My Love for Love Island

As much as I hate to admit it, I love Love Island. There’s not a show out there that’s made me feel such a range of emotions – The Bachelor, Love Island USA, Too Hot To Handle – none of them compare to the British train wreck I hold so close to my heart.

With a span of approximately 49 episodes a season, amounting to one big emotional rollercoaster, the show is the ultimate guilty pleasure. If you’re anything like me, you follow each season right from the get-go while simultaneously keeping up with its Twitter hashtag to see people bashing the series’ villain and cheering on the emancipated woman who’s just been “mugged off” after an intense Casa Amor recoupling. Because that’s a violation, who’s she to get pied while he’s cracking on with some new bird who turned his head even after he’d put all his eggs in her basket? Love Island makes me feel a little bit embarrassed, as the previous sentence could very well be thought of as a hate crime to the English language, on the other hand, it makes me feel excited that a fraction of readers might understand these references to the Islanders’ nonsensical twist on British jargon, thus reinforcing our little community.

Because Love Island is nothing if not a community – we’ve all dedicated a large portion of our Summer to watching a bunch of above-average looking people embark on new romantic relationships because of course, all of them are there for love and none for the fame. And while they’re going for chats and chinwags, building the foundation for these relationships, viewers at home are also forming meaningful connections with the islanders themselves. I love to feel represented by the socially awkward self-proclaimed “good guy” that can never get it right, but somehow still manages to stick around for two-thirds of the season, just as much as I love to witness the dumping of a man whose head gets turned by a new tall blonde bombshell every other episode, reminding me a little too much of my own dating history. By the end of every season, I’ll have crafted a personal psychoanalysis of every islander while ascribing complex characteristics to them, based solely on what I’ve gathered from their screen-time total of 7 minutes.

No matter how lowbrow, the show does an utterly perfect job at allowing one to unwind and forget all of life’s hardships. One of the most beautiful aspects of the show’s sheer genius is its capability to remind you of the genius within you. When high school had me in pits of despair over failed geography tests, making me doubt my competence and overall intelligence, nothing made me feel better than to turn on my favorite show and watch the season 4 contestants discuss whether Essex was a continent or country. They then proceeded to move on to the ever-so-vexed question: does Brexit mean that we won’t have any more trees? Both of these questions were posed by a singular islander, who, unfortunately, didn’t find love on the show. She did, however, assure me that I probably shouldn’t be so hard on myself and be grateful for the IQ I do possess. That is, of course, if I haven’t lost some of it watching the show.

– Barbora Machackova, 13808605


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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