Why you should be watching The Circle

Channel 4’s social media-themed reality TV series has returned for a second season…

The Circle first aired last year on Channel 4, and I can safely say that it’s one of my favourite shows to date. The main concept is for the contestants to make themselves a social media profile – it could be themselves, or someone completely made up. Separated into different hotel rooms, the players can only communicate through text messages, and cannot hear or see any of the other players! The aim of the game is to become as popular as they can, blocking others from “the circle” as and when they have to.

In the first series, we saw everything from a gay man pretending to be straight, to a girl posing as her granddad – but in the end the winner was Alex, who used pictures of his girlfriend to craft himself an entirely new identity. He took home the £50,000 grand prize, as well as the £25,000 audience vote.

Former Big Brother presenter Emma Willis introduced us to this year’s contestants:
– Georgina, 21, from Nottingham (ay up!), who’ll be playing as herself
– Emelle, 31, a Manchester model and lesbian who’ll be ‘playing it straight’
– Brooke, 24, who came to the UK from France and wants to play honestly
– James, 26, from Liverpool, who’ll be posing as a single mum
– Katie, 43, from Hampshire, who’ll be playing as her son
– Sy, 35, from Somerset, who promises to be ‘nice guy Sy’
– Tim, 58, from Rugby, who reckons the others will think he’s a catfish
– Woody, 18, from Brighton, who’ll be hiding that he’s Fatboy Slim’s son

Each were tasked with creating their profiles, including their age, relationship status and a bio – basically Tinder, but on live TV! They all began analysing each other’s profiles, working out who they thought was real, and who seemed like a catfish.

They were then brought into a group chat to communicate with each other for the first time. Emelle initiated conversation by saying that she’s “pooping her pants” – a great start. Based on first impressions, they had to rank the other players.

Emma Willis then had a short interview with Claire, the niece of Richard & Judy‘s Richard, who would temporarily be participating in the game. It was down to the public whether Richard would be going in as a 23-year-old man and keep his name, or 27-year-old ‘glam girl’ Judy – are there even people that age called that any more?

This clash of personalities in an environment where nobody ever knows who’s lying is shaping up to be another season of drama and laughs from Channel 4, as well as serving as a pretty intriguing social experiment surrounding social media profiles. Who will you be rooting for? Follow it yourself from 9pm every night for the next three weeks!

By Brandon Boyd

Feature image credit: Channel 4

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