So The Circle is over and curated reality TV is probably the next big thing. The best person won and here’s why:
Dan – Dan was great, he played with integrity and honesty. He carried Kate/Alex thought the series and almost certainly crowned her/him The Circle Winner. It’s easy to feel sorry for him. To wish he’d won or been The Viewers Champion but, he wasn’t the best. Well, not the best circle character. He proved he was an honest guy with integrity, he supported other players and he helped Freddie wind his neck in. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone can honestly say they tuned in to see people being civil and supportive. Dan wanted to trust people, he knew what Genelle was holding back from the group. He saw Christopher/Sinead arrive and depart, he spectated on Scotty lies blowing up. Mairead turned out to be an old catfish and he doubted Kate. Was he naive? Should he have adjusted his expectations? Was he competing or just playing?
Freddie – Freddie was a prick. Thank god he didn’t win. He had so much potential, “playing it straight” made a really interesting story. I felt his reasoning for changing changing his sexuality in The Circle fell short. Maybe he’s just be a very flamboyant guy, but his demeanour didn’t strike me as that of someone who is annoyed people make assumptions based on his sexuality. While he was portraying an aggressively heterosexual stereotype to the other players, he seemed to be playing up to a gay stereotype for the cameras. I found it uncomfortable watching when he was being predatory towards other players. He showed himself up on the multiple occasions when he lost control and came out with some fairly abusive outbursts. Freddie stood out as the only finalist who actively told lies to manipulate people. While simultaneously being one of the only player who told lies without any knowledge to back them up. His game plan was weak and he was lucky Sian and Scotty stood by him. Of the 15 players, Freddie came across as the most mentally unstable, and that’s including the guy who had conversations with a dead woman. Kudos to him though, he committed to doing pretty much anything to win. His journey was very entertaining to watch and we got to witness something close to a mental breakdown caused by a made up person being too nice. I feel a little sorry Freddie didn’t win the money because I think his employment prospects have been severely reduced by his 18 episodes of fame.
Kate/Alex – This girl/guy was The Circle’s protagonist. There is no other way to describe her/him. Alex came into The Circle with a plan, he had predicted and prepared for as much as he could. While Kate was a complete fabrication I don’t believe Alex ever lied unfairly. Every lie told was to protect Kates legitimacy. Alex never manipulated others and was clearly uneasy with his lies. Kates story was the most engaging, the initial popularity, the fall, the conflict, the doubts, it was everything The Circle promised. I would love to have known why new players seemed to take an immediate dislike to her. Why everyone doubted her but no one wanted to test their hypothesis by visiting her. Alex didn’t win himself any fans by giving Dan a final rating of 2. He deserved to win and it was reassuring to see his unease at beating the others. While he probably needed the money the least, The Circle has undoubtedly given his career a huge boost, he was the heart and soul of the show. Heres hoping he gives Dan some of the money for carrying Kate.
Sian – Sian was lovely. She filled a very similar role to Dan. She played an honest game carrying Freddie into the final. But her time in The Circle didn’t tell a very captivating story. It was interesting to see the youngest player repeatedly having to make the difficult decisions as an influencer. Her biggest impact was the way she shaped the membership of The Circle. Directly and indirectly Sian was responsible for every blockings in the latter semi circle. Hannah was blocked on her first rating after a lie Scotty told to Sian. Sian was one of the influencers who binned Ryan (thank christ) and Mairead (thank christ again). Precious fell out of favour after she blew her top at Sian. Sian made clear that she felt, as late entrants, Scotty and Harry deserved to be in the final less than the originals. Singlehandedly blocking Scotty and probably rating Harry a 1 or 2 in Episode 17. As The Circle said “With popularity comes power”, Sians final success was scuppered by tactical voting and her real victory was her rise to power and her ability to remain in the top spot.
Its easy to think the take home message of The Circle is “It pays to lie” but I think that’s too simplistic. If you want to take some slightly negative wisdom away then its
75% of people will ‘tactically’ fuck you over to win £50,000
If you want a more positive message then I think its
Know the rules of the game you’re playing
Until next time, lets hope they don’t ruin the format with a shit second series, and Hire Me?