Netflix’s new social reality TV series called The Circle has taken the digital world by storm. It is a beautiful combination of Big Brother and MTV’s Catfish. And, reality TV series fans with a Netflix subscription everywhere are here for it.
Just what is Netflix’s The Circle all about?
It was last Wednesday that Netflix dropped the first four episodes of their new reality TV series hosted by Michelle Buteau. This Wednesday the streaming giant dropped four additional episodes — and the remainder of the cast. Next Wednesday, Netflix will drop the final four episodes of the mini reality TV series.
As mentioned previously, the series is an interesting combination of Big Brother and Catfish. The reality TV show takes a collection of individuals and locks them in their own apartments (in the same building) with nothing more than a social media platform to connect with each other.
As the series progresses, the players are introduced to several games and cast members. The goal of the game is to be the player everyone wants to be friends with. By being a social butterfly, people won’t vote to block you from The Circle.
Netflix’s The Circle touches on several interesting topics including judging a book by its cover, judging someone based on their social media profile, catfishing, and how important it is to be careful with your words when conversing with someone via text.
What is catfishing?
Catfishing is a term that caught a lot of traction thanks to MTV’s Catfish host and creator Nev Schulman. Catfishing is the act of pretending to be someone else. It involves using pictures of someone other then yourself and pretending to be the person in the photos. Some catfishes only lie about their appearances. Other catfishes make up an entire persona to go with the fake pictures. In almost all instances, there is a reason why someone catfishes.
Catfishing is a game strategy in Netflix’s The Circle that a lot of cast members are using to get themselves further. Naturally, this caused some to wonder what exactly Nev Schulman thinks of the reality series. After all, Schulman created a reality TV series that involved stopping catfishing and outing people who do it. So, does he have an issue with a series that could be glorifying catfishing?
Nev Schulman has been watching The Circle, and he has a lot of opinions about it.
Speaking to People Magazine exclusively, Nev explains that he believes there are a lot of key differences between Catfish and The Circle.
“What I do on Catfish — and what Catfish hopes to do — is showcase people who are in these digital relationships, that formed real, meaningful connections and invested a lot of time and energy into them and want to find out who that person that they’ve been talking to is. It’s enjoyable and meaningful to watch because there are real people with real lives and real emotions involved,” Schulman explains.
He added: “When you remove the actual real-life circumstances and you take a random group of people pretty obviously chosen because of their sort of big, extra personalities, and you put them in a not-real-life situation, interacting with other people in a not-real way, it’s a lot less interesting.”
“It raises an interesting point, which is when we present ourselves to each other, both in real life and even more so on the internet, we make choices, and those choices have real-world consequences. Obviously The Circle sort of removes us from the real world, but I think it will get people thinking more than they may already be about how they want to be perceived and how they perceive other people.”
Nev hopes Netflix’s The Circle will raise awareness on judging people you know little about.
Nev sat down with his wife to enjoy the Netflix reality TV series. While he did admit to enjoying it. They both laughed a lot. Nev couldn’t help but take notice of how quick people were to pass judgement based on a profile with very basic details.
“We shouldn’t be so quick to judge them based on the 40 characters or whatever it is that they have to fill their profile. So I think it will get people to reflect a little bit, and that’s always a good thing.”
Schulman, however, does not believe the series uses the word catfish properly. He expressed concern to the publication that Netflix’s The Circle was using the phrase catfish improperly. He noted the word was never intended to be interchangeable with the word liar.
He clarified: “If you look at it more in-depth, a catfish really is a complicated person who, for any number of reasons and personal struggles, has found themselves creating a profile of varying veracity or truths to explore, and interact, and discover themselves.”
Overall, Nev doesn’t appear to think the series is going to cause an increase in catfishing. In fact, he thinks the series could be good for society. Nev believes it will raise awareness on a number of social media related issues.
Have you been watching The Circle on Netflix? Do you agree with what Nev has had to say about the series? Sound off in the comments down below.
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