The Circle: a win for Black Mirror rather than humanity
The Circle has sadly come to an end, but the winner "Kate" showed us how you never really know who is behind a screen.
After watching The Circle for three-weeks, seeing contestants isolated from the real-world in flats rigged with cameras, we all finally got to see the final four contestants meet face-to-face. It was the reality TV moment we had been waiting for, as Kate would finally meet the other finalists—Kate being a 26-year-old Youtuber called Alex, who had been using pictures of his girlfriend to create the ultimate popular persona.
"Kate" had been speaking to fellow contestant Dan for the whole competition, leaving Dan extremely fond of what he believed to be this beautiful girl. However, when they met face-to-face Dan was left shocked, angry and upset as he had been catfished, and realised his whole relationship with "Kate" was built on lies.
Then, in a drawn-out live final, we watched "Kate", now finally being Alex, win the show and £75,000 as he was crowned the winner and viewer's champion. The show's tag-line is that 'anyone can be anyone in The Circle' and Alex was just that, but instead of celebrating the people that decided to be their true selves, like Dan, it, in fact, celebrated a catfish and the fake person he created. Alex created "Kate" because he had been a victim of catfishing in real life, he wanted to expose that social media and the people on it can be fake, while also trying to create the ultimate popular person. It's fair to say he succeeded at both these.
Other contestants had their suspicions though, telling "Kate" she 'sat on the fence' far too often. This forced Alex to bring some of his own personality into the character he created, arguably making him even more popular within the contestants. Alex may have been a catfish but he was a nice guy, and his winning also proved that nice people do actually win.
With a catfish winning it, unfortunately, does mean a win for Black Mirror, and not humanity. The other contestants had their suspicions about "Kate", and yet 'she' still won. The contestants were completely isolated for three-weeks with nothing else to focus on except The Circle and while they suspected "Kate" and tried to get her to own up, she never had to because she knew she wouldn't have to see them until they got back into the real world. Hiding behind a screen gave Alex, playing "Kate", the upper-hand.
He may have been a nice human and never intended to be malicious, but it proves you never really know who you're talking to online and anyone can pretend to be anyone they want to be. The Circle has done a good job about raising awareness about catfishing and never trusting who you're speaking too, which is important in this century where there is such a fascination with social media, but the show proves it's hard to figure out whether a person is truly real or not.
It has just recently been announced that Netflix will be adapting the hit series across three different countries, so The Circle will be back on our TV screens very soon, hopefully, this time they can suss out the fakes.