Spoiler Alert, the next sentence is going to give away the winner of Season Two of “The Circle”. The winner was Trevor, and as such, the experiment that is “The Circle” has officially jumped the shark. If you don’t get that reference, google it. For the past year, I was so excited that a second season of The Circle was in production. It was a unique concept that showed how members of society interreact with one another, but as happens so often, the success of a show can’t be replicated.
If you aren’t familiar with The Circle, I honestly don’t know how you’ve read this far, buy I’ll give you a very simple description of the netflix show. Random strangers are placed in isolation, and the only way for them to communicate with one another is via a chat feature on their television. They can either be themselves, or create a fake profile and pretend to be someone else. Since they never meet in person unless someone is eliminated, people can truly be whomever they want. During the first season, most players decided to be themselves with a couple “catfish” mixed in. What made it such a unique concept is how each participant analyzed each interaction, and how the catfish often struggled to portray someone else.
Fast forward to season 2, and I’m not sure what happened but the show has a completely different tone with a completely different type of contestant. There were a couple of twists throughout the season that I really enjoyed, but as a whole, this show was a huge disappointment.
Let’s start with the few positives of the season. First, I enjoyed the twist when two players were “eliminated” but were allowed to stay in the game as a new false profile of a psychic. This resulted in some funny moments where they were able to share info they learned earlier in the game under the guise of being psychic. There were also a couple of challenges that were entertaining to watch because it exposed some of the catfish. A college kid named Jack was played as a smokeshow 21 year old sorority girl. He was doing a great job too until he was forced to apply makeup on a mannequin and show the other contestants. The moment he showed his work, the ruse was up as everyone knew it wasn’t who he was pretending to be. Last, I liked that Chloe from To Hot To Handle crossed over to this show. She was one of the few bright spots in terms of contestants. Short list right!
Now let’s get to the issues I had with the season, we can start with how it was over produced to all but remove true reactions. It was as though the producers told each contestant to react in an over the top fashion as often as possible. Oh, there’s something at the door, time to jump up and down on the couch with excitement. You were ranked 4th in the rankings which is lower that last week, the sky is falling, time to pack my bags. The producers also tried to force the drama by introducing something called “The Joker”. When two new people entered the game, once contestant got to have an anonymous conversation in order to try and stir the pot. The game is meant to be dramatic on its own, so I’m not sure why the producers introduced this “twist”. This allowed the new players to receive a false first impression of several players, and actually led to those players being eliminated early.
Next, I really didn’t like the contestants or how they played the game. It seems like the all were trying to play the game way to hard, and as a result got sent home early. Some of the players would enter the game and immediate try to form alliances or set traps for other players. Rather than allowing the game to come to them, people were overly strategic, and since they weren’t great players to start, it really didn’t help. Last but not least, I didn’t like most of the Catfish and definitely didn’t like the Winner. Honestly, I’m not even sure how Trevor won because his alliance was with one person.
In all, I found this season to be a true disappointment and most likely my last watch of this show. It is a shame because this show had a lot of promise but as happens so often, people try to re-invent the wheel.