Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Netflix to embrace radical weekly release model for Too Hot To Handle and The Circle

Illustration for article titled Netflix to embrace radical weekly release model for Too Hot To Handle and The Circle
Photo: Netflix

While Tiger King and jigsaw puzzles dominated the early days of the pandemmy, it was The Circle and Too Hot To Handle that really kept some of us afloat when it became apparent a whole damn year ago that this situation was a long-term deal. As the concept of time was brutally distorted and entire months coalesced into an amorphous void of emptiness punctuated by the occasional scream inside our hearts, twas reality TV (and Tom Nook) that saved so many of us. While we anxiously await our eventual deliverance from quar into a heavily-vaccinated Great After, Netflix will continue to provide, with new seasons of The Circle and Too Hot To Handle—released in weekly installments.


The weekly schedule isn’t entirely new to Netflix, which previously rolled out the first season of The Circle in weekly installments, and debuts new episodes of The Great British Baking Show days after they premiere in the UK. This approach is, however, new for Too Hot To Handle, aka Fuck Island, which debuted its first season in full. Netflix sent out an official release announcing the return of both reality series, with The Circle’s second season debuting on April 14 followed by Too Hot To Handle in June.

Described as a four-week event, the second season of The Circle returns with four new episodes on April 14 and promises to be “bigger and better, with more twists, turns, and shade thrown in all 13 episodes!” The series follows eight contestants who are isolated from one another and may only interact via a social media network—called “The Circle”—engineered for the show. Over the course of several weeks, the contestants participate in special challenges, gain clout, and use their status to eliminate the competition for a cash prize of $100,000. Four new episodes will debut every Wednesday throughout April, followed by a special finale episode on May 5.

Netflix has yet to specify an exact return date or release schedule for Too Hot To Handle, which follows a group of attractive single people stuck together at a resort with a seemingly limitless supply of alcohol and skimpy swimsuits, and one important directive: NO TOUCHING. Specifically, no kissing or sexual activity of any kind—including masturbation, which is a particularly cruel touch. The group starts off with a $100,000 prize pot to be split between the winners, but every time the no touching rule is broken, money is subtracted from the pot. It probably will not surprise you to learn that the rules are frequently broken on this show, but it may surprise you to learn that the first season featured a group activity in which the women painted portraits of their vaginas and learned about the power of their yoni—so this is not your average Fuck Island experience.