Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Photo: Netflix

On its surface, The Circle sounds like some shallow, bingeable trash. Stick around until the second episode, however, and you’ll likely be hooked. The social media competition that forms the spine of the Netflix series—players communicate solely through a social media platform, trying to convey authenticity so as not to get blocked by the game’s “influencers”—isn’t all that gripping in a vacuum, but its reliance on the personalities and machinations of its cast is the key to its appeal. Shockingly, even the most duplicitous of the contestants—some purposely catfish their colleagues—turn out to be compelling, amiable folks, each working to convey genuine emotions through a deceptive avatar. But, as the show makes abundantly clear, one’s genuine self is capable of bleeding through a chat box. Four of the five finalists, after all, survived the entirety of the game without once masking their identity or motivations. The friendships they made really felt real.

Advertisement

Just look at Joey Sasso and Shubham Goel. The former is a buff, flirtatious bartender with a thick Jersey accent while the latter is a socially awkward, Marvel-loving virtual reality engineer—together, however, they formed one of the sweetest, most soul-affirming bonds on TV. Their friendship started simply, with Joey observing in the second episode that Shubham—a.k.a. Shooby—was “buggin’ last night” and Shooby fretting over whether adding “man” to the end of a casual inquiry sounded weird. Now, with the show behind them, the pair have made it clear their bromance will persevere beyond the cameras.

“In every way possible, we are different, but that’s the beauty of it,” Shooby recently told Cosmo. “He was my day-one guy in there. Me and Joey still keep in touch....When I’m back [in Los Angeles], we’re definitely gonna kick it. I’m hoping to kick it, like, three or four times a week. With Joey, I one hundred percent know that our relationship from that Circle is going to be just as strong outside of it.”

So, to ensure we never forget the exquisite nature of their union, please join us for a pictorial trek through their friendship’s most pivotal moments.

(Note: I will be spelling it “Shooby,” despite Netflix’s closed captioning spelling it “Shubby.” It sounds like “Shooby,” guys.)

Advertisement

Shooby coins the term “bro-ey Joey”

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Joey sees Shooby in his little suit

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Shooby gets protective

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Shooby and Joey establish loyalty

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Shooby proves his loyalty

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Photo: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Photo: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Joey promises that no woman will sully their union

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Shooby gets jealous

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Yet Shooby remains loyal, even as it exhausts other players

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Shooby accepts no substitutes

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Joey gets personal

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

#TheTrustHasBeenEarned

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Joey and Shooby become co-influencers

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Joey and Shooby party in the Influencer Hang-Out

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Shooby is proud of their influencing

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Shooby promises to protect Joey, even if it means his “demise in the Circle”

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

#AlwaysLoyal

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

They are no longer friends, but family

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Shooby still can’t think of any cons for Joey

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Shooby comes to the sad realization that the game may pit them against each other

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Joey refuses to accept this, chooses friendship over strategy

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement

Joey, having become a superinfluencer, saves Rebecca as a sign of loyalty to Shooby

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Shooby tells Joey he makes him “feel like the luckiest person in the world”

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

Shooby and Joey meet, a nation rejoices

Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Tracking the evolution of Joey and Shoobys impossibly pure bromance on iThe Circle/i
Screenshot: Netflix

#FriendsTillTheEnd, indeed.

Advertisement

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter