Alert, alert, alert! America’s beloved Shubham, Sammie, Chris and Joey have been replaced by a new set of contestants. “The Circle Brazil” is the latest to drop on Netflix, and I’m sure by now you’ve guessed it — “The Circle Brazil” is just like U.S. version of “The Circle.”
So why is there another version? For the drama! Duh!
But really, if you haven’t been obsessing over the hit show “The Circle,” which exclusively airs on Netflix, then all of this will come as a surprise to you. To recap the U.S. version of the show, eight strangers are placed in isolation.
They’re only allowed to communicate with each other through the Circle, a voice operation system, and what is displayed on the other contestants’ profiles is the only thing they know about each other. When a player gets eliminated, also known as blocked, a new player is added (but not every time), which changes the game and makes it more suspenseful, as anyone could win.
What’s to win? Well, the whole point of playing is to win a grand prize of $100,000, or in Brazil, the equivalent to $67,000.
If you’ve been infatuated with the U.S. show, you may now have been obsessing over the Brazilian version too. “The Circle Brazil” dropped on March 11, with four initial episodes. The second set of episodes dropped March 18, and the last set came out the following Wednesday, resulting in 12 episodes that run about an hour long.
Now, the concept of “The Circle” isn’t new at all. Besides Netflix’s U.S. and Brazilian versions, there was “The Circle UK,” which aired in 2018, and had the exact same end goal. “The Circle UK” had two seasons. There is also “The Circle France,” which has been filmed, but is yet to be released. It’s been speculated that it will be the next to drop on Netflix.
As for the U.S. and Brazilian shows, the filming locations remained the same, making it hard to decide if “The Circle” or “The Circle Brazil” is better. Both are entertaining in their own ways.
It’s not uncommon for Netflix to have series in other languages, but with this show, there is no option to have the audio in English, only subtitles that follow along with the show’s native language, Portuguese.
“The Circle Brazil” sticks true to its title. The culture of Brazil shines through, and it’s no doubt that Brazil has a strong culture with a lot going for it. There is no reason that the people of Brazil shouldn’t be proud, although this series takes it to another level.
The first episode introduces nine players, all of whom come from different parts of Brazil. They think their own area is the best, and some players instantly bond when they claim to come from the same region. JP, a firefighter, refers to another player as his “northern princess.” Can’t get any cheesier than that, right? Well, it does. It gets cheesy in the hashtags.
Hashtags are one thing that didn’t change between the two shows, which are used in messages and to name group chats. I’m not going to lie, it seems that hashtags get used on “The Circle Brazil” way more than the “The Circle,” and there isn’t that much creativity to them. Basic hashtags like #SayItToMyFace could easily be a normal sentence.
Even with these petty comments, the players seem to be authentic. There are catfishes, but the catfishes seem to stick to their assumed personas. For example, Luma is still in the game, but Luma is a catfish played by twin brothers. These brothers think with the mindset of Luma, whereas former player Rob played as a woman named Julia and behaved the way he normally does — he thought the appearance of a woman would be more likable. Yet his surprise visit to a player suggested otherwise.
What’s commonly shown in this series is that “The Circle” is about who is likable. It’s not just hunting catfishes. “The Circle Brazil” exposed a blunt fact — why go on a catfish hunt when the true worry is the rankings and how they will be received by other players, regardless of whether the player is a catfish or not?
The players for “The Circle Brazil” are likable and may seem similar to the U.S. players. If they were compared, Dumaresq is like Chris, fun and full of life. Gaybol seems to be nerdy like Shubham. Joao, who is known as JP, seems to be like Joey regarding appearance and kindness. Lorayne seems to be like Sammi, who is feisty and genuinely herself.
It may be hard for someone who isn’t into reality TV to understand why the lives of others are so important and so avidly watched. One reason why people even watch shows like these is to be able to talk about them with their friends or family, so they don’t feel left out; it’s the classic bandwagon effect. Not to mention, there are tons of memes about “The Circle” on sites like Twitter and Instagram.
Another reason a show like “The Circle Brazil” is so popular is the escape it offers. The idea that the viewer could audition and be chosen for fame and a chance to win a grand prize is enticing. I mean, it’s not unrealistic for someone who has seen the series to think, “That’s going to be me,” and audition for the next season.
Though it is beloved, the series only received a 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb. As another Netflix original, it’s obvious there can be some cringe moments, but that doesn’t keep us from watching. So turn on those subtitles or whip out that Duolingo and get ready to learn some Portuguese, because “The Circle Brazil” is the perfect opportunity to do so.