- 2 Seasons
Circus is a documentary series that premiered on PBS in 2010. The show is a behind-the-scenes look at the world of the circus and follows the performers and crew of the Big Apple Circus as they tour across the country. The series is composed of six episodes, each roughly one hour in length. The first episode introduces viewers to the world of the Big Apple Circus and its history. The following episodes delve into the lives of the performers and crew as they prepare for shows, deal with injuries and personal issues, and navigate life on the road.
The show is narrated by John Lithgow, who also serves as an executive producer. Lithgow's warm and engaging voiceover sets the tone for the series, providing a sense of intimacy and familiarity that draws viewers into the lives of the performers and crew.
Each episode of Circus is structured around a few main characters. These characters range from performers to crew members, and their stories provide a window into the wider world of the Big Apple Circus. Viewers get a sense of the challenges and joys of life on the road, the intense physical demands of circus performance, and the camaraderie that develops among the performers and crew.
One of the main draws of Circus is the access it provides to the inner workings of the Big Apple Circus. Viewers get to see the performers train and rehearse, the crew set up and take down the big top, and the logistics of moving a circus from city to city. There are also glimpses into the personal lives of the performers and crew, providing a fuller picture of the people behind the scenes.
Circus is also notable for its stunning cinematography. The series was filmed in high definition, and the visuals are often breathtaking. The vibrant colors of the circus tents, the glittering costumes of the performers, and the beautiful landscapes of the American countryside all come to life onscreen. There are also some impressive aerial shots that give viewers a bird's-eye view of the circus setup.
Despite the mesmerizing visuals and engaging characters, Circus is not without its darker moments. The physical toll of circus performance is evident, with performers dealing with injuries and the risk of accidents. One performer, a trapeze artist named Ammed, suffers a serious injury that puts his career in jeopardy. Another performer, a clown named Mark, faces a personal crisis that threatens to affect his ability to perform.
The show also addresses the challenges faced by the circus industry as a whole. In one episode, the Big Apple Circus faces financial difficulties and is forced to cut back on certain aspects of the show. In another, there is a discussion about the ethics of animal performances in circuses.
Despite these challenges, the overall tone of Circus is one of warmth and positivity. The camaraderie among the performers and crew is palpable, and there is a sense of family that develops over the course of the series. The performers are shown to be dedicated and passionate about their craft, and their joy in performance is infectious.
Overall, Circus is a captivating series that provides a fascinating look into the world of the circus. The stunning visuals, engaging characters, and behind-the-scenes access make for a compelling viewing experience. Whether you're a fan of the circus or not, Circus is a series that will leave you with a new appreciation for the people who make this unique art form possible.
Circus is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (31 episodes). The series first aired on November 3, 2010.