The Circle: Full Season
January 20, 2020 4:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

IMDB: Players starts off isolated in an apartment, and with their online interactions as their only means of any communication. The players use a social media platform called "The Circle".
posted by meese (12 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've been hitting refresh on the front page of FanFare for a few days now, waiting for this post. I love The Circle so much, I literally spoke aloud the words "this is delicious television" while watching it. Despite its many, many flaws, I basically just delighted by how it portrays humans as a species.

I also heard an interview with one of the players from the UK version, and he mentioned that they aren't allowed to have clocks or watches. So, in addition to being cut off from their personal devices and internet, they aren't even allowed to tell time??! I would also love to learn more about how they get their groceries and laundry done.
posted by witchen at 11:44 AM on January 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

I enjoyed this a lot. I was looking for some good brainless reality trash, and was not disappointed, but it also had a surprisingly charming and heartwarming quality that really made it work.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 6:28 AM on January 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

I hated myself for sitting through the first episode, but now I’m five episodes in and loving it. Shubham is so pure: “Is that Sarah Paulson?!”
posted by mustard seeds at 9:47 PM on January 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yes! I binged this and finished it in 2 sittings. I feel a little dirty admitting that, but oddly enough, most of the 'characters' on the show were actually pretty likable and decent people. I like what that tells me about humanity.

I'm fascinated with the logistics, and would love a behind-the-scenes. And if there's another season, who might win that season, and how they might be different.
posted by hydra77 at 3:16 PM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just read the Vox article, and it says: "The contestants all reside in a single building (meant to be somewhere generically American but really filmed in England ..."

Am I imagining things, or is the exterior of that building shot in Chicago? I thought that I saw numerous things that pointed to the exterior being Chicago. Obviously the apartments could be anywhere (and they were cute!).
posted by hydra77 at 3:23 PM on January 27, 2020

I'm three episodes away from finishing, and I adore this. I started out thinking all contestants were obnoxious, flashy, fake types, but instead proven wrong about absolutely everyone -- they are genuinely people with whom I would want to get a drink, catch up, share feelings, and squeeze goodbye. This show is unexpectedly SO heartwarming and hilarious.

(with the caveat I haven't finished) It's fascinating to me the folks playing as genuinely as possible are the ones sticking around. Those coming in heavily scheming, manipulating, or power flirting are knocked out. The exception to this is "Rebecca," but I believe Seaburn's sweetness is 100% genuine.

When Sean was about to reveal her secret, and everyone was expressing amped up anticipation, Seaburn shouting SIR BEAR BEAR COVER YOUR EYES while lifting the giant teddy bear arms over the lil' beady eyes I laughed so hard I had to pause the show.
posted by missmary6 at 5:54 AM on January 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

What I learned is you can't judge a book by its cover.
posted by memento maury at 12:18 PM on January 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

What I learned is you can't judge a book by its cover.

I say this as a huge giant fan of the show and its players, and as someone who follows most of them on kind of can judge these books by their covers! Some more than others, but most players' personal Instagrams would confirm what you assumed about them at first sight.

The Circle works so well as a show because you can see how a person's aesthetics/superficial personality traits ("yeah, buddy!!") are part of a multifaceted personality and a sweet heart that wants the same things we all do (acceptance, kinship, excitement, etc.). Even as Joey Sasso is as much of a gym bro as he first appears, and Miranda had a modeling career before the show (surprise!), and Alex is married to a real-life knitting and quilting influencer and they both sincerely love colorful ensembles and cats. These Instagram accounts are their own little odysseys and I've loved looking into them as accompaniments to the show.

Maybe Instagram is still in the category of the cover, if I'm sitting here judging books. I guess that's part of the point, too?
posted by witchen at 12:33 PM on January 28, 2020

So I had zero interest in this until I saw you all loving it, and I just ran through the first two episodes. Seaburn is cracking me up with the pizza party and the onesie.

It's a little bit what I was expecting, but much more genuine and, surprisingly, kind. It isn't hard to find something to like about pretty much everyone (I didn't warm up to Alana, but we didn't really get a chance to). I don't love the game-playing aspect so much, but I'm hooked anyway.

Hydra77, you aren't imagining things. The Chicago Tribune building showed up in one of the exterior shots.
posted by moira at 9:01 PM on January 29, 2020

The Circle Brazil and The Circle France are now both out on Netflix, y'all. The format is entirely unchanged, pretty much even down to the "surprise" alerts where there's a temporary rule change or party or whatever, but the ways people interact are surprisingly different!
posted by solotoro at 12:25 PM on April 17, 2020

Oh wow. French Circle is way more dramatic than U.S. Circle.
posted by chrchr at 12:00 AM on April 19, 2020

I am just watching season one and I am LOVING it! Everyone is so lovable and cute, even the catfishers.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:39 PM on April 29, 2021

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