8 reasons why you need to be watching Channel 4's The Circle right now
Reality TV just got a whole lot realer.
Look, we know it's been hard to shake the Love Island withdrawals but Channel 4's latest reality offering might just be entertaining, panic-inducing, and utterly hysterical enough to do just that.
The Circle kicked off almost two weeks ago, seeing eight players enter an apartment block where they each live in their own room hooked up to a specialised social media system, with the intention of never meeting one another face-to-face.
Instead, they build their own profiles and communicate, rate, and absolutely slate each other that way.
Photos can be edited, bios can be faked, and entire personalities can be pulled out of thin air. As long as your rating stays high, the game continues.
Interested yet? You should be.
If not though, here are eight reasons why The Circle needs to be your next reality TV obsession.
1. It's totally unique
Think you've seen a reality TV show like this, lads? Think again.
The Circle is pretty much Big Brother mixed with Survivor sprinkled with the Love Island "I've got a texxxt" gimmick.
Eight people living in an apartment block and communicating via groups chats and private messages may seem like your average Thursday night in, but it's not. It's just not.
In The Circle, everything is stressful. No one can be trusted, people aren't out to make friends, and almost nobody has a profile picture that doesn't at least have a bit of a filter on it.
It's like real life - but way more exciting.
2. Freddie is the single funniest person to ever exist on this earth
"Freddie has created a group chat called 'The Lads Chat"... because of course he has.
Let it be known though, that Freddie isn't a lad at all - rather he's a proud gay man who wanted to, in his own words, "play it straight" in The Circle just to see if he could.
And guess what - he's nailing it... While also being the most hysterical person to have existed on reality TV since George Galloway asked if he was supposed to be the cat.
While Freddie plays his ultra masculine, painfully straight version of himself online, he's generally stood around his apartment in his underwear or, in fact, nothing at all, screeching at the TV as someone he doesn't like gets a higher rating than him.
He is an unstoppable force and we wish him all the best.
3. One of the lads brought a turtle
His name is Dan and he's going to win the show... the player, not the turtle.
The turtle's name is Fiji and so far he has climbed, he has swam, and he has watched the TV.
Dan brought him into The Circle because he didn't want to leave him behind - and also because he most likely knew having a pet would win him some serious points with the girls.
He wasn't wrong.
4. It's utterly fascinating
If you thought watching eight strangers wander around a small apartment shouting things at their TV screens as a means of communication would become tiresome and dull, you were wrong.
In The Circle, suddenly every slight move is a twist and every new profile picture is a shocker.
Sure, we may know exactly what Ryan from East London looks like in the day-to-day, but the other players don't know that and watching their expressions as his new profile photo is uploaded is like watching toast finally pop out of the toaster as a particularly long wait.
It's also more than slightly baffling to watch a group of people interact entirely through social media 24/7 without ever knowing if who they're speaking to is legit.
Some might even go so far as to say that The Circle exposes our own insecurities and deep mistrust of the World Wide Web.
#Deep web, indeed.
5. It's also terrifying
Real people are falling for people who aren't real. It's a thing, it's happening IRL, it's happening in this show, and it's absolutely terrifying.
Without the risk of spoiling any major plot developments for those who have yet to begin the show, there's a good bit of catfishing going on - and players are absolutely falling for it.
Some catfishes are better than others though, as per the next point on this list.
6. Alex/'Kate' is shafting everyone
Alex, you're a genius my friend. There is no other way to put it.
The guy's gone in there, armed with nothing but a few photos of his girlfriend and a notebook about makeup routines, and he's actually managed to convince pretty much everybody that he's a 25-year-old girl.
And while Alex (or 'Kate' as she is known in The Circle) isn't quite as popular as she was in the beginning, she's still hanging on there.
7. The Circle actually provides some interesting debate
Believe it or not, but this show isn't all posting selfies and eating Pot Noodles.
There's actually been a solid amount of debate and discussion around everything from Brexit to sexual partners to Nigel Farage.
In that order.
8. Did we mention Freddie yet, or?
Come on, the guy chose pictures of himself drinking cans and playing football to appear 'straight.'
The Circle is on Channel 4 six nights a week at 10pm, or you can watch the entire series back-to-back on the All4 app.