TV Binge: The Circle (Season 1, 2020)

The Circle (Season 1, 2020)

the circle

Host: Michelle Buteau

The Circle is a 3 week limited series social media competition with a social experiment central focus as different contestants living in apartments in one building communicate through social media only and try to gain popularity to get the top spot in the end to win $100,000. In the process, the lowest ranked players are at risk of being blocked where new players will enter to take their place. At the same time, players can enter as themselves or as catfish.

There are so many angles to look at this show. I’m not going to lie that going into this and watching a bunch of different people interact through social media is something of a cringey feeling as you never know who these people are. However, if The Circle does do anything well, its that every contestant (whether intentional or not) proves a few important points about the world interacting through a screen: the level of trust, the easily misinterpreted messages due to lack of interaction and of course, the judgement of a first impression/appearances and photos. Sure, its only 12 episodes and like 12 days or something that these people are together if they were the surviving initial group that makes it to the end and its not enough to truly know who these people actually are in real life but the fact that the show, as the audience observes them and their reactions in their own space, some of the people will change initial opinions. 

The first angle of the show is obviously what everyone goes into this for: entertainment. Its a competition so there will be tension especially as the viewers find their players that they want to win this and in the face of ratings amongst themselves and who gets eliminated, it builds fairly well. The Circle feels natural enough especially as the show goes on and the players settle in. The best moments are probably those where there are shocking moments of player reveals, especially for the catfishes. Plus, watching people react to what others say is pretty fun overall. Sure, some of the players have some big personalities and might even seem a bit annoying in the beginning but its funny how things change in the course of the game. 

If you look at this on the social experiment angle on what social media does to the society and how it builds up an image of what others feel is more accepted regarding appearances or even personality and other preset thoughts and prejudices that people build, it turns into a rather deep contemplation at the end as to whether what the catfishes were proving is a bad thing or whether if you connect with a catfish and its only the appearance that is fake means that it was all a lie in the first place.

Its interesting how we view social media and online interaction at times and for that, I’d say that on some levels, The Circle actually gives some room for contemplation of how online interaction does subconsciously and they did pick out a good group of players that showed a lot of angles of how people can view them or why they picked their catfish alias. If anything, The Circle has proved that the convenience of online interaction has both its pros and cons and highlights some stereotypes that people generally have. The Circle is a surprisingly interesting look at this through a rather entertaining game/competition. 

What’s Up 2020: Week 3

Week 3 of 2020 has come to an end and its been something of a weather bomb. Luckily, we didn’t lose any power so things proceeded as it should..mostly. I’m having some other issues that is somewhat hindering some writing and whatnot so its been a slower week than usual. Not to mention, the desire to sit in front of the computer has been a little less as Chinese New Year preparations started as well. Let’s see what’s going on!

READING

archie vol.6

  • Archie, Vol.6

Currently reading: Buried In My Past

After a few reading rushes, I decided to take a little break and read a graphic novel. The reboot Archie comics set like a graphic novel and with a somewhat darker story (still not quite as dark as the TV series) has been one that feels like a refreshing update to the characters, making the more modernized. There’s a lot to like about it as it is helmed by Mark Waid. Volume 6 is the last one that will be helmed by Mark Wait for these Archic comics but will be handed over to someone else for the next one. Review for this one coming up!

PLAYING

glass masquerade

Currently playing: Overcooked 2, The Pedestrian

Wrapped up the base game of Glass Masquerade on the weekend and have been debating getting the DLCs but its been kind of getting in the way of the actual gaming that I need to do to record the next Game Warp podcast. You can check out the review for Glass Masquerade as that’s already done. Its a bit short but the game isn’t too complex either.

The husband and I are still working on Overcooked 2. We usually stretch it out quite a bit as we only play on the weekends. I think we’re more than halfway done at this point. At the same time, I started up The Pedestrian which is an indie puzzle game that I had backed on Kickstarter 2 or 3 years ago which is finally getting released on January 29. As backers, we got the game in advance, which is great. I’ll be playing that and hopefully getting a review out for next week or something.

WATCHING

godzilla king of the monsters

  • Short Term 12 (2013)
  • Mike Birbiglia: Thank God For Jokes (2017)
  • Leslie Jones: Time Machine (2020)
  • Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018)
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Its been a tad stressful at work so I’ve been honestly just busy with that and not watching a ton of movies as they don’t work in companion to work as much, especially first time viewings. With that said, I like to watch/listen to stand-up comedies. I can’t say the two I chose were really my cup of tea but they had some good bits. While Short Term 12 got added into viewing list as it left Netflix Canada and that review is coming up in a double feature. Other than that, Deep Blue Sea 2 literally just got added to Netflix and of course, I had to see how bad it was. I’m not being negative but the original is one of my favorites so its best to keep the expectations low and it became as a monstrous weekend as we also caught up with Godzilla: King of the Monsters which is a kick-ass movie. It was so awesome!

