Why Are We So Obsessed With Love Island?
Will we ever be able to tear our eyes away?!
It’s 9pm and you’ve had a long day. You know that you should probably go for a walk, or catch up on that book you started reading two months ago, or maybe call your mam to check-in. But instead, you cosy up on the couch, turn on Virgin Media and watch Love Island – again.
The annual (sometimes bi-annual) reality TV show has been massively popular since its first season in 2015. It’s currently the 2nd most-watched programme in its time slot. But why are we obsessed with watching people basically going on holidays for 8 weeks?
There’s nothing wrong or unusual about watching reality TV, we all have our guilty pleasures that help us relax. But why is Love Island specifically so popular with viewers? Is it because it only happens once or twice a year? Is it the outfits and the style that catches our attention? Or is it the attractive twenty-something-year-olds strutting around in bikinis and shorts all day?
Aside from looking good and getting a tan, the goal of Love Island is to find love. But with a 50k cash prize on the line, a partner in crime to keep you in the running is good enough for most. The show is about tactics, and convincing not only the viewers but the other contestants to ensure your safety in the villa.
Should you stick with the first person you’re coupled up with but risk becoming vulnerable if they get voted off? Or do you keep your options open but risk being voted off for not having a strong connection with your partner? It’s a bit of a balancing act.
As viewers, we are drawn to the drama. Since we only see these people through our television screen, it’s almost like they are fictional characters, not real people. We revel in the drama and deceit that plays on our television every night.
No matter how much we might disagree with the contestants 0r suspect that it’s contrived, we can’t stop watching it. In fact, the more dishonesty and drama, the better. If we think a boy is going to kiss someone else’s girl in tonight’s episode, we’ll be sitting on the couch at 9pm with a cup of tea waiting to see what’s going to happen.
Aside from the dramatics, another reason for our obsession with Love Island is the romance. You’re probably thinking; “What’s romantic about 10 people playing beer pong and giving each other sloppy kisses?” But it’s true that there’s a fairytale element that the show is selling and viewers are buying. Are you telling us you don’t remember Tommy’s adorable speech on the terrace when he asked Molly-Mae to be his girlfriend?
Think about the stories you heard as a child. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. Boy and girl overcome challenges. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl and boy live happily ever after. And it all happens in a fantasy land, ‘far far away’.
These stories shaped our childhood, and made us believe in the power of love through adversity. So it’s no wonder even as adults we still have a soft spot for a romance story, even if it is in the form of a reality dating show. As much as we may hate to admit it, we’re all hopeless romantics at heart. The show is based on the idea of finding love, and the viewers naturally root for it.
Is it really a mystery why we love watching random people travel to a luxury villa in a tropical climate in the hopes of finding love? We think not… and either way, we don’t care!
Love Island airs tonight at 9PM on Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Player, proudly sponsored by Virgin Mobile
Love Island content on Stellar.ie brought to you by Boots Ireland.
Boots Ireland has recoupled with Love Island as the official Beauty Partner for the third season in a row and has stocked the villa with everything the Islanders need to Find The One.
Boots Ireland is encouraging you to find the ones you’ll fall in love with by shopping the villa exclusively on Boots.ie – you can shop the Islander’s favourites from brands including Shark, Elemis, Fenty, Huda, 17, MAC, No7, Soltan, Soap & Glory and many more