What’s so special about Love Island?

As Love Island is coming to an end of it’s 3rd series, it’s time to answer the question what’s so special about Love Island that it kept us hooked up for so many weeks, including Liam Gallagher and Stormzy?

The show is a reboot of Celebrity Love Island which aired in 2005 and 2006. Few years ago producers got a brilliant idea of refreshing the format by replacing celebs with real people and introducing Caroline Flack as a new host.

For past 7 weeks Flack and the squad were entertaining us, making us laugh and cry and sometimes almost giving the audience a heart attack.

Gabby & Marcel, Love Island 2017

People watch it for many reasons: they identify with characters, everybody else is watching it or simply out of boredom like me. 9PM is my guilty pleasure time when I’m watching the show that I hate and like at the same time.

I like it because its simple format allows me to reset my brain after a long day, it doesn’t need my full attention or focusing on the action.

Speaking of action… There’s plenty of it. Well drama mainly but let’s be honest, who doesn’t like some big, good, old fashioned drama? People love being noisy and we are great observers too. Awaiting in tension with a mouth full of popcorn “will she find out they dissed her?”, “will he know hat a sneaky game player she is?” and going back to your life once the show is over as if that one hour didn’t happen.

But there’s so much more to it that makes me hate it. It’s a parade of vanity and dumbness praising the beauty standards set by the media. Apparently the islanders are representation of “real people” but let’s be honest, half of the society doesn’t look like this! People are not running around showing off their perfect bodies, whipping their hair full of extensions back and forth.

There’s no representation of LGBTQ community and you won’t find representation of minorities (unless you agree with producers that throwing 1 black guy to the villa will do).

Amber, Love Island 2017

Like many reality TV programs Love Island has brought controversy. Last year’s season got 39 complaints regarding sex scenes and smoking, Miss GB got stripped off her title, not mentioning misrepresentation of 20-something singles (unless people my age really act like teenagers 24/7) and display of sexism.

Oh God, when Jonny couldn’t understand the concept of feminism and gender equality I was debating throwing my flat screen through the window or flying to the island to lecture him.

So why spending  6 hours a week watching it? Because it’s fun! We want contestants to find love, to keep our fingers crossed for them during voting. We want to judge people on the screen and believe we’re better than them. Regarding the judging contestants, many viewers take it to Twitter for the whole world to see. Even ITV is encouraging conversation by reminding viewers to use the hashtag.


But soon it will be over. Monday 24th July the public will vote their favourite couple, they’ll win money and possibly love. We will take a brake from grafting, types on paper and hearing about keeping all eggs in one basket.

Personally, I think it’s incredible how ITV created a show that influenced our everyday language and usage of social media platforms, Twitter in particular, in only 7 short weeks.

However, I cannot wait for the show to end. Once the finale will air we no longer will be drawn to our TV screens. It will be a good time to go for a walk and who knows, maybe bumping into love of your life?


Autor: Carol Dabrowska, Office Manager at BellyflopTV. Carol is interested in “reading” films and TV programmes and analysing them from media professional’s POV.


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