Wednesday 20 September 2017

Colette Fitzpatrick: 'Love Island is something bright, shiny, funny and hopeful in these sometimes grim times'

Love Island’s Chris and Olivia (ITV)
Love Island’s Chris and Olivia (ITV)

Colette Fitzpatrick

Next Monday is D-Day. After a seven-week run, and after knocking it out of the ball park ratings-wise, Love Island is finally coming to an end.

It’s finale night on Monday, when we find out which couple has won. If you haven’t been watching, you’re the only one. If you have and you’re of a certain age, you’ll feel old. Very old. Possibly appalled. Or possibly sad for humanity.

For the uninitiated, Love Island is a British reality television programme where a preen of beautiful people spend time on an island to find love (insert “have sex” here) and/or win money.

This season a second villa was introduced to the show for the first time to mix things up a bit.

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Love Island’s Camilla (ITV)

It is “stack em up”, “pile em high”, trashy, addictive, compelling, tacky, reality television.

It’s all false eyelashes, skimpy swimwear and muscles – and great TV.

It’s less love that’s deep and meaningful, it’s more shallow and meaningless.

In case the beautiful people don’t get the hint, the production company has helpfully stuck a few stickers or stencils around the place: the bath says “wet”, the tap says “drip”, kitchen sideboards say “spicy” and “yum”.

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Love Island contestants (ITV)

Reality television is shorthand these days for sleeping your way to the middle ground of fame.

It’s the road to tabloid shame and glory; to being loved and loathed, sending you into therapy and redemption via a confessional interview with Holly and Phillip.

Some of this year’s contestants are likeable, even lovable. They are in-your-face and honest and mostly care about nothing other than looking good, having a good-looking girlfriend and boyfriend and money and fame. You’ve got to admire their vapid, straight up honesty (one of them gets slagged for reading books). But some do seem genuinely to want to find love.

The girls seem to be quite fond of one another and not competitively bitchy.

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Love Island’s Marcel and Gabby (ITV)

Current odds suggest that Gabby and Marcel are the most popular couple to win the series, with odds of 6/5. Jamie, Alex and Kem are the next most popular boys, with partners Camilla, Montana and Amber the most popular girls.

The best storyline revolves around the on-off relationship with Olivia Attwood and Chris Hughes. Officially an item, it was then revealed that Olivia had made a play for someone else, leaving the Twittersphere convulsed. Was she a fake? Their exes, in real life, have weighed in and it’s a bunfight.

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Love Island’s Chris and Olivia (ITV)

There’s loads of merch if you’re really deep into Love Island. Mugs, T-shirts, bags and phone covers, all available online and in Penneys.

Stop the Love Island rollercoaster, I want to get off. Or maybe just one more episode. It is, after all, something bright, shiny, funny and hopeful in these sometimes grim times.

Love conquers all, as do television ratings.

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