I watched Love Island for the First Time
Some may say it's been a long time coming.
I don't know what to tell you. I've never watched the show and never really had an urge to, despite the social media craze. However I must concede, I have fell victim to the trash reality TV sphere. I used to be an avid watcher of Geordie Shore, Ex on the Beach and even The Valleys. Not my finest hour(s) but sometimes you need a bit of trash television to offset all the hard hitting dramas and documentaries you love watching. And with that sentiment I was finally backed into a corner and lamented. I watched Love Island.
I literally know nothing about the show, except a bunch of single young people go to some villa and then the show kind of writes itself. Well, so I thought. I was shocked to learn that there is some kind of format and that actually by the end of the series there's a winner? How do you win a dating show? I don't even want to find out to be honest. Forgive me, as I write this I don't want to come off snobbish or judgemental, if you watch Love Island and enjoy it then I am happy for you. It's just... I dunno, there's something quite sinister about getting entertainment from other people's emotional rollercoasters but I DO understand it. And I think a lot of us project ourselves onto these people so will somehow feel a but more attached and invested into what's happening. And the role of reality television in the entertainment industry is an interesting one and throws up all kinds of questions regarding human nature, voyeurism and ethics. But that's not what I want to talk about.
So I watched the second episode of the latest series and the first thing that struck me was I didn't particularly find any of the women attractive. Of course that's not me claiming that any of these people aren't good looking, I just personally didn't feel as though any of the women were attractive and of course this is probably one of the biggest reasons why people watch the show. But aswell as this, the show was BORING. Now this might be down to it being only the second episode but there's only so much I can take of different couple having a rehash of the same conversations. Taking the show for what it is, I'm not expecting deep conversations about the human psyche but at the same time I need a bit more than "I like a cwtch", "Am I your type?", "There's just no banter." Out of the plethora of dating shows to grace our TVs it is a mystery to me as to why this is so popular.
But there are people that do enjoy it, there are people that sit down at 9pm every day (yes every day) to see the latest happenings in Casa Amor. And even then people stand on their moral pedestals and claim that two people on the show getting together is inherently wrong. I won't delve too deep into this but I find it confusing and a tad ironic that at the age of 18 we are given all this responsibility to make decisions about our own life but for some reason a 19 year old can't choose to get with a 27 year old. I also don't even think they know each others ages (but correct me if I'm wrong). Yes, there are a lot of instances where an older person getting with someone younger can be "problematic" but this doesn't make it inherent. And let's say this is a problem, how do you even combat that within the confines of the show. I feel like (past 18 years old) the age thing is all arbitrary. There are no clear lines or boundaries and people make up their own parameters which often don't make sense or are inconsistent.
Back to Love Island though, I was about to say the show is interesting, but it's not. Doesn't really offer up anything new, the people on it put themselves in the firing line for online ridicule but some may say it's worth it for the money they can earn off the back of it. And I feel in this regard there is a lot of resentment towards people that get their leg up through reality TV but at the same time, what is the actual issue? There are so many different ways in the world today to gain fame and fortune, I find it weird to hate on people that did it through a way I may not necessarily agree with. Unless you're doing something illegal or at the detriment of other people, get your bag, I don't care. A real case of don't hate the player, hate the game.
Let's also not neglect to talk about the very real problems Love Island causes. With a series of suicides stemming from the show, accusations of harassment from the public and abuse from people in the show it makes you wonder how it is still on air. The easy answer, as much as people won't admit it, that is all irrelevant. Because yeah sure we can show sympathy for all the controversy surrounding the show, but that all pales in comparison to our addiction of finding out who strangers decide to hook up with. The average human is more perverse than you think and we are actually willing to look the other way in a lot of instances. And I am in no way trying to state that people who watch the show are somehow supporting the negativity that has stemmed from the series but it's always important to be cognisant of the very real trauma people have experienced from something you are enjoying.
And actually I think a lot of us have maybe now become blind to the damage the show is causing to our own mental health. With amplified issues of self perception and body positivity plaguing the youth today, putting seemingly "attractive" humans in front of us every night, after scrolling through the instagram "perfectness" for a whole day can take a real toll on your mental health. Desires to constantly compare ourselves to these people and sometimes going to dangerous measures to attain this look it's important to remove yourself and take stock. I mean, man like Davide. I have never in my life seen a guy like that out and about. And even if I had it wouldn't be often. Real life isn't Instagram and it's certainly not on some make believe island, it's where you are. And even though social media and TV can function as an escape from the tolls of society, they're also fleeting. Your life will never be in an Instagram post, it will never be in an hours worth of edited television, it's in the 24 hours you live every single day @Molly-Mae. So fill it with things that matter.
To conclude, I probably won't be watching Love Island again, but I am glad I can now say that I saw it and have actively decided to decline as opposed to always wondering what it was about. If you're an avid fan, I hope it continues to give you what you want from it.