I joined the Love Island party late.
I’d missed the Liv-Chris-Muggy Mike triangle of drama and also why Kem and Amber had ‘broken up’. However I was in time to see them get things back on track after realising they did love each other, after all, *phew*
One thing I didn’t understand though, was the point of some Mancunian boy called Dom. He was apparently so in love with his girlfriend-of-five-seconds Jess, that he wept on camera in the show’s Big Brother-style Diary Room (in this case dubbed the Beach Hut) when she was ‘dumped’ from the island.
So why didn’t he leave with her? Instead, he ended up looking like that ex-workmate who left five years ago but still comes to the company summer picnic and Christmas party.
I would soon realise the answer was quite obvious – more airtime for the self-loving, tattooed hunk with teeth whiter and brighter than looking at direct sunlight with a hangover.
ANYWAY, I digress.
If you are one of those people who somehow, or if in some cases easily (how?) managed to escape being sucked in by the tales of what Montana’s chosen treat was that day, then let me explain the premise of Love Island to you. It really is as simple as you’ve heard.
A haggle of toned, tanned twentysomethings with expertly preened eyebrows and not-so-expertly preened potty mouths are put together to live in a villa in Mallorca in a bid to ‘couple up’ and fall in love with a member of the opposite sex.
Yes, I know. It’s a dreadful concept for a TV show, I mean , how silly and how so very vain. More than enough reason for me to resist religiously sitting down at 9pm each night to watch.
Until I stumbled across it one night flicking through the channels.
A fortunate error.
I’d like to think I’m a smart enough person to know better than to give up a chunk of my evenings to join the #LoveIsland Twitter debate, sniggering at people’s witty memes and revelling in voiceover man Iain Sterling’s scathing banter.
Like most, I rooted for my favourites from the start – bomb disposal expert and all-round good egg Camilla and my spirit animal Montana, who had a sharp tongue and loved a good snack – were my two girl picks.
The boys were mainly a bit ‘meh’ for me, but I was quickly drawn to Chris due to his accidental geekery and humour. He also had piercing blue eyes.
So, what is my point? Yes these people are just lazing around an infinity pool in swimwear, slapping on suncream and topping up their already excellent tans, occasionally heading to complete a silly task by stuffing hotdog sausages down said swimwear or playing beach volleyball like a scene from Baywatch.
But just like you like to hear about your best mate’s first date or gossip with your workmates about the lad you just met in a club who has asked you out, Love Island is a ridiculous way to watch romance blossom – or in my case, how NOT to do romance.
We’re all romantic. Even if we are not open or public about it. We all want to be loved. We all want happiness for our loved ones and trust me, if you dedicate an hour at least each night to watching a group of strangers you will probably never meet, then you deserve to get something out of your investment.
And that reward is seeing love blossom. It’s Amber’s face when ballsier than ballsy new girl Georgia picks her rival’s beau Kem at the recoupling ceremony. It’s seeing cute country boy Chris get oddly attached to a fake baby called Cash. It’s seeing Calvin Klein model Jamie turn out to be the the LITERAL man of our beloved timid Camilla’s dreams.
It’s the unlikely bromance between Essex hairdresser Kem and Chris ( and honourary member of the ‘mance, grime star Stormzy).
None of these things are groundbreaking or going to test anyone’s intellect. But it won’t do them any damage, either.
That’s the beauty of British TV, pop culture and social media – people don’t have to watch, hundreds of other channels are available and there are millions more people with other interests to follow on Twitter.
It’s alright to switch off from the world to contemplate where Gabby got her dress from, who Theo was going to piss off next or how anyone ever thought Cam and painfully-awkward Jonny were a good match.
It’s pure escapism.
And I very much enjoyed gossiping with the Love Island community on Twitter.
I didn’t particularly care who won and I won’t really take much interest in whether the couples stay together or what beauty product they are plugging this week.
For me, my Love Island experience ended when Caroline Flack named Kem and Amber the winners.
Which is weird, considering how much time I invested in these couples.
But all fairytales have to end and maybe Marcel and Gabby’s is just beginning, but until next May, in the words of MC Kem, I’ll a little bit leave it.