BINGING

The Circle

  • The Circle (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Who’s the Murderer 5, Ashes of Love

The Circle’s 3 week competition finally ended. I’m working on the TV binge for it as its an interesting little social media competition to talk about, both as a structure, the contestant choices as well as the mechancis as well as the concept of this being a social experiment which all has elements to talk about. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be opposed to another season of these. TV is fairly calm right now as I’m trying to do some wrapping up on different things and Who’s the Murderer 5 is currently ongoing so only updating an episode a week and Ashes of Love is over 60 episodes and I’m pretty much halfway and things are getting really good, so I’m focusing on that.

However, focus will be cut short when Eternal Love’s sequel, Three Lives Three Worlds: Pillow Book (also titled recently Eternal Love of Dream), starts up next week and well, Handsome Siblings got acquired by Netflix and is releasing new episodes on weekly basis. All very exciting things!!

That’s it for this What’s Up for Week 3!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up 2020: Week 1: The Start of a Decade!

2020 is finally here! As with a new year, I’ve spiced up the What’s Up banner for this year, giving it a little more depth.

The last few days of 2019 and the first few days of 2020 brought a lot of resting time and hang out with friends and such. With that, there is still some down time to get some little things done here and there. As with the beginning of the year, I do urge you to go check out last week’s announcement of 2020 plans for Tranquil Dreams in case you missed it. You can find it HERE.

READING

Death in Smoke

Currently reading: Death in Smoke

With a blog tour literally around the corner, I’m incredibly behind in reading and have been trying to catch up like a crazy person. A lot of this has to do with this Week 1 being all partying and not too much commuting so even less time to sit down and read. I’m working on getting myself a reading nook of sorts at home so that I can be away from any other distractions. However, standing at around the 30% mark as I write this weekly recap and only a mere few days that the review needs to go up, we’re looking at reading at every free moment that I have. Luckily, Death in Smoke is not too long and its been a decent read so far.

PLAYING

The Room Three

  • The Room Three (2015)

Next up: Life is Strange 2
Still playing: Undercooked 2

I love playing The Room series games. I’ve previously played the first and second game and honestly had bought The Room Three on Android and then just didn’t find the same motivation to play it until it landed on PC. Something about these games make them so great to just sit down during the holidays to play. The puzzles are definitely elevated again with so many different layers and different rooms to work with. I only finished one ending but apparently that unlocks other endings (4 endings in total) so I may go back to check it out more. In the meantime, I’m workingont he review that will go up on Game Warp blog soon (hopefully).

WATCHING

Turbo Kid

  • Geostorm (2017)
  • Turbo Kid (2015)
  • Hell Night (1981)
  • Summer of ’84 (2018 rewatch, Review)
  • The Big Sick (2017)

The husband got to do all the movie watching choices this week or the majority of it at least. I only ended up watching The Big Sick on my own as the rental was about to expire. Luckily, he picked some good ones. A lot of death and apocalypse to ring in the New Year’s for ourselves in terms of movie choices as Geostorm is a disaster film and a rather meh one then Turbo Kid is set in the future of the world as a wasteland and then an 80s slasher and then I ended up rewatching Summer of ’84 as the husband wanted to watch it after he loved Turbo Kid. I mean, its an obvious standout this week which came between Turbo Kid and The Big Sick, which both were pretty good.

BINGING

Eternal Love

  • Eternal Love (2017)

Currently watching: Who’s The Murderer 5, The Circle

Finally finished binging the entire 58 episodes of Eternal Love also known as Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. In fact, I actually didn’t really feel like I was connecting with a lot of the characters until it hit me in the most subtle and crazy way in the last two episodes when something happened and I bawled my eyes out non-stop for 30 minutes or something. Good job, Eternal Love, good job. That’s all I have to say as I’m already working on the TV binge. The sequel is coming out sometime in Janaury so I”ll be watching that, of course especially since, the sequel follows the secondary couple here as the main couple who I loved a lot, probably more than the main two.

I guess, I should mention it that I started watching the 3 week event on Netflix called The Circle. I’m not quite sure what to make of it right now. Its supposed to be a social experiment and while I get what they are trying to do, I’m not quite sure if the purpose is well delivered with the event. I’m going to need to think about that one after I watch the next two weeks.

That’s it for this Week 1 of What’s Up 2020!
Its a new year and a new banner look!
What have you been kicking off the year reading/watching/playing/binging?