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Shows Like ‘The Circle’ | #speeddating | #tinder | #pof | #blackpeoplemeet | romancescams | #scams






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One of the more mysterious quarantine phenomenons is the popularity of shows about isolation. From The Circle to Love Is Blind, we somehow ended up turning our escapist pleasures into the very thing we were trying to forget about. That bit of irony aside, The Circle is the best of the best when it comes to drama in a bubble. Despite bordering on claustrophobic at all times, The Circle has been one of Netflix’s most popular shows since before the pandemic even started.

If catfishing, dating in isolation, or the schadenfreude of witnessing unhinged chaos is intriguing to you, The Circle is not the only show that will keep you entertained. The world of reality TV has never been more exciting, so here is a comprehensive list of all your options, whether you’re looking for a dating show or would rather have your wifi break mid-pandemic than see one more awkward breakup.


1

‘Big Brother’

Photo: Getty Images

Big Brother was one of the reality shows to pioneer the isolation format that makes The Circle and other similar series so fun to watch. The show, which is entering its 23rd season, brings together a group of “HouseGuests” to live together apart from the outside world. The contestants are constantly monitored by cameras, thus the Orwellian name, and face elimination by eviction from the house. The winner and runners up are awarded cash prizes up to half a million dollars.

Where to watch Big Brother


2

‘Survivor’

Survivor-finale
Photo: CBS

Another behemoth CBS reality program that practically invented reality TV as we know it is Survivor. Like The Circle and Big Brother, Survivor relies upon isolation and various physical and mental challenges as a sort of social experiment. The difference with Survivor, however, is that contestants aren’t living in a mansion or requesting special order groceries. They are dropped off in a remote location, albeit tropical, and are tasked with living off the land for weeks at a time. Understandably, things get heated right off the bat as survival instincts kick in, adding an air of urgency that reality programs with more frivolous drama lack.

Where to watch Survivor


3

‘Love Is Blind’

love-is-blind-amber
Photo: Netflix

If you didn’t watch Love Is Blind along with the rest of the world during early quarantine, you are missing out on one of reality TV’s most fascinating experiments. The premise of the show revolves around speed dating, except the singles must rely on conversation alone. Contestants are expected to exit the pods, which facilitate these blind convos, engaged. They then embark on a honeymoon and have a few weeks to decide whether to proceed with marriage or call off the engagement, begging the question, “Is love really blind?”

Where to watch Love is Blind


4

‘Catfish’

catfish
Photo: Rogue Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Catfish: The TV Show is the most similar in premise to The Circle of the shows on this list. The popular series explores the woes of online dating, particularly the potential for deception and disappointment. Catfish follows a “hopeful” in uncovering the true identity of a person with whom they have an online relationship. The most intriguing thing about Catfish isn’t always the discovery of deception; sometimes, the potential match is exactly who they say they are or even if they were deceitful, the couple is able to move past it.

Where to watch Catfish


5

‘Are You The One?’

are-you-the-one
Photo: Netflix

Are You The One? follows a similar isolation format, but matches couples based on a mathematical algorithm. Contestants have 10 chances to leave as 10 perfect matches. It is not an individual sport, however. If they pair off successfully, the 20 contestants as a team get to take home the largest cash prize in MTV history. After Season 1, the show even brought on all sexually fluid contestants, so contestants had nearly double the potential matches. It’s like that human knot game you play at summer camp as a bonding exercise, but with sexual tension and higher stakes.

Where to watch Are You The One?


6

‘The Bachelor’

MATT JAMES, BRI
Photo: ABC

If you’re a reality TV junkie, you probably already know whether you love or hate The Bachelor, but if you have yet to join the party, here’s your chance. The Bachelor has mastered the combination of tropical escapism and chaos that makes the shows of its kind feel so indulgent. The format: one Bachelor or Bachelorette is faced with a group of a few dozens singles of the opposite sex. They then date all of them back to back in a luxurious setting, while the contestants must find a way to navigate living together in the meantime. Imagine if all of your exes lived together… and you had 20 of them. That’s The Bachelor.

Where to watch The Bachelor


7

‘Married at First Sight’

married-at-first-sight-season-7
Photo: Everett Collection

Weddings are notoriously stressful, but what if you’re meeting your spouse for the first time and binding yourself to them forever (theoretically) simultaneously? This question somehow seemed pressing to a producer somewhere and now Married at First Sight exists. After entering into legal marriage with a complete stranger, they promptly jet off on their honeymoon and move in together. The experiment spans around six weeks, at which point each contestant must decide whether to stay with their spouse or file for divorce.

Where to watch Married at First Sight

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