For any non-Brits who are sick to death of my Love Island posts- this is the last one I promise. Well, until next year at least anyway. But now Jack and Dani have won in a landslide victory and swanned off happily into the sunset with their £50K prize money while the rest of us wonder what the fuck we’re going to do at 9pm every evening apart from Saturdays, I thought I’d write a little recap of the series to draw the whole thing to a close.
As I mentioned in my first post, I hadn’t watched Love Island until this season. I don’t watch a huge amount of TV anyway, and the show had a reputation for being a promiscuous hellhole so I decided it best to avoid. But this year I realised I couldn’t really call myself a dating blogger and not watch it, so I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised. So as a first time viewer, here are my thoughts on the series as a whole.
Looking For Love
One thing that surprised me in the series was when contestants would leave partners they weren’t quite sure about when they didn’t always have another options lined up (for example, Megan ditching Eyal because she thought their attraction was more physical than emotional). Surely it would be better just to stick it out and have your shot at the £50K prize, right? But I heard that this year they’d tried to pick people who were going in to look for a meaningful relationship, as opposed to fame, money, or a quick fling. I think for the most part they did manage to get it right in that sense, and it made for better viewing in that you could see genuine romances take place.
I touched on this point in the introduction, but I felt like it merited its own section. One of the reasons I had avoided watching Love Island was hearing that the contestants would have sex in the shared bedroom and other contestants would watch ad comment- and that kind of mentality would annoy me. But this series was actually a breath of fresh air in today’s hypersexualised society. We are sold this narrative where instead of being something to enjoy in a relationship, sex is now an obligation- the other person has to have a go on you first to see if you’re “worth” dating. Yet 3 out of the 4 couples that made it official on screen did so without having had sex (well, to our knowledge anyway), completely blowing apart the myth that you have to “see if you’re sexually compatible”. When you know, you know.
When Wes told Laura he wanted to keep seeing her but also see how things went with Megan, she told him exactly where to go- the bin. When Josh walked back into the villa from Casa Amor with Kaz on his arm, Georgia kept her composure, then later let him have it. Yes there are two sides to the story- if you feel someone else is more compatible you have to follow your heart and the format of the show didn’t give him the opportunity to talk to Georgia about it beforehand- but Georgia raised the valid point that in order for him to have shared a bed with Kaz on the first night, he must have exaggerated his feelings for her. Seeing this level of sass on screen offers female viewers great role models in regards to not taking shit from men.
When Adam sacked Rosie off for new girl Zara, Georgia went outside to sleep with her in the day bed. When Wes ditched Laura, the other girls rallied around her on the terrace. When Josh left Georgia for Kaz, Dani was there to comfort her- and to offer her a few home truths during her relationship with Sam. One of the nicest things to see was that when everyone left the villa, they all said they had made friends for life. Romantic relationships are great and all, but friendship is the backbone of life, so it was great to see strong examples on screen.
Too Much Silicone
When the original 10 contestants entered the villa, it looked like a good line-up with a mixture of personalities. But too many of the new people that subsequently entered the villa were professional models, already Insta-famous, or made from too much filler and slightly lacking in personality. I also found out that only half the contestants on the show were people who’d actually applied; the rest were scouted from nightclubs or Instagram. I get it- everyone has to be pretty young, pretty hot, and pretty outgoing otherwise the show would just turn into Big Brother. But I think viewers also want people they can relate to and root for. I’d rather watch a Samira, a Dr. Alex, or a Jack the pen salesman look for love than glamour model after glamour model.
I did have my suspicions that the producers may have some involvement in some of the scenes we saw on the show, but I was disappointed when I found out a lot of the scenes were in fact scripted. I get that we want good TV, but Big Brother kept going for years, so this should be possible without complete fakery. There’s also the issue of some contestants being favoured over others in regards to airtime. I get that there’s limited screen time, but leaving out Frankie and Samira spending a night in the hideaway is a pretty big omission. I think showing this would have influenced the result of the subsequent eviction- and the show is ultimately a competition so it’s important to make sure what is showed on screen is an accurate representation of life in the villa.
Did you watch this year’s Love Island? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!