New To The Circle? 6 Things To Know If You're Just Starting To Watch The Series

Michelle Buteau on The Circle
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Circle is an entertaining reality program that has been a favorite amongst Netflix subscribers for a few years now. It feels like the TV show has been on for decades, but it’s only been two long years of this social experiment. More and more fans are jumping on to The Circle craze, but even more are still clueless about it.

It is a really entertaining show once you watch. However, if you don’t know what it’s about, you may not want to check into The Circle. So, let us discuss this great Netflix reality TV show, and why you may want to add it to your Netflix binge-watch list.

The first seven players of The Circle Season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Circle Is Like Big Brother For The Social Media Generation 

MTV and The Real World made people stop being nice and start getting real way before it became the TV norm. The Real World put people from different backgrounds together in a house and turned on the cameras to see what could happen.  

Big Brother launched as a Real World-type competition series in the United States in 2000, and has been on CBS for over 20 seasons, spurring many international versions. 

So, what happens when you take the premises that made The Real World and Big Brother so popular but do it very with a very modern angle? You get The Circle.

What you need to know about The Circle is that it is a Netflix reality show that starts with eight strangers living in the same apartment building, but living in separate apartment units. Their only communication happens through an app called The Circle.

Similar to Big Brother, players have to use their social and strategic skills to make it to the end.

Courtney Revolution's rating on The Circle

(Image credit: Netflix)

How To Play The Circle

The first round starts with eight initial profiles, but it may be more than eight players, as sometimes multiple players come into the show acting as one.

After a day, a few days, or maybe even a few hours, the players rate each other from first to last. The ones rated highest by the majority of the current players usually win safety and the opportunity to eliminate others.

Once this round of ratings is revealed, the top two players, called Influencers, then go to a private room and chat to discuss who to eliminate. This is often what happens, but sometimes there is a twist with elimination. This twist could involve the lowest-rated player automatically being eliminated, or someone who's not an Influencer getting a chance to eliminate a player, or only the top player having the power to eliminate someone immediately. Additionally, sometimes multiple players are eliminated at once.

After each elimination, either one or more new players enter the game to compete in The Circle. Players are eliminated and new ones added until the final few days of the game.

The eliminated players are also given the chance to have a face-to-face interaction with any of the remaining players.

Participants are also often given fun tasks to keep them from boredom or to stir up some drama.

Every day, the cast has a limited window to chat with others in the Circle. This is where alliances are formed, bonds are made, and scheming happens.

On the final day, the last contestants rate each other from first to last. They have a face-to-face meeting with all the finalists, and they then have a larger reunion with the eliminated players. Host Michelle Buteau announces the rating results until only the two highest-rated players remain. Whoever has the highest rating becomes The Circle winner and wins the grand prize of between $100,000 and $150,000.

Emma Willis hosts The Circle U.K

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Circle Started In The U.K

Like many great shows, America saw its popularity and then bought the rights to create its own version. The Circle originally began in the U.K. in 2018. It aired for three seasons from 2018 to 2021. It differed from the U.S. version in a few ways, but the biggest difference is that it aired almost daily during its few weeks' run. Therefore, it had 18-22 episodes over the course of a season.

Netflix streams 12 or 13 episodes per season and releases several episodes at a time. The U.K. version also had a shortened celebrity special.

When Netflix bought the rights to The Circle, it also created several international versions. Netflix also has seasons of The Circle France and The Circle Brazil available to stream.

Courtney Revolution, Chloe Veitch, and Lee Swift in The Circle

(Image credit: Netflix)

Its Has One Of The Most Diverse Reality TV Show Casts

A beautiful thing about The Circle is that its cast is very diverse. It has everyday people from various socioeconomic backgrounds, a wide range of ethnicities and races, and contestants representing many parts of the LGBTQ+ community. It also has cast members from a wide range of age groups — something that isn’t the norm on most reality television.

This makes it a great successor to Big Brother, which is now going back towards a more diverse cast, after having kind of lost that element over the years.

The diversity in The Circle allows for more depictions of underrepresented groups and allows for more enriching conversations surrounding the show. In a Variety interview, The Circle executive producer Tim Harcourt talked about the diversity with the cast and how it speaks to the power of social media:

One of the positive things social media does is it can connect people who otherwise might not have come into contact with each other, so I thought it was quite nice to replicate that in the casting.

Delessa St. Agathe and Chloe Veitch on The Circle

(Image credit: Netflix)

Catfishing Is Encouraged In The Circle

Nev Schulman may not be a fan of catfishing, and we can’t blame him with some of those wild Catfish stories, but The Circle encourages it. Players can choose to play the game as their true selves or create a fake persona that they believe will help them get further in the game.

Sometimes pretending to be someone else makes them an easy target, and other times, it helps them win the game. The success of a catfish in the game really depends on how well the player executes their catfish game and uses it to their advantage.

Michelle Buteau in The Circle

(Image credit: Netflx)

According to Whats on Netflix, The Circle is some of Netflix’s most popular original programming. The site reports that at least 29 million and 14 million viewers watched the first two minutes of Seasons 1 and 2, respectively, during the first 28-days of each seasons’ release. 

The Circle is often in the top ten Netflix shows each week it's streaming. With it being so popular, there is no wonder that Netflix renewed it for two more seasons in 2021.

Netflix recently began streaming The Circle Season 4, but there is plenty of time to binge watch the first three seasons before Season 4 ends and Season 5 begins.

Jerrica Tisdale
Freelance Writer

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.