We tried to resist the idea that Love Island would become part of the constant fabric of our culture at the start of this summer, didn't we? "It won't be the same this year," we said, feebly. "It won't be as good as the heatwave year, with Pink Alex, and Jack, and Dani. That bit where Georgia went calypso because Josh shagged Kaz." I bet you said this, didn’t you: "I might not even watch it this year, you know. It’s just not going to be as good." You said that. I know you said that. You pretended you were above it. And now look. You’re thinking about cancelling your birthday party so you can watch tonight's episode instead of standing outside a pub.
Here’s what went on this week. I’ll sprinkle some memes through it so you don’t have to read too many words.
CURTIS THE HEALER
I think the opening weeks of Love Island are so enjoyable because they synthesise a very rare feeling from real life, which is the heady meeting-lots-of-people-at-once feeling of Fresher’s Week, or the first day at a new job, and the rarer sub-feeling of finding out, a few days or weeks later, that your first impression of someone was entirely fucking wrong.
I'll admit it: I loathed Curtis the first day he came into the villa – his mannerisms, his sexlessness, the shuddering word-pair "young lady". Twelve days later, here is a text message I just sent: "i would die for curtis". The man is a saint. He is an angel sent from heaven. He is as devoted to Amy as some 40 years-strong couple of high school sweethearts. He offers the boys solid, sound advice and motivational speeches. He broke up an argument because he recognised it wasn’t healthy. I would die for you, Curtis. Motivate me, mate! Tell me I’m good!
IS MAURA IS THE HORNIEST AND MOST CHAOTIC ENERGY EVER PUT ON NATIONAL TELEVISION?
Well, yes. End of section. But I think it's important to recognise that – though Thursday night’s episode was arguably the greatest hour of TV ever made, fuck your "Pine Barrens" – it wasn’t supposed to go like that. The trick of putting two girls in the villa and making the rest of the villa’s women watch from on high on a balcony is an old Love Island trope: it is designed to bring out ugly, festering feelings of jealousy they didn’t really realise they had; it’s meant to bring insanity bubbling to the surface from the deep. But I don’t think anyone expected Maura to be quite so aggressively horny. She was like a guided missile of shagger energy. She is so chaotic we had to have a whole episode dedicated to the 90-minute period after everyone met her, because she span so many heads round 560 degrees. Her thumb is constantly between her teeth. She is going to shag Tommy Fury down to mince. She is already historically the horniest shagger to ever go on TV, and she has yet to even shag on TV. When she does – where this energy now goes, like tectonic plates shuddering beyond an earthquake – I fear will lead to either Molly-Mae (who she could kill) or Tommy (who she could also kill) leaving the villa in an ambulance.
THE FUCKING BREAD
I truly love Tommy but he needs to be in care
THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT FEMALE IIWII
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Primark are right now printing "IT IS WHAT IT IS" T-shirts en masse, but the anthem of the summer has mainly tumbled out of male mouths: Michael and Sherif both coined it on Day #1, and somehow it’s grown legs and horrible arms from there, dropped tactically by the boys each and every time they get pied.
It’s rarely been deployed effectively by the villa’s women, though, until last night: Molly-Mae, stunned into submission by Maura and planning a screaming match with Tommy, dressed in electric neon and suddenly fragile, murmured iiwii quietly to Curtis and Danny, and it felt significant. "It is what it is," she said, all the breath leaving her body at once. "It is what it is," Danny saluted back. "It is what it is" contains universes. Its meaning encapsulates the world.
WE HAVE FORGOTTEN ALREADY THAT SHERIF DIED ON THE CROSS FOR WANKING
Seems a thousand lifetimes ago now, doesn’t it? Seems like a memory faded after a hundred years. It happened on Tuesday. Sherif got wanked out of the villa* on Tuesday.