Hidden behind “The Circle”

New Netflix series shows the unseen side of social media

The Circle is a new reality TV show where players can be whoever they want to be in order to win it all.

Photo provided by Netflix

The Circle is a new reality TV show where players can be whoever they want to be in order to win it all.

Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla, Online Editor

Social Media is a makeup of various applications that has increasingly become more popular over the last few years and has had a tremendous impact on millions of users across the world. There are endless possibilities of what can be said and done through these media sights. From Snapchat to Instagram to Facebook to Tinder, not everyone is exactly who they say they are. 

Netflix released a new original reality TV show at the start of 2020 called The Circle. The series shows itself as a game based around social media with the concept that anyone can be anyone. When the series was first launched, Netflix released three episodes every week. I understand the reasoning behind it with wanting to build anticipation for the viewers, but since I was so invested in the show, it became annoying when I would finish the episodes in a few hours and have to wait another week to continue watching. 

The eight contestants are housed in units within one apartment building, each living down the hall from each other while never meeting in person. Players instead communicate through an interesting concept of a voice activated app. 

The program allows them to message each other, update profiles with photos, relationship statuses and custom bios. The show also allows players to catfish each other with fake names and photos and manipulate fellow contestants to claw their way to the top of the social food chain. 

Naturally, many could guess that there are several catfish among them that are using a fake name and pictures. I think the strategy of catfishing is simply being used as a defense mechanism to not show their true self. They believe that disguising themselves as someone who is more “appealing” will help them make their way to the top. Which in some cases, it does help but not in others.

Players are able to create private chat rooms with others to interact with each other and hopefully get others to like them. Here they can create allies with others to remain safe in the game and share their opinions about other players.

Remaining safe is key to staying in the game. Every few days, players have ratings where they rank the others depending on how many are left. Some use the strategy of choosing their biggest opponent and putting them last, while others base it off of their alliances and friendships. 

The two highest ranked become “influencers.” Becoming an influencer is a goal every few days for all of the players.

Being given the influencer spot, this gives the two the power to send someone home. This is a very risky position to be in since others may not agree with their decision and may rank them low in the following rankings and ruin their chances of becoming an influencer. 

The player who is chosen is “blocked” from the circle and then sent home. Once sent home, the player is able to choose someone to visit. This was often scary for most players because there was a chance of anyone not being who they said they were. If caught, they could be exposed to the rest of the contestants. 

As some players leave, new ones enter the circle until there is ultimately one winner. 

I feel like the show overall was a constant circle of players coming in and out which became slightly annoying because I never knew when it would end. 

I had a few favorite people that I was constantly rooting for throughout the show.

 Joey Sasso is a bartender from New York, at first I did not like him at all and neither did the rest of the cast, he presented himself as a party guy who was very stuck up. As the show went on, he grew on me with his caring personality and way of talking to others.  

Mercedeze was another one of my favorites. She was very skeptical about joining the show from the start, although she did end up having a few tricks up her sleeve. She was very open to talking and getting to know everyone, but was not completely true to herself. 

Last but not least was Chris Sapphire. I loved him from the very beginning. His big personality and kind words drew me and many fans towards him right away. He is able to comfort and relate to anyone in the Circle while still creating alliances to further himself in the game. 

In the end I was very pleased with the winner. I believe that they did play the game well while still being true to who they were. They were able to strategize, create alliances and ultimately make their way to the top.