Love Island 2023 week one

Mayhem, mischief and Molly: How 2023 had the best first week in Love Island history

I will never moan about week one again

To put it lightly, the first week of Love Island is dreaded. It’s the pits. It’s the shit on my eBay, preloved shoe. The circle of life usually goes as follows. We groan that Love Island is coming back to our screens, because we barely feel like we’ve finished the last season before Iain Stirling is telling us he’s about to get on our tits for a few months again. The premiere date then looms and we get excited. We buckle up. We tweet “Seated for Love Island” with a funny picture. And then we realise the first week of this show is harder to get through than when your work colleagues force you to sign up to Tough Mudder for some team building action. Love Island first week is hell itself, and yet somehow this year everything has shifted. In 2023, Love Island has had its best week one yet. How? Let me pull you for a chat and tell you.

The cast

Fair play to the ITV casting team – they got it right this year. Besides the addition of one particular person who will remain unnamed and unmentioned again, which has worked out perfectly because that person is no longer in the villa, this cast is one of the most likeable and diverse bunch of Islanders the show has managed in years. A real mix of girls, guys and vibes who all seem to have been cast for their ability to provide great TV and not for how good they might be at selling Shein items via Instagram. For a Love Island week one to be filled with so many interesting characters with a lot to say already in 2023, it’s booted up the season perfectly for a good start.

Almost everyone has something investable going on, and even the ones who are falling by the more boring wayside (Ruchee, I fear) are still not annoying. It’s a godsend of a start.

The triangles

Right off the bat, this season feels like a tangled mess of love interest from all angles. Zach has Molly and Catherine chomping at the bit. Whitney was batting off Mehdi and he who must not be named. Nary an hour passes by without someone pulling another Islander for a chat to declare they’re off to chirpse someone else on a daybed. Nobody knows whether they’re coming or going, but sparks are flying left, right and Liverpool Central and I am INVESTED.


The sheer existence of Molly Marsh (and, to a lesser extent, Zach)

Love her, hate her, we need her. I was wary of Ms Molly Marsh from day dot – aka, the day the promo shoot dropped. Links to Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury? Interviewing Olivia Attwood about her show literally for ITV? It was all big sus vibes to me. Pair all that with the fact she’s got the TikTok from hell and is a drama school menace who stars in pantos and you’ve got a recipe for a nemesis. But I should not have doubted. This Gleek of a woman has the men on strings and the girls’ blood boiled. And iiiiii LOVE IT.

Yes she’s a bit evil, yes she’s a bit pick me. But Molly Marsh has singlehandedly kept this first week afloat thanks to her irresistible mayhem. Not far behind her comes the god of a man that is Zachariah. If these two team up I fear we might be heading for an apocalypse. And you best believe I will be seated for it.

Justice for the ratings!

2023 week one has given ITV one of the worst performing launches to a Love Island season ever, and for ONCE they don’t deserve it. Of all the seasons to tune out from, this just isn’t it. It deserves the viewership as the carnage brews, the Whitney and Mehdi icon status grows, the Tyrique chaos lingers, the Mitchel breakdown looms.

They’ve given us everything we need to launch a season of Love Island, and I hope that most have tuned out initially with plans to jump back in once it all gets going in a few weeks. Things are only gonna get better.

Love Island 2023 is on ITV2 and ITVX. For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

We found out the exact time and place Tyrique and Ella met before Love Island

Yikes! The first ‘staged’ editing error of Love Island 2023 was last night

Inside Love Island’s Molly Marsh’s incredible family farm, with chickens and neon wall lights