opening up for a potential second season, I think some closure was required to wrap up the season with a bow. I did go in blindly, so having been under the impression that it’s a limited series, I was a little bit taken aback by the end. To address the big question, yes, I would watch another season, but that is if it gave me all the answers on a platter. My big pet peeve of this show might be a case of “lost in translation,” but how did anyone who came across the phone know to call the action of making a person obscure through a camera “deleting” them? Is it just me who would think it’s like collecting Pokemon or, might I say, plain killing a person until you know that they can come back for sure?

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Minor nitpicks aside, the performances are fantastic, as can be expected from the leading cast of this show. We’ve got two of the main cast of the Hunger, and I can’t help but get a Keanu Reeves vibe from actor Peter Nopachai Jayanama. It was fascinating to see Aim and Too’s converging arcs; to see where they began and how they ended up was really interesting. There’s a dislikeable quality to most of the characters, maybe because they’re portrayed very realistically, considering how they behave after they have this godly power of “deletion.” Still, we feel drawn to certain characters, and I do think people will be taking sides by the end of watching the first season.

The background score is excellent, and there are times in the series when things get quite eerie, giving off a main-stream horror feeling, which is quite fun in a thriller such as this. Through 8 episodes of around 30-40 mins, we never learn anything about the camera itself, where it came from, why it works the way it does, and where the first person to use it found it, which is the biggest disappointment for me. There’s so much buildup from episodes 1 to 8, which is thrilling and all, but the end result is not what we were looking forward to. There’s definitely a strong moral arc in terms of the infidelity storyline, which casts a shade of judgment over those who cheat on their partners. But at the same time, the plot is about understanding loneliness and how it can manifest in different ways, as we see through Aim’s character as well as Lilly’s. Again, there are hints to the theme of grief, which seems like a plot device in this case that is only here to push a certain narrative.

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What can be truly appreciated is the way things unfold and how one story, or rather, life, intervenes with the other throughout the show. There are many twists and turns, which make it the perfect thriller. The ending is extremely ambiguous, so if you’re someone who isn’t interested in multiple seasons or wants all the answers immediately, this one will disappoint you for sure. The sci-fi aspect of things takes the backbench as this show is more interested in exploring the lovers-quarrels than the mystery aspect of things, which it takes on much later (sounds very convoluted without giving out any spoilers). As someone who hasn’t seen any Thai shows, I really enjoyed this one and can understand the hype, even if this is a different kind of show from the ones that are most popular.

The team is definitely banking on a positive reception considering how the show ends, or maybe a second season is already in the works. The show reminds me of the 2000s style of Japanese technophobia films that had taken the world by storm. At the end of the day, we can simply understand that it’s always humans that are the problem, and we shouldn’t be given nice things because we will always misuse them. A large tension-building series that keeps you at the edge of your seat, even if that is your bed or your sofa, meaning that in this hard time of keeping people attentive, this show is pretty good at the task at hand.

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The pacing is good, but there was no need to show every extending flash when a person gets clicked. Unlike Aladdin’s Genie Lamp, which brings out a jinn that grants wishes, the phone is just a click away from granting you your wishes. Or at least helping you get rid of anyone that stands in your way. There’s much to anticipate in Delete, and I’ll be looking forward to season 2 if only to get all the answers. To make this show fantastic, everything depends on why the phone exists and what the story behind it is. Also, the “phone” looks pretty much like a camera with a screen, so why do people call it a phone? It can’t really make phone calls, either. There’s some profanity, lots of violence, and gore in this show. There’s an uncanny quality to the show throughout, making it fun, and a great cast helps keep the mystery alive. I’d give Delete 3.5 out of 5 stars.


Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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The pacing is good, but there was no need to show every extending flash when a person gets clicked. Unlike Aladdin's Genie Lamp, which brings out a jinn that grants wishes, the phone is just a click away from granting you your wishes. 'Delete' (2023) Review: The Thai Drama Takes Us Back To The World Of Technophobia In An Intriguing Web Of Lies