Hola! Get ready for fake tans, plucked eyebrows & beautifully coiffured hair -and that’s just the guys.
9GO!’s new perve-fest reality series Love Island is unashamedly trash telly that knows its audience. And disclaimer, disclaimer, I’m not it.
10 hotted up singles, straight from modelling and acting agencies, were pushed to pairing up by host and former Bachelorette Sophie Monk. “Where’s the bar?” and “Do my tits look good,” were amongst early first impressions.
The girls wore skimpy bikinis smaller than the wireless mike packs attached to their hips, but continuously subjected to arse shots as they approached the Love Island villa. Not just cookie-cutter casting, it became a challenge to discern between the three blonde girls.
When the muscled-up boys arrived the show got into its first format storypoint as Monk asked the girls to step forward if they were attracted to the boys. But Aussies are backward in coming forward and the opening segment was failing fast. “What’s wrong with you guys?” Monk asked them.
It was hashtag #totesawks until the numbers began to diminish and finally girls stepped up to the plate.
After Monk’s departure it was left to Irish narrator Eoghan “I agreed to work for Guinness” McDermott to link together the bonding sessions between the five couples. Only one couple Eden & Erin dispensed with inhibitions, acknowledging their physical attraction. But even Erin was focussed on whether Eden was a cheater.
Trust & fidelity, the natural enemies of gorgeous people, became a common theme….
We also learned not-gay Justin was a roo-eating “kangatarian,” Natasha has never been in a situation where she hasn’t been liked, Grant calls girls “mate,” Eden needs subtitles, phones have not been confiscated, and Charlie & Millie have dating history.
In the glam Spanish villa where every room is a chance to primp and preen, Eden & Erin got to first base under night cam, practically undeterred by their mood-killing roommates.
There were also ‘diary cam’ style confessions, gym workouts and a text message from Sophie (clearly too busy to front in person) to prepare for an evening party and surprise.
(Another) Blonde bombshell intruder Kim entered the villa ready to find a man, prompting Erin to sharpen her claws. With one female presumably facing elimination, it was a late drama arrival, but given the opening episode is focussed on establishing its cast, more should become regular.
Love Island isn’t trying to offer insightful or intellectual TV and so far has not hit the rock bottom of such shows as Geordie Shore. Sure it ticks the eye candy box, but it may prove challenging to gravitate to likeable participants. The format is almost identical to Paradise Hotel which aired in Australia on Nine.
While reality romances have had as hooked in the past, such as Marty & Jess on Big Brother, it was neither enforced nor accelerated. But with TV’s increasing short-attention span, Love Island responds to a different TV climate.
Lower your expectations, serve up the mojitos and mai tais, get your best memes and emojis ready. Love Island is here.
Love Island airs 8:30pm Sunday – Thursday on 9GO!