85 votes
The Circus

The Circus

Showtime 2016

Come one, come all to The Circus. This real-time documentary series pulls back the curtain on the current political stories, revealing the intense, inspiring and infuriating stories behind the headlines. Key characters and events are presented in real time, as they are happening.

Warning: the following content contains spoilers!

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The 10 Best Episodes of The Circus

The Circus - S3E5

#1 - War and Peace (Season 3 - Episode 5)

The gloves are off as Donald Trump fights a 360-degree battle to keep the presidency; he is taking shots at those who stand to threaten it and is at war against the deep state of the FBI, CIA, and the Department of Justice.

The episode was rated 8.21 from 28 votes.

The Circus - S6E1

#2 - Raining Chaos (Season 6 - Episode 1)

In an extended season premiere, The Circus attempts to make sense of a country reeling from the grave implications of a Capitol siege.

The episode was rated 8.19 from 37 votes.

The Circus - S5E21

#3 - Who The F*** Are We? (Season 5 - Episode 21)

As election night passes with many a ballot remaining uncounted, The Circus wraps up an unhinged election season with a special one-hour look at how the 2020 race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden has evolved. With results permeating into the days following, the hosts are on the ground in every key battleground state offering a unique perspective of how the Presidential race is playing out. Season finale.

The episode was rated 8.17 from 29 votes.

The Circus - S3E9

#4 - Judgment Day (Season 3 - Episode 9)

The focus remains tightly on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; for much of the week, John Heilemann is embedded with attorney Michael Avenatti, who may just have the most explosive revelations of all.

The episode was rated 8.17 from 35 votes.

The Circus - S5E18

#5 - Steal This Election (Season 5 - Episode 18)

The Circus dives into voting integrity, specifically issues concerning election day disputes, voter suppression and re-election rhetoric from the President himself. Eager to stave off fears of negative polling numbers, Trump is hot on the campaign trail, despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis. Among a myriad of perspectives, Mark McKinnon speaks with ACLU Director Andre Segura in Texas, where Republican officials are limiting mail-in voting. And Alex Wagner talks to a militia leader in Michigan about his view on the necessity of poll-watchers.

The episode was rated 8.09 from 23 votes.

The Circus - S3E14

#6 - A Place Called Fear (Season 3 - Episode 14)

With the midterm elections only days away, The Circus travels to rallies and campaign stops around the country to find out how both sides are pulling out all the stops to win these all-important races.

The episode was rated 8.08 from 24 votes.

The Circus - S6E2

#7 - Clear and Present Danger (Season 6 - Episode 2)

At the brink of an historic second impeachment, The Circus delves into the last week in office of a furious, de-platformed President Trump. With last week’s Capitol violence ever relevant, the question remains: will this be a decisive moment for our nation?

The episode was rated 8.06 from 32 votes.

The Circus - S4E1

#8 - New World Disorder (Season 4 - Episode 1)

It's a new world order in Washington as a Democratic majority in the House puts a check on the Trump presidency. The second half of his term has begun with total gridlock, a government shutdown, and federal workers lining up for free hot meals. Is this the new normal? Meanwhile, freshmen representatives are putting a new face on Congress—and introducing a new reality, and the investigation of Trump takes a surprising turn in the wake of Michael Cohen postponing his congressional testimony.

The episode was rated 8.06 from 35 votes.

The Circus - S5E11

#9 - Party of One (Season 5 - Episode 11)

The Circus is in the thick of the Republic National Convention in D.C., covering speakers, key speeches and the subsequent public reaction. Among other steady Trump confidants, Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz preview the race ahead and break down President Trump's appeal to swing voters. Can Republicans offer a winning perspective on "law & order" in response to national rallies over recent police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin?

The episode was rated 8.05 from 22 votes.

The Circus - S3E13

#10 - Black and White (Season 3 - Episode 13)

As undertones of racial politics make news, "The Circus" travels to Florida and Georgia, following two historic gubernatorial races with African-American candidates.

