A rare thing happened this week. I agreed with Piers Morgan. Usually when Piers opens his mouth, all I want to do is staple his lips together, but when he tweeted that the reality TV show Love Island was “brain dead TV for sex crazed, money grabbing, amoral wastrels”, I cheered.
The programme should carry a health warning as I am sure my IQ has depleted since viewing it. If I were a dictator I would make viewing Love Island mandatory in order to ensure the masses stayed down.
The ITV2 show is worryingly popular and dominates the pages of major news websites. It’s the new Big Brother but infinitely worse. The basic premise is that girls and boys share a beach house in Majorca. Upon arrival, they “couple up”, meaning they’re paired together and given a double bed to share for the night. I won’t depress you with further details, but I think the general idea is that eventually a couple who both agree that the other is “well fit” and manage to avoid eviction from the island win a lot of money.
Not very much happens in an episode, just inane conversation about abs, lads and gals, but there is usually some sort of toe-curling challenge. In one episode the ladies were asked to perform the revolting task of breaking a watermelon with their behinds while the lads looked on. One contestant, Georgia, just couldn’t get the hang of it, lamenting: “It’s the first time my bum has ever let me down.”
Love Island exploits women’s natural desire for monogamy and uses this for entertainment value. Fans can watch a woman weep because the chap who adored her only yesterday is now bored and pursuing another girl.
The men suffer too. When muscley Adam steals contestant Kendall from cheeky-chappy Niall, Niall muses that Adam “has got the abs but I’ve got the chat. I feel like if you meshed us both together …” No one really knows where Niall is going with this solution but there’s definitely a flaw in it.
Love Island does not even qualify as trash TV. It’s worse than that: it’s the bin juice that leaks from that annoying hole in the bin liner right before it splits. The programme encourages people to be at their most salacious and cynical, and all in pursuit of a cash prize. It’s nice but naive girls sobbing over sociopathic men and then, for extra humiliation points, being obliged to break melons with their bottoms. It is not a Love Island, it’s a Smut Island.