"A show about people alone in their rooms trying to be cool online—could anything be more cursed?" says Kate Knibbs. "The Circle is a remake of a UK program of the same name, and reviewers frequently invoke Black Mirror to convey its plot—the spooky episodes, not that nice one where the old ladies fall in virtual-reality love. Black Mirror comparisons are obvious, as the show has constructed a myopic setting designed to highlight what it’s like to be constantly logged on and desperate for attention. Less expected is how good the show is at demonstrating the highs and nuances of digital life. I intended to watch one episode out of curiosity about how bleak it sounded. Then I kept watching. And watching." Knibbs adds: "Reality television is now a tested route for wannabe influencers who want to wedge themselves into public consciousness and then monetize, monetize, monetize. The Circle dispenses altogether with the notion that anyone might be participating in a reality program 'for the right reasons' by making the subtext the whole damn show. It’s a highly contrived scenario, but from within its artificial limits a surprisingly naturalistic portrait of what it’s like to communicate through the internet emerges."