I didn’t even know Love Island – the show about a bunch of singletons trying to find love formerly known as Celebrity Love Island which was axed in the mid-noughties – was back on TV until my sisters started talking about it in our WhatsApp group about two weeks into the current series.
Anna’s addicted. Also, inspired by Caroline Flack who presents the live show, she’s bought a pair of (extremely high, extremely awesome) mule platform clogs from Topshop, sadly now sold out in all but one size. They have been hidden away from my two year old niece, who loves shoes more than I do, for fear she will try to walk in them and injure herself.
Chrissi watched an early episode and opted out. Then opted back in a few weeks later. Things were hotting up apparently.
Talking to Anna over the weekend she summed up the appeal: “It’s great summer the-kids-are-in-bed, brain off, silly entertainment, that’s packed with OMG moments.” Also she’s increasing her vocabulary. For example pied off, which means dumped apparently.
Not long after, in a group email thread between friends in which we were supposed to be organizing a night out talk turned to, you guessed it, Love Island.
One friend had stumbled across it and thought that one of the islanders looked very much like her eldest child’s swimming teacher. Turns out she was right and Lauren (of Love Island fame, not our Lauren, is, or at least was) her child’s swimming teacher. My friend had been wondering where she’d been for the past couple of weeks. Now she knows, in a villa in Mallorca and, most nights of the week, on ITV2.
No one else in the thread had such a close connection with the show but everyone had an opinion. Either, “It’s so bad it’s good,” or, “I watched for five minutes and couldn’t handle it so watched _____ instead.” (Insert something much gentler like Gavin & Stacey or The Great British Bake Off).
Last week I caught up with Charlotte. Turns out she’s been watching too. With James. Mostly behind a cushion because of the high cringe factor.
As Charlotte explains, “When life is particularly manic as it is for us at the moment you need to take some time out every evening and do not a lot of anything. Our downtime is usually for an hour from about 9pm after all the household chores have been finished and Mabel is (hopefully!) asleep. We would have laughed at you if you had suggested that most evenings we would be spending that precious 60 minutes watching a trashy reality show where folks walk around almost naked, falling in and out of love (and in and out of each other’s beds) on a daily basis.”
“Love Island is pure unadulterated escapism for us, we laugh our heads off at the ridiculousness of it and as Miranda mentioned, spend the majority of the time behind a cushion in preparation for the particularly cringey parts. I’m still not exactly sure what the purpose of it is (I think the winning couple win 50K, but possibly hope to gain more than that during their inevitable 15 minutes of fame) but actually I don’t care, it amuses us no end and as they say, laughter is the best medicine, especially when you’ve spent the day juggling various far more serious balls.”
“I’ve never really watched any other reality show and we don’t watch any soaps but there’s something about Love Island that’s very clever – the combination of the perma sun-drenched setting (erm, amazing!), the witty voice overs and, of course, the opportunity to check out The Flack’s on point summer wardrobe.”
With the final tomorrow I fear it’s too late for me to hop on board the Love Island. I would be that person asking all the questions to the annoyance of everyone else in the room who already knows who’s who, who’s pied off who, who’s cracked on with who, who’s mugged off right now and why, and so on.
Who else is watching? Who do you want to win? Anyone else not have a clue what’s going on? What show’s your reality TV weakness? ‘Fess up below!