Filming Netflix's 'The Circle' Sounds Like A Different Kind Of Hell

Filming Netflix's 'The Circle' Sounds Like A Different Kind Of Hell

The Circle is a show where individuals get to sit around in an apartment and catfish (or not) other individuals sitting around in their apartments pretending to be other people (or not). It’s like everyday life, just with more lights and cameras and producers watching you through a bathroom mirror.


There’s also a lot of dressing up and partying by yourself. So, you know, totally just a regular Friday night.

Sure, the apartments seem nice, and for people who like to be on camera this is probably not the worst gig in the world. Most contestants who do these modern reality shows are social media-type personalities. For them, it’s an easy way to acquire more followers, or flex their clout, or insta their grams or whatever. We here at Cracked are clearly not built for life in The Circle — we’d probably call everyone a catfish immediately and get kicked out during the first round for constantly singing “Circle of Life” in the shower. For us (and those who have to deal with us), living in The Circle would absolutely be a kind of hell.

First of all, these contestants are completely isolated, at least physically. The show has what they refer to as “air traffic controllers” — crew members who control and monitor the contestants’ movements within the building, which basically includes visiting the gym, the hot tub on the roof, and going out for the occasional smoke. For these contestants, it means walking around a building all by yourself, for three weeks. Yes, they film for three freaking weeks, which may seem like nothing to some, but we remember what self-isolation was like during the pandemic. Week three was the week we all recreated that movie scene where someone cries in the shower with their clothes on while eating raw bread dough at the same time.

Then there’s dealing with all those eyes on you, all the time. Sure, the producers say they switch those bathroom cameras off whenever contestants request so, but this is a game where people are literally encouraged to lie. That’s just going to mess with our trust issues, man. How are we to know some operator isn’t secretly watching everyone taking a dump? We’d be constipated the entire time. And, of course, there’s all that light — for to be on camera, one must have proper lighting, and in film proper lighting means beams so bright you’re going to want some sunglasses.


Like so.

Joey Sasso, the guy up there who won the first U.S. season of The Circle, said he got some flak after the show for sporting his shades inside the apartment, but the dude explained that those lights were enough to give anyone a headache. Honestly, we’re developing a migraine just thinking about it. Add to that the fact that there aren’t any clocks or watches in those apartments — meaning contestants have no idea what time it is, ever, and all they can do is watch the sun go up and down like cave people — and life in The Circle starts to sound like a horrible, timeless simulation of purgatory spent with a bunch of strangers who may or may not be messing with you. 

Said Sasso: “None of us had any cell phones. No music, no television, no nothing, which could be liberating in a really great way. But also, when you are physically not allowed to go anywhere and all you have is this group of people, you’ve got to really keep yourself in check. We all struggled at certain points with, ‘Am I losing it right now?’”

No wonder the show has a therapist on standby, at all times.

Zanandi is on Twitter and also on that other platform.

Top Image: Netflix

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