It’s that time of year again folks. Like clockwork as 8:45 rolls around, I sit battling the feminist voice in my head and my need for a bit of mind numbing guilty pleasure. By 9 o’clock I will have succumbed to putting ITV2 on but ‘only until the first break’ and by 9:10 I am fully engrossed. Like millions of other people this year’s Love Island has got me gripped. As I am reminded on a daily basis at work that ‘it was the most watched thing by young people last year’ and it appears this year is heading in the same direction. Four million people tuned in on the opening night.
It isn’t just an hour of my life every day that Love Island has taken over. No, no. If I am not in deep heated group discussions about how to pronounce Eyals name or tagging people in Adams wandering eye memes, I am trying to convert my parents/ co-workers/ people on the train to join the cause with me.
And the worst part about this fixation is I have no idea why I enjoy Love Island so much. It stands for everything I generally avoid. It is just a poor excuse for a social experiment where women are packed into an evil villa and encouraged to run around in bikinis in the hope to impress some horrid jacked-up man boys who are really more interested in sucking up to the worst one in the pack (yes Adam we are looking at you).
Despite, obviously, tuning in every single night this year feels a little different. Whereas in years gone by we have had the light relief of Marcels references to Blazin Squad, Camilla explaining feminism to Johnny or Cara and Nathan being…Cara and Nathan, this year seems to have centred solely on Adams mission to be the smuggest fuck boy that has ever graced our screens.
At times it has made for really uncomfortable watching because, yes these people have applied to spend 6 weeks with people they pretend to like (or love) in a bid to win £50,000 but emotional manipulation isn’t fun to watch.
Maybe I am being over sensitive because I know a lot of us have been there. Adam is every guy you first started seeing when you moved to university. You had just moved away from home. You had are in a house full of strangers and the only other person you thought you had loved was your childhood sweet heart. ‘Adam’ swoops in all shiny and new on the outside looking nothing like the boys that you know back home and he knows all the right things to say. Then, when he inevitably joins the rugby/football/ hockey/ water polo team and realises he’ll have girls on tap at the sports night out he freezes you out, tells you you’re the crazy one for being paranoid and you never hear from him again. In fact the only thing different between Adam and your first uni boyfriend is Adam wouldn’t actually have time to go to lectures because time learning is wasted when he could be pulling girls.
The way Adam treated Rosie- smirking at her as she told him that she felt used by him all but reminded me of how Zara was treated after Alex slept with her and look how that ended up. He is getting a wedding spread in OK and she has disappeared. As much as we may not like it, we excuse these boys behaviour because they’re nice to look at.
It is for all of these reasons that Adam is the perfect Love Island contestant. And his family are playing it right too taking #teamRosies side. He has started a national debate- as if we weren’t already talking about Love Island enough. Whilst I love Alex- and believe me I really do, a whole villa of doctors just like him would make for very polite, respectful TV. That isn’t why we watch Love Island. You can’t sell the premise of a 6 week free holiday in a luxury villa with obscenely attractive housemates and not expect the slimiest, best looking snakes to be attracted. Adam is Love Islands Frankenstein. He is not a nice person- regardless of the fact of whether this is all an act. But whilst we need Love Island (and I really do) we will continue to create and excuse more people like him.