Reality TV is all the rage these days and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it as much as the next person; this summer was my first introduction to Love Island and for those 8 joyous weeks everything else in my life was put on hold.
Soon after it finished, Channel 4 hopped on the bandwagon and released The Circle, which sees eight players live in separate flats in the same building while competing to try and win £50,000 based on how popular they are – despite never actually meeting face to face.
It’s essentially MTV’s Catfish mixed with Love Island with all the subtleties of an episode of Black Mirror, with contestants utilising a social media platform to bring light to just how much you can get away with online without actually telling the truth.
Contestants can chat, make friends, and perhaps even fall in love with various profiles in the show while making sure they’ve formed strong cliques to keep them in there.
In all honesty it was a bit trashy, but strangely compelling, and it seemed to go down a storm with audiences.
So much so, in fact, that streaming kings Netflix have decided to buy the rights to it and make three new versions.
They’re being described as ‘local’ versions which will be broadcast around the world in multiple languages, including one in the US.
You’d expect it to be a hit over there; Americans love British TV shows and more often than not take to whatever we send across.
“The Circle has already proven to be a compelling, timely and buzzworthy show,” said Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of unscripted content.
“We think the show’s combination of modern social media interaction and competition will captivate Netflix members around the world, in multiple languages, and we’re delighted to partner with Studio Lambert and Motion to produce these three new local versions.”
‘Kate’ was the first winner of the Channel 4 version when the other three finalists decided she should take home the money.
However, it was later revealed that Kate was in fact Alex who had been pretending to be a woman using his girlfriend’s photograph.
Is it just me that thinks trivialising/glamourising this kind of behaviour is probably going to have a detrimental effect on the likely impressionable demographic watching it?
Ahh, well: ratings!!!
The finalists were annoyed he’d been able to trick them into winning the £50k but it just goes to show how easy it is to dupe people into thinking you’re somebody else online.
I always thought I’d be able to tell with that kind of stuff but now I’m not so sure.
God, I’m scared to go on Tinder again.
CEO of Studio Lambert, Stephen Lambert added:
“Social media has radically changed the way we make friends, conduct relationships, argue and even fall in love.
“But how truthful are our online identities? The Circle is a thought-provoking and entertaining way of exploring such questions and the chance to make different versions for Netflix’s global audience was irresistible.”
So there you have it.
A wider global audience being shown just how easy it is for narcissists and attention seekers to further their own vacuous agendas.
What could possibly go wrong?
Images via Channel 4/Instagram