The Circle is the best reality show Netflix has to offer

The Circle season 3 - Credit: Netflix
The Circle season 3 - Credit: Netflix /

From the moment The Circle season 1 first debuted on Netflix in January 2020, it was clear Netflix has found something special.

Big Brother meets Catfish in this buzzy social experiment disguised as a reality show, which tosses a group of players together under one roof to compete for $100,000. While the players are living in the same building, their only way of communicating is through a social media app known as The Circle, giving contestants the option to play as their true selves or as someone entirely of their making.

The goal? Win over their fellow players in order to climb to the top of the rankings and keep their game alive long enough to make it to finale night. It’s all about making personal connections using only virtual interactions, a challenging task when not everyone is who they say they are adding just the right amount of suspicion and distrust among the players.

As Netflix Life celebrates “The Besties” this week — an awards event where we highlight the best, the worst and the craziest moments from Netflix in the past year — it’s time to celebrate the best reality show of 2021: The Circle!

The Circle is Netflix’s best reality show

It’s no secret that in recent years, Netflix has done an incredible job of expanding its catalog of original programming which has led to the introduction of some truly amazing reality TV programs. 2021 was a particularly amazing year for reality TV fans as Netflix rolled out new seasons of several new and returning favorites but the true cream of the crop is without a doubt The Circle. 

Following its breakout debut season, Netflix was quick to renew the series for two additional seasons which Netflix would end up dropping in the spring and fall of 2021 — giving fans two times the fun with a spring and fall cycle.

With each new season, Netflix introduced viewers to amazing new casts of contestants filled with big personalities who quickly won us over and made their respective seasons that much more fun of a ride. Contestants such as Chloe Veitch, DeLeesa Unique, Courtney Revolution, Mitchell Eason, Kai Ghost, Matthew Mappadia and Nick “Daddy Nick” Uhlenhuth stand out as notable favorites thanks to their incredible gameplay and the energy they brought to the game.

While the series has been smart thus far in keeping to the same general formatting, the creative team continued to push the show forward in fun and exciting new directions in seasons 2 and 3 through the introduction of new twists, game-changing powers and plenty of new catfish to keep the players on their toes.

Netflix also got a bit more strategic with how it released episodes. Sure the weekly release format was something first introduced in season 1, but the cliffhangers got even more intense in 2021 with episodes that left us on the edges of our seats and counting down the days until each new batch of episodes arrived the following week.

The Circle became appointment TV, which is a rare feat for a Netflix show due largely to the way in which the streamer generally releases all episodes at once. There was such an excitement every Wednesday of getting to tune in with fellow fans to see which players would be blocked next and who could push their way through to the top of the rankings to gain power as an Influencer next.

Seeing the players get more strategic about their gameplay only made things more interesting as we began seeing players rank others lower than they’d like to just to give themselves and their allies a better chance of securing an Influencer title. Though I have to confess, this strategy did leave me disappointed in season 3 when the most deserving player fell to fifth in the final rankings despite playing the best game throughout the season — a game that saved his allies countless times and deserved to be rewarded with that $100,000.

As I step down from my soapbox, I feel like I only helped to further prove my point as to why The Circle was the best Netflix show of 2021.

The Circle makes it easy to go all-in and become invested in its contestants. Part of the fun of tuning in each week is to see if your favorites will stick around and rooting against the contestants who threaten their future in the game. Talk to any fan of the show and they’re sure to easily be able to toss out a ranking of their favorite players who they’ve likely started following on social media after the game just because of how much they loved watching them on the show.

2021 will be a tough act for the show to follow but as we look ahead to this year, we’re certain The Circle will only continue to grow and get bigger as new fans continue to fall in love with the series!

The Circle is streaming now on Netflix.

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