The episode was rated 8.04 from 23 votes.

The Circus - S5E16
#11 - October Surprise
Season 5 - Episode 16

The Circus covers the fiery first debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Jen Palmieri explores Trump's aggressive debate strategy, swapping war stories with Philippe Reines, a member of the Clinton 2016 debate prep team. John Heilemann spends debate night with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. Alex Wagner and Mark McKinnon are on the ground in Cleveland gauging public reactions to the debate, as all the hosts react to the seismic news that President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

The episode was rated from 25 votes.
The Circus - S5E8
#12 - The Cruelest Month
Season 5 - Episode 8

The results of the Big Tuesday Democratic primaries in 6 states cemented Joe Biden's frontrunner status and gave him a seemingly insurmountable lead in delegates over rival Bernie Sanders. But Sanders has announced he isn't dropping out, and is planning to debate Biden and continue to push his progressive agenda. Meanwhile, with cancelled rallies and limits on travel, the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the race in ways large and small.

The episode was rated from 27 votes.
The Circus - S5E15
#13 - Full Court Press
Season 5 - Episode 15

The Circus profiles the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and examines the political battlefield her death has created. Eager to capitalize, Senator Mitch McConnell and conservatives have zealously pushed to fill her vacancy before election day, while progressives strongly object. Republican strategist Charlie Black joins Mark McKinnon to analyze McConnell's motives. Meanwhile, former Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal and Director of Demand Justice Brian Fallon discuss the implications of rushing a successor.

The episode was rated from 19 votes.
The Circus - S3E12
#14 - Senatorial Combat
Season 3 - Episode 12

As the battle for the Senate heats up with polls forecasting a Republican resurgence, "The Circus" travels the country charting the shifting dynamics in three of the closest races: Arizona, Nevada and North Dakota.

The episode was rated from 32 votes.
The Circus - S4E2
#15 - Circling Vultures
Season 4 - Episode 2

The list of former allies who are turning on Donald Trump grows daily, the Mueller investigation continues to circle him and the Democrats have been unrelenting in their attacks. The President’s increasing vulnerability has led to a bumper crop of potential 2020 challengers, all of whom are hoping to be the one to unseat him.

The episode was rated from 30 votes.
The Circus - S1E22
#16 - Tale of the Tape
Season 1 - Episode 22

The fallout from the second debate and the current scandal surrounding a recently publicized audio tape.

The episode was rated from 36 votes.
The Circus - S1E26
#17 - President Trump
Season 1 - Episode 26

In a special hour-long episode of the real-time documentary series, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon go behind the scenes of both campaigns in the lead up to Election Day - and the fallout that followed.

The episode was rated from 33 votes.
The Circus - S5E14
#18 - Force Majeure
Season 5 - Episode 14

As the United States approaches a grim 200,000 deaths, The Circus investigates the politicization of COVID-19. While the Trump campaign continues to prioritize the economy, Joe Biden has emphatically upheld health experts, causing many to question how the discourse between Red & Blue will play in the 2020 election. With regard to the current political game in key battleground states, the hosts interview Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, Biden Senior Advisor Symone Sanders and Republican political consultant Susie Wiles.

The episode was rated from 22 votes.
The Circus - S3E3
#19 - Man of the World
Season 3 - Episode 3

State visits by the heads of France and Germany command the administration's attention; John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon talk with Wendy Sherman, architect of the Iran deal; Alex Wagner interviews the imam behind the travel-ban challenge.

The episode was rated from 32 votes.
The Circus - S3E7
#20 - The Gathering Storm
Season 3 - Episode 7

With the looming midterm elections, the Trump presidency under relentless siege, and Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolina coast, Washington has a lot on its collective plate. Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner visit the democratic and republican war rooms respectively, and learn what each camp is doing to secure the majority in the House. John Heilemann interviews Steve Bannon and takes a tour of Breitbart, all in advance of the release of Bannon's inflammatory new documentary.

The episode was rated from 30 votes.

Last updated: nov 14, 2022


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