• Network: PBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 3, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 99

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Dec 9, 2010
    Whether the people here are fifth-generation circus or they ran away to join it, their lives make for a good tale.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Dec 9, 2010
    Circus offers equal treatment to performers, stage crew and management, showing how a circus operates and the conflicts that inevitably erupt when 150 people share such close quarters, living out of trailers for months at a time.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Dec 9, 2010
    Circus is a series with an abundance of life, and reality. If you decide to run away from the regular network fare to join this company for the next few weeks, can't say I blame you.
  4. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Dec 9, 2010
    The cinematography is beautiful, and there seems to be nowhere around the Big Apple's tents and trailers that the camera won't go. There's just not much in the way of drama here.
  5. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Dec 9, 2010
    Don't miss a minute of it. Finally, a reality show that delves into a world of fantasy.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Dec 9, 2010
    The three-week, six-hour miniseries introduces a colorful, international cast of characters who live and breathe to create one moment of perfection under the limelight.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Dec 9, 2010
    Apart from a surfeit of split screen effects and some overbearing soundtrack selections, I have no quarrel with this series at all, and wore a lump in my throat through much of it.
  8. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Dec 9, 2010
    Circus has no difficulty finding all the usual, romantically enthralling ideals contained within circus life, which unfortunately causes a lot of the series to feel predictable.
  9. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Dec 9, 2010
    This quietly addictive program isn't really about what goes on inside the Big Apple's single ring. It's about the people, both under the lights and behind them, who make those performances possible.
  10. Reviewed by: Margaret Lyons
    Dec 9, 2010
    Sure, watching a trapeze act slowly take form is fun (really fun, actually), but what's fascinating here is the deeply empathetic storytelling. It turns out what happens outside the ring is the most interesting part of Circus. [5 Nov 2010, p.65]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Mar 2, 2011
    I saw 1 episode where a horse was being trained and was badly injured. I hate circuses and how they treat their animals. Doing these tricks at such a horrific expense is completely unacceptable. Full Review »
  2. Feb 18, 2014
    Circus delivers some visually stunning aspects as well as great stories about the people who live and perform in the circus. The show's version of storytelling is through small vignettes that over the course of 6 hours eventually provides some insights into motivations, family dynamics, etc, of the circus members. What the show lacks, however, is the real detail to make these episodes come to life. As a viewer, I was always left wanting to hear more, see more, understand more about the acts, the characters, the drama. In summary, for me the series was compelling, but it failed to be more due to editing choices and the manner in which the episodes were woven together. Full Review »
  3. Apr 18, 2011
    This series is amazing: fun, exciting, touching, thought-provoking. The first episode started a little slow but every one after that left me wanting more. When it was over I went online to try to find out what was happening with the people since the series ended. FYI, CritiqueGirl doesn't know what she's talking about, but I'm not going to let any spoilers out - you'll have to watch for yourself. Full Review »