And now that Bachelor in Paradise is over, I don’t know what to do with myself until The Bachelor airs. What couples can I gossip about at work like I actually know them?! Where will I learn about the hottest beach fashion?! What other show can I watch that has a nearly non-existent host who most definitely makes more money in a day than I do in probably a year?!
Never fear Bachelor Nation: Love Island is here.
Disclaimer: as far as I know it’s only available in the US on Hulu. So wipe your brow if you already have it and start that free trial now if you don’t!
Other Disclaimer: There is lots of swearing in this show…it’s great.
What’s Love Island? I’m glad you asked.
It’s essentially a British Bachelor in Paradise…on steroids.
Turn on your subtitles people, because it’s about to get steamy. But you won’t understand unless you have your subtitles on. Seriously, I thought I understood a British accent but turns out the ones you hear in most shows and movies are quite affected, shall we say. Love Island is full of slang and colloquialisms that I do not get at all. I’m learning so much.
The premise of Love Island is that 6 guys and 6 girls are living in isolation in a villa in Mallorca trying to find love. They’re coupled up on the 1st day and the goal is to make it to the end of the show without being cut. You see, viewers get to vote on who they want to stay on Love Island, and who they want to go. And the couple that wins over viewers, in the end, win 50,000 pounds. But it’s not that simple.
Curveballs are thrown at the Islanders pretty much every day. New Islanders come in and shake things up, dates are awarded, couples are split up, rearranged, and eliminated. It’s pretty much chaos. And it’s great.
Since the viewers have the power, couples need to thinks strategically. Settle for friendship and win people over that way? Try to find a connection and hope it’s a winning one? Or really play the game and try to fake your love to get that money? The last one’s not a great bet since there are apparently 69 cameras in the house and your every move is recorded…but that sure doesn’t stop people!
I just finished the first season of Love Island (there are a whopping 34 episodes!) and it’s so much fun. I’ve seen people get pied, mugged off, grafted on, and still, we crack on. Yes, this is all British slang apparently.
Anyway, here are some of the fun bits about Love Island.
The Voice of Love Island: Iain Sterling
Love Island has a physical host, Caroline Flack, who appears randomly throughout the episodes, and hosts a live recap episode every week (which I promptly skip…not necessary when you’re binging!). She’s no Chris Harrison, but never fear because Iain Sterling is here. Iain Sterling is the all seeing, all hearing voice of Love Island. He’s our tongue-in-cheek narrator who brings the sass and the sarcasm. He is everything. Also, he’s quite cute IRL despite his narration that claims he can’t get dates…
Love Island Phone Home
Unlike The Bachelor where it’s all producer interviews, the Islanders are left to their own devices and solely get communication from the outside world through their Love Island phones. You can’t call mum or dad, but the evil producers can contact you and ruin your whole day.
The Islanders find out about challenges, dates, and recouplings through these phones, and the reactions they have when they receive a text is similar to my reaction to texts back when I was dating: elation, horror, fear, gas, etc. Dating is exhausting, y’all. Even on Love Island.
Social Media Influencers
This is an area where The Bachelor should take a page from the Love Island guide, and include social media on their show. No, contestants don’t get to look at each other’s Facebook pages or Instagram feeds, but it is a part of their entry package and we get snips of it when we’re introduced to each contestant. It’s also worked into the format of the show. Viewers use social media to vote for who they want to stay or go, and the contestants even had a mean tweets segment about themselves which was one of my favorite scenes from the whole first season. Watch the clip below. It’s fun.
It’s fun in that it proves this show doesn’t exist in a bubble. It airs real-time, so much like Bachelor in Paradise where people come in throughout the season, contestants who come in have been watching the show and can see all the crap people spew in their private interviews and whispered chats. And they’ve had a chance to creep on their social media. It feels much more interactive and adds the opportunity for more drama, which is never a bad thing for these kinds of shows.
The Sound of Music
A small, but strangely important detail of the show is their use of music. Somehow this show got the rights to use tons of popular music. We’re talking Adele, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and MORE! And bless the soul of whoever does the music coordination because they are a genius. See the mean tweets clip above. They need a raise.
Again, the music serves to make the show more in tune with the time that it was made. It’s the music that’s on the radio and it works so well with this format. When they played Adele’s Turning Tables at an emotional moment I almost cried. If that’s not good TV I don’t know what is.
Get Your Binge On
So have I convinced you to watch yet? Fingers crossed I have!
Love Island is the perfect show if you’re looking for a fun, mindless, drama-filled reality show. It’s the perfect continuation of your Bachelor Nation obsession. It’s a bit more crass, more crazy, and much harder to understand for the not British viewer. What more could you want?