The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 1 (2016)

SEASON:

Season 1
The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth

Critics Consensus

The Circus reveals a more human side of the candidates and paints a clear picture of how grueling life can be on the campaign trail, yet the show fails to provide the type of candid analysis and discourse it alludes to during this incredibly unique and cantankerous election cycle.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 12

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 38

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 17, 2016

A real-time documentary series that offers a revealing look at the 2016 presidential race. In the opener, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaign in Iowa.

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Air date: Jan 24, 2016

A real-time documentary series that offers a revealing look at the 2016 presidential race.

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Air date: Jan 31, 2016

A look at the angst and drama leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, with a showdown brewing between Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and the GOP's first real test of outsider candidates versus the establishment.

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Air date: Feb 7, 2016

A look at the Iowa fallout and an examination of who has momentum going into the New Hampshire primary, and whether Trump and Clinton can pick up the pace to beat back the surging Cruz and Sanders.

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Air date: Feb 14, 2016

The candidates deal with the jolt that was New Hampshire and prepare for hard truths in South Carolina and Nevada.

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Air date: Feb 21, 2016

Anxiety grows among the candidates about the high stakes in South Carolina and Nevada, and the significance of falling behind.

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Air date: Feb 28, 2016

With the field narrowed down to The Big Five, the campaigns spread their game across the country and play to their strengths--with eyes squarely focused on the all-important upcoming prize: Super Tuesday.

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Air date: Mar 6, 2016

Candidates who trail the front-runners deal with the results of Super Tuesday, while the Democratic and Republican establishments try to find a way to stop Trump.

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Air date: Mar 13, 2016

Rubio, Kasich and Sanders pin their hopes on Florida and Ohio in hopes of gaining enough momentum to force a brokered convention.

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Air date: Mar 20, 2016

As Rubio gets trumped in Florida, the rest of the field remains optimistic. -- (C) Showtime

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The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 1 Videos

The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The documentary series centers around the 2016 US Presidential election and focuses on primaries and campaigns for both parties. The show focuses on some of the key players, including the various candidates and the people closest to them, and offers a look behind the scenes of the media circus that follows the most important political event in the US. The season highlights the scandals, drama and general unpredictability that characterized this election, and concludes with an hour-long special about Election Day.

News & Interviews for The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth Season 1

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (7)

If anything The Circus represents merely another example of exalting the process of politics - the long bus trips, time spent time away from home and strategizing - without offering much that's new or compelling in terms of substance.

Feb 26, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

We're still only at the beginning stages. All the more reason to treasure an enterprise that preserves the small details as The Circus does.

Feb 26, 2016 | Full Review…

It's by far the most cleverly shaped and enlightening coverage of U.S. politics right now.

Feb 26, 2016 | Full Review…

Halperin and Heilemann, authors of the best-sellers Game Change and Double Down, certainly know their stuff, even if they inject themselves a little too enthusiastically into the proceedings.

Feb 26, 2016 | Full Review…

Watching the show made me ache for the kind of candid, outraged political reportage that simply doesn't exist anymore.

Feb 26, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Circus is an elegant, intimate, frequently funny look at a process that lives up to the show's title, but like most political coverage these days, leaves a brutal hangover.

Mar 8, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Circus is a kind of reassuring sanity break for politics nerds. There may be treacherous currents roiling this election, unknowable changes to come. But for one sharp half-hour every week, it's all just a show.

Mar 3, 2016 | Full Review…

That's why we need The Circus: to continue to explore, to show, and to humanize the process.

Feb 26, 2020 | Full Review…

Solid docu probes 2016 election, tries to be unbiased.

May 30, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Whatever terrible revolution we're watching, it definitely isn't being televised with analysis and curiosity here.

Sep 12, 2016 | Full Review…

Unlike coverage on Fox News or MSNBC, The Circus offers truly objective analysis of the campaigns. It also shows a more human side of the candidates, painting a clear picture of how grueling life is on the campaign trail.

Jul 11, 2016 | Full Review…

The election season show I'm most enjoying is Showtime's The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth.

Mar 1, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth: Season 1

  • Oct 07, 2019
    Terrible, ROTTEN tomatoes! and waste of time. I watched because my friend begged me to see it so I was thinking it would be good. Turns out she had the wrong title. I love politics, honest politics but this is anything but skewed and honest. Its junk. Don't bother.
  • Feb 13, 2019
    I started to watch this show the first season of the Circus and it started out pretty good. I thought it was going to be good because it seemed to not have a huge bias one way or the other but as the first season goes on it becomes very clear this show and the creators support Hillary Clinton. Specifically John Heilemann who is one of the main anchors shows us in this show just how much he hates Trump and how much he loves Clinton. It is too bad they had to put a liberal twist on this show and couldn't keep it in the middle.
  • May 10, 2017
    The Circus is easily the most informative and entertaining political show produced.
  • Nov 14, 2016
    Incredibly biased editing but it was entertaining to watch if you realize it is skewed to make one side look better than the other.... you can be the judge
  • Apr 17, 2016
    Must see for any fan of US politics. The journalists as well as a strategist document the circus surrounding the nomination process for the 2016 Election. They do a great job of showcasing each nominee's camp as well as their election strategy. Their travels take them from state to state, on the rollercoaster known as the 2016 Primaries. Heilemann, McKinnon and Druckerman's experience and professionalsm really shines as they objectively tap into the conscious of American society as well as that of the institutions. They are given access to nominees behind the scenes as well as during the events. It will be fun to see how this plays out. FYI: this review was written after episode 12.

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