It’s 2020 and finally the worlds of social media and reality television have begun to merge.
We used to have Big Brother in the early 2000s. That was a show where people actually met in person, face-to-face and couldn’t avoid the harsh realities of their true character. Thanks to Netflix, though, we have something much more updated and more attune with what is happening in our modern times.
“The Circle” is a three-week event where each contestant must attempt to win by being the most popular person until the end of the show. The prize money amount is $100,000, which motivates the contestants to do anything to win. The main kicker of this show is that nobody is allowed to interact with each other in person. They all live in the same building but every contestant gets their own apartment. From their apartments, they’re only able to interact with each other via a voice-activated social media.
From the very beginning, every contestant can only choose one photo and one tagline to truly showcase who they want to present to the world. Some chose to stay true to themselves, while others chose to catfish the other contestants. Some people ditch authenticity altogether and begin to strategize immediately. It’s interesting to see what every person chooses.
“The Circle” has six contestants, and every player is unique and diverse. There’s a good mix of people from different ethnicities and even sexual preferences, which makes the game interesting. In every episode, host Michelle Buteau chimes in with funny observations about the contestants during their down time, and at the end, stereotypes are shattered. After all, this game is about social media presence and a pre-judgement on physical looks.
Mind you, the players will never know what the other contestants actually look like, what their voices sound like, or what they really do for work in real life— until they lose. When the players lose, they’re allowed to meet one player of their choice face-to-face.
“The Circle” is the best reality show at this moment. There are so many shows that are tailored specifically to people within a particular niche. Housewives are covered, the Kardashians are covered, the hip-hop world is covered. Even tattoo artists are covered. But with “The Circle,” every social media user in the world is covered. Scarily enough, it is the exact representation of our current reality. It may be scripted, it may be planned out in detail, but the contestants’ actions are the reality of what is happening right now.
I was so absorbed that I watched the first four episodes in one sitting and before I knew it, I had caught up with the show. New episodes come out weekly, so don’t expect to be able to see the show all at once. Instead, expect twists and turns that you don’t see coming.
Final rating: 4.5/5
Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas