How did it become a game of catch the catfish?
Four Senses! Did you miss me? Can you believe it, after 4 years of blogging, this was the first time I went a week without posting a single blog!? But I’m back and ‘The Circle’ USA was the latest Netflix show that we’d smashed through!
For those who haven’t seen seasons 1-2, ‘The Circle’ is a reality TV competition show, similar to ‘Big Brother’, however in the Circle all of the contestants are isolated in their own individual apartments. Yes, just like our reality here in Sydney, during our latest round of Covid lockdown. However to take isolation to the next level, even all of the contestants’ interactions were conducted over an app called ‘The Circle’, so for the 2-3 weeks (I’m guessing here), that they’re in the apartment block, they don’t hear other’s voices, or see anyone, except for text on a screen, profile pics of other players, and their lonesome for their own company.
So you might think, this doesn’t make for good television viewing? But it oddly works out! It definitely helps that prior to going into the Circle, Producers probably told them to verbalise absolutely everything! None of this reading things inside of your own mind, or having an internal monologue. But everything must be spoken aloud! E.g. read every post out aloud with feeling and emotion! Verbalise every single thought you have no matter how silly or devious! And of course engage in heaps and heaps of self-talk (just as long as it’s out aloud). And if the contestants themselves aren’t progressing the storyline on their own, there is host Michelle Buteau to act as a voice-over to explain things for us the viewer and to keep the show rolling on.
So to kick-start the show, 8 contestants moved into the Circle for at most a 2-3 week stay in isolation, with the aim to leave it $100K richer! On every second day, the contestants rank each other highest to lowest, with the highest individual (or pair) appointed as ‘Influencer’. Where they collectively decide on a player to ‘Block’, either due to being a threat, suspected for being a Catfish, or for simply being a number in an opposing sides ‘alliance’- thus eliminating them from the competition.
However to spice up the show (and to drag it out for an extra week), when a contestant is eliminated, they are quickly replaced with a new contestant- who oftentimes shake-up the existing dynamics in the apartment block.
And to break-up the monotony of popularity votes and blockings, the Circle arranges games for them to play. Designed to develop further bonds between players- as people disclose more of themselves to each other; unmask the catfishes- as certain games quickly uncover the sex of the player, giving away who is a catfish playing as a different sex (like what girl would suck so badly when applying make-up on a mannequin?); and the games allow for general back-stabbings and throwing shade on others- as some games are played anonymously and everyone takes advantage of that anonymity.
So you can see from my excited description of the show, I quite enjoy ‘The Circle’, as there is drama, suspense, and surprisingly quite a lot of strategy. Moohaaha! And after 2 seasons, the 3rd season was still very enjoyable! Clearly they haven’t exhausted this concept just yet.
But how season 3 was different from other years?
The players are now coming in a lot more strategic, compared to seasons 1-2. Back in season 1, Joey just wanted to impress the girls! In season 3, the contestants were purely using their charm to build alliances, and there wasn’t much genuine loyalty in the Circle this year?
The alliances this time were split along race lines, which I personally was a little bit worried about. As it may highlight the divide in US society at the moment, and it might play-out not-so-nicely on reality TV for the world to see. But you’ll have to watch for yourself to see how that plays out.
There were more twists and surprises in season 3, most of which acted as a ‘Cautionary Tale’, as what you need to be careful of when interacting online with strangers. E.g. beware of Catfishes, burner profiles, clones, and sisters playing as each other……
And finally, The Circle season 3 had more cliff-hangers than ever before! Every single episode ended on a suspenseful unresolved matter, so you’re forced to keep watching on for the next episode. But we soon worked out that, if you only watch 10 minutes of the next episode, you can find out the result and then hit stop, and pick-up the following day. So admittedly, one episode just blurred into the next for us.
In the end, The Circle has a unique concept going on, it is so ‘now’ reflecting the day and age that we’re currently living in i.e. living in isolation and where most of our interactions are done over social media platforms. And as much as I was annoyed that season 3 became just ‘a hunt for Catfishes’, but I guess the element of faking it until you make it, is what makes the Circle interesting! No eviction has been as tantalising as the Circle’s, “who would they go see?” And how would everyone react when they find out………?
So if you haven’t already seen season 3, check it out! It’s probably the best season yet! And if you think Reality TV game shows aren’t for you, check this one out, as it’s just that little bit different from the rest. To start binging ‘The Circle’ USA season 3 now, click HERE! Let the fishing begin!