Film and TV editor Patrick Sullivan reviews the first episode of the new series of reality show Love Island.
The reality TV sensation, Love Island, is back! The first episode aired at 9pm Monday on ITV2, though it’s fair to say all us students checked in online via the ITV Hub.
Love Island is the perfect show for social media, demanding live commentary every moment. ‘I can’t believe how shallow this show is,’ becomes, ‘No way is she mugging him off, they were the best couple!’ in approximately an hour and a half, with new fans devastated when single player Adam inevitably breaks up Jack, clearly ahead of the game with the teeth whitening social media marketing, and Dani Dyer, daughter of actor/legend Danny Dyer, in the second episode (Prediction only at this point, but if proven wrong, I will buy my Love Island hating father a personalised Love Island water bottle for Father’s Day).
Oh yes, welcome to the best worst show ever.
Of course, if you’ve watched all three previous seasons, you’ll understand Monday’s opening episode was exactly the same as every other opening episode. It is a tried and tested formula for setting up the future love struck and definitely dumb shenanigans. Five young women of the same Instagram template stand in a line waiting to be chosen, before the first bloke (Niall in this case) steps up and breaks the ice with bubbly personality but no six pack (however, Niall and Kendall are no Nathan and Cara from Season 2). Then, one by one, couples begin to form from just appearances, abs and one liners. Throw in a token smart, tense, and total wet blanket of a man to make use of the subs bench (Alex, an A&E doctor) and an extra man/woman (always the fittest, this year personal trainer Adam) to mix it up and boom, that’s Love Island Day One.
"The formula never fails and the success of this show is indebted to the twists and turns in the coming eight weeks"
For the fourth year and counting, I was slightly disappointed this cruel, yet oddly fascinating, process had not been altered, as I was by the fact they still refuse to enter a funny, charming, intelligent man from Day One. Curly haired Eyal claiming spirituality and wanting something ‘deep’ was immediately discounted by his selection of Hayley, who he later stumped in conversation by using the word ‘superficial’. Completing the row of Day One bingo, the repeated pining for ‘tall, dark, and handsome’ and the general prejudice against fair haired men - let alone the token BAME contestants - will crush my spirit until the Love Island producers puts someone on the show who defies these damning trends.
But still, the formula never fails and the success of this show is indebted to the twists and turns in the coming eight weeks, not Day One. Every year, Love Island can convert the most cynical of critics through its everyday, addictive, talk-of-the-town affairs and this year it seems you’ll be out of the loop if you resist it.
Featured Image: ITV / Love Island