'The Circle'
Source: Netflix

You'll Be Shocked to Find out Where 'The Circle' on Netflix Is Actually Filmed

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Apr. 15 2021, Updated 4:02 p.m. ET

Nothing says living your best life before the onslaught of socially distanced summer activities like hunkering down at home while watching Netflix's latest releases. And once The Circle Season 2 drops on the streaming platform, you'll have one less reason for going outdoors. That is until you finish all of the episodes of the latest installment of the social experiment.

Contestants each season are urged to lie to one another in order to stay in the game for $100,000, and they each live in isolation in one-bedroom apartments (in the same building, no less!). It's a wild concept for a reality TV competition show in a sea of TV shows that are sometimes way too similar to each other.

But where is The Circle filmed and, more importantly, when was Season 2 filmed since it may have taken place during the pandemic?

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circle
Source: Netflix

Where was 'The Circle' filmed on Netflix?

Because the entire show takes place in a swanky apartment building — that apparently just has a ton of vacant apartments for the contestants to reside in — viewers wondered just where this building was located (especially considering how hard it is to find a spacious one-bedroom apartment in basically every American city). 

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The Circle also shows images of Chicago's skyline throughout, leading many to believe that's where the show is shot. But, that's nowhere close to the real location. According to Decider, The Circle was shot in an apartment complex in Manchester, England. The U.K. version of the show was also apparently shot there. 

circle
Source: Netflix
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Though the show hasn't officially confirmed Manchester as the spot for the show, it does make sense. First of all, the outlets seen in multiple scenes throughout the episodes are clearly not American. The wider, three-pronged outlets shown can be found in basically every building in the U.K.

And the show originated in the U.K., so it makes sense that it would shoot in an already-existing set, considering how many cameras have to be installed around the apartments.

While other reality shows get to build their own homes and sets for the season, like those of Big Brother or The Challenge, the apartments featured in The Circle can actually be rented. At the time of filming for Season 1, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments were going for around $1,300 each per month.

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circle
Source: Netflix

When was Season 2 of 'The Circle' filmed?

Inside Survivor editor Martin Holmes announced on Twitter in November 2020 that filming had officially wrapped on not one, but two new seasons of The Circle. That means Season 2 and Season 3 were both filmed in the fall of 2020. Because the show places its contestants in isolation, it was probably pretty easy to film during the pandemic. And, at its core, The Circle was sort of made for this type of situation in society.

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Is 'The Circle' fake or scripted?

Like any reality show, you have to assume that some scenes are filmed more than once to get the lighting or sound just right. Some contestants may even be prompted to say more than they would about themselves or their gameplay than they might prefer to reveal.

But in terms of actors or actual scripts, you can consider The Circle to be quite real.

The first season of the American version finished filming ahead of time, while British audiences were able to interact on the episodes as they aired. Whether this change was done because the American version is on a site known for binge-watching episodes, or because it's actually more contrived is unclear. There's still no obvious evidence that it's scripted.

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