It’s time to admit Love Island is total garbage now
Wanted: Some drama, dead or alive
It’s time to face facts: Love Island is dead and there’s no going back now.
I mean sure, last summer’s series wasn’t as exciting as we might have hoped, but it did provide some undeniably classic moments and in hindsight, it was leagues ahead of what we’ve been watching for the last two weeks. The proof is easy to see. Viewers have been dropping in their millions, and producers are frantically frontloading the season with the best challenges and bombshells in a desperate attempt to inspire any sort of emotion from the dozen robots they have posing as a cast.
And why have we been watching it – especially with so much more on offer? Sex Education is right there on Netflix, and so are a dozen gruesome documentaries about murder, Taylor Swift, and cheerleaders. My only guess is that we have collective Stockholm syndrome, and we keep coming back in the vein hope Love Island might one day regain the spark it lost, but it never does and never will. Love Island is dead and we have killed it. It’s our fault for willing a winter series into existence and it will be our fault when summer’s series inevitably disappoints us. Let’s take a look at where exactly the series has fucked itself:
The drama is severely lacking and this crop of Islanders aren’t going to provide it
Love Island is and always will be defined by the moments these people truly fly off the handle. Remember Malin getting the boot half an hour after she dropped into the villa? Or Tom wondering aloud whether or not Maura was “all mouth?” The fallout from Alex shagging Zara should honestly have won awards, and come to think of it, so should Amy for her iconic “I was coming back here to tell you I loved you” speech to Curtis.
I could go on, sure, because Love Island truly was unmissable telly. You could write entire books about ex-Islanders like Megan, Amber, and Chris Hughes. But the point is these cyborgs they have in the villa just aren’t going to provide those moments.
Nobody shags on it anymore and I’m not being funny but that’s like half the reason anyone watches Love Island
Jack and Dani proved in 2018 that you can basically practice Love Island’s equivalent of celibacy and still win, and last year not a single Islander shagged. No matter how many shots of rustling covers and twitching toes the producers teased us with, the shaglessness of recent series has been obvious and a massive factor in the series’ decline. Shagging on TV is a big risk and most people who do eventually regret it, so if you can get away with not doing it, why would you?
But here’s the thing: With no sex, there are no stakes. Having sex is something people do when they’re ‘coupled up’ in real life, and the Islanders actively holding themselves back makes their relationships look artificial, even by reality TV standards. Remember Kem and Amber sneaking about looking for places to fuck so blatantly producers had to tell them off? Or Emma riding Terry on top of the covers? Christ, even Cara wanking off Nathan was more fun than anything we’ve seen so far.
The relationships forged on the show never last… so why even pretend that’s the point?
I mean duh – of course they don’t, but in recent years watching the couples break up weeks after the show ends makes you feel like you’ve wasted your time – especially when it isn’t even that messy. None of the 2018 cast stuck with the couples they left the show in, and only two have been left standing from the summer. In previous years we’ve seen couples end up married – some with kids. It really does beg the question of what Love Island even achieves if it can’t convincingly set people up for more than a few months.
Amber’s victory last year was a real turning point for Love Island being a show about individuals rather than couples. Amber had only known Greg for a week but pipped Tommy and Molly-Mae to the post on the back of sheer popularity.
Too many of the Islanders are basically already semi-famous
Granted I’m not talking B-list or even Z-list. I mean the sixth-degree separation kind of fame you acquire by being Lewis Capaldi’s ex, or the sister of one of The Saturdays. All the same, these guys have their eyes on one thing – and that’s ITV2 stardom. Are they going to do anything risky or hilarious to mess up that opportunity? No.
Case in point: Paige has already been on Britain’s Got Talent. One of the new bombshells has a deeply weird underwear business with thousands of Instagram followers. Molly-Mae has returned to her YouTube channel after it swelled while she was in the villa. To them, Love Island is just a springboard to the kind of fame people who look up to Gemma Collins desperately want.
The format was stale in 2019 and they still haven’t changed it
The sexy dancing, spill the tea, the stupid babies, even the coupling ceremony is beyond repetitive and 100 per cent should have been ditched this time round. Shows like Love Island are meant to rapidly evolve as they grow but in a lot of ways Love Island has regressed, repeating or axing challenges altogether. Now the Islanders don’t smoke all the time or drink more than a glass of wine every night. Bombshells are no longer shocking because we expect them. Islanders don’t react to challenges like Chris did to the babies because even they’ve seen them before.
The Islanders are obviously all in it for the money, and I don’t mean the £50k
In a way, it’s Love Island’s own fault for turning its contestants into stars so efficiently. But if that’s what awaits the Islanders when they leave then of course that’s going to have an effect on the people producers scout to take part. You can see the panic in Shamayonaise’s face when Rebecca walks in and immediately starts necking on Connagh not because she gives the slightest of shits about him, but because she’s about to get cheesed out of a contract with PLT. You can’t really blame them – the £50k prize money for winning may as well be 50p given most finalists end up earning literal millions in sponsorship deals.
The audience is no different. We’re at the point where the only people watching and tweeting about Love Island are the people whose job it is to generate excitement (and more importantly content) around the show. People like me who write about what they were like at uni, or what they’d be like in bed, or what meal deal they probably like, in a feeble attempt to give these wannabe influencers any sort of personality.
And maybe it’s just me, but I swear they’re not even that fit this year?
Obviously this sort of thing thing is super subjective but maybe the pool of British models is running dry. If you’re going to have other-worldly specimens populate the villa every year, at least let them be Adam Collard or Megan Barton-Hanson levels of fit and not a walking set of veneers.
More than anything, the lack of any kind of diversity is boring
Love Island has a terrible track record with racism and producers seem not to really care that every year a dark-skinned black Islander is left until the end of the coupling ceremony, and problems with diversity don’t stop there.
Why do these Islanders all have to look the same? Love Island producers have said before and since that the lack of body variation is the only way to ensure these people actually fancy each other. That kind of philosophy is Love Island’s way of telling you if you’re too fat, too skinny, or too hairy, you’re basically fuck ugly.
And another thing – do they really all have to be straight? Fuck it. Make a gay Love Island. Love Bisland. Honestly, if a show like Sex Education can put forward a vision of the world with diverse and genuine representation, why can’t Love Island? Without the higher stakes drama, the series winds up like every other lowest-common-denominator heterotainment series on ITV2.
It’s on for six weeks every night and committing to it is exhausting
Remember what Cheryl said: “Too much of anything can make you sick.” She was right.