Sunday, 2 July 2017

The summer of Love (Island)

This summer a new crew of tanned, toned wannabes descended on a luxury villa in the Balearic Isles for ITV2's Love Island. As with previous years, I was hooked from the first episode. I'm not the only person to feel this way. Love Island has captured the nation's attention in an extraordinary way, social media is awash with commentary and national newspapers are providing daily coverage. Celebrities like Liam Gallagher and Adele have even confessed to watching the show.

There are, of course, the naysayers. Those who think that watching reality TV is the same as eating junk food: unhealthy and ultimately dangerous consumption. It riles me that some people snobbishly profess that educated and intelligent people shouldn't enjoy so-called 'trash-tv' so here are 5 reasons why I love Love Island, and why you should too:

1. While I don't have much in common with the contestants in terms of protein consumption and hours spent at the sunbeds, there have been many moments of real, raw emotion this season that I can relate to. The Camilla/Jonny/Tyla love triangle played out like a biopic based on my teenage years while Olivia's drunk alter-ego is a girl we all know too well. The relationships these people are forming are sincere and honest and are a pleasure to watch.

2. Softly-spoken and shy Camilla is the stand-out star of this year's Love Island. A rumoured former flame of Prince Harry, a humanitarian and a total babe to boot, Camilla has been kind and caring and completely true to herself. When the aforementioned Jonny (King of the snakes) rolled his eyes and asked Camilla if she was a feminist, she proudly proclaimed "Shouldn't we all be?". Truer words were never spoken.

3. I am not a person who is down with the kids and it wasn't too long ago that I had to Google the word 'bae' after seeing it pop up in countless places and having absolutely no idea what it meant. Love Island has allowed me a glimpse into the everyday vocabulary of the youth of today and I will now seamlessly use words like 'melt' and 'muggy' in all communications.

4. The unfeasibly buff bodies of the men and women of Love Island serve as a very harsh reminder that I should put down the cheese and crackers and pick up some sort of dumbbell. The girls' ability to be perfectly preened, wearing a full face of make-up in the blistering heat has discouraged me from going to Sainsbury's in my pyjamas on more than one occasion.

5. In a world that is full of darkness, where almost every day we are confronted with sadness and tragedy, Love Island is pure escapism. It knows it's not deep or symbolic but its entertaining editing and acerbic voice over make it a wonderful way to unwind after a long day.

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