Anyone else feel like there's something a bit… off? We're now two full weeks into the Winter Love Island Experiment®, and I can't help but think we're just going through the motions. So much of what feels novel during the summer – the sexy dancing challenge, boys performatively cooking eggs for the objects of their desire, "shall we go for a chat?" – is just… getting a bit tedious.
This is obviously because we've not had long enough to miss Love Island (familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt), and therefore it's easier to become bored of what, really, is a pretty repetitive format. However, because this is fundamentally a programme about creating rivalries among Brits who have, by virtue of being in captivity, had their alcohol tolerance steadily lowered to the point they get kind of aggy off 1x wine, there is still some magic that manages to shine through: Rebecca refusing to engage with "girl code"; the genuinely delightful Jess; the fact that "Connagh with a G" was christened "Connagh with a G".
Love Island, try as ITV might, is not dead yet – but only because of its humanity, not its glossiness. Basically, what I'm saying is: they should let them smoke by the fire pit again and put Maura and Megan Barton-Hanson back in. Human touches, you know? In lieu of that, however, here's the lay of the (is)land this week:
Rebecca – or, to give her her proper title, Miss Newcastle 2018/2019, Sixth Place in Miss England 2019 – is a bonafide beer drinkin', one-of-the-boys Cool Girl. She also happens to look almost exactly like Kendall Jenner, and as a result gives not one single fuck. This has rattled some Islanders *cough* Siânnise *cough* a fair bit.
The trouble began when Rebecca chose Luke T – who Siânnise was intending to pick – in the re-coupling that saw sweet Connagh sent packing. This led to an extremely fuming Siânnise zipping around the villa with the sort of energy observed only in women who are about to throw a drink on someone in a Slug and Lettuce, before confronting Rebecca (i.e., saying: "You could have handled it differently" loads, without explaining exactly what "it" is).
Rebecca, as only a Cool Girl can, essentially allowed her to have a tantrum while sort of just sitting there in a wide-brimmed hat (an item of clothing only Cool Girls can pull off), going, "Yeah," while displaying the sort of confidence that only comes with being crowned the winner of Miss England’s first Bare Faced Top Model segment.
At any rate, it is a truth universally acknowledged that any man Rebecca shows interest in will jump ship, due to the dark power she wields. Like Darth Vader, but with hair like a very, very well-maintained Shetland pony.
THE SOPHIE-PAIGE-LEANNE TRIUMVIRATE
Though Rebecca is interestingly challenging the balance of Friend Island this season, I enjoy seeing my babes Sophie, Paige and Leanne gossiping on the balcony like they're on a free period in sixth form or something. Really excited to feel genuine warmth when I see them commenting flame emojis on each other's posts when they’re all out of the villa.
When she was in the villa with her twin sister, Jess' personality was hidden a little bit, probably because the twins didn't spend very long mixing with the wider group of girls. So it's nice that, since Eve was booted out, Jess has come into her own as what I will scientifically deem a Cute Lady, and even bagged herself a nice lad who looks like he does the covers circuit under the stage name "Dustin Beaver". Good for her!
THE VARIOUS FAST FASHION ADVERTS THEY KEEP PLAYING IN THE BREAKS
This has definitely stepped up a gear this season – I've seen TV ads for Miss Pap, I Saw It First, Missguided and Nasty Gal so far this year, which is definitely more than last time – and sort of adds to my feeling that Love Island is collapsing in on itself a bit.
It's fairly clear that the couples don't really like each other that much – negating the "I'm in here for love" line that contestants usually trot out to conceal the fact that what they're actually in there for is a million Instagram followers and a £25,000 charcoal toothpaste endorsement – and this, along with the ramped-up fast fashion advertising, makes it feel more like a conveyor belt than ever.
I like my nightly, heavily-formatted and edited reality TV with a bit of soul – or at the very least an attempt to conceal the fact its sole purpose is to sell me shit, goddamn it!
See the "REBECCA" section. Usually I respect the furious women of Love Island, but Disney Adult Siânnise is unfortunately more "Hi .@BritishAirways I was not boarded on the plane in my correct group, I would like a full refund @TheSun @BBCNews" than Lady Macbeth-esque scorned woman proper.
THE COUNTRY OF WALES
I miss u so much ur wiv the angels (where "angels" is "a DMs folder that is literally fit to bursting") now xxXxx
THE VERY CONCEPT OF COUPLES, HONESTLY
The thing about doing a season of Love Island over the course of just six weeks is that it gives the couples even less time to form genuine bonds with each other, and also that it probably encourages individual contestants to quickly jump into couples that not even they are particularly convinced by.
Now, the Great Deception of Love Island feels plain. Surely nobody on the show can sincerely regard being there as anything other than a savvy career move? You appear on Love Island to become famous enough to be able to go to Chiltern Firehouse once a week, and, if you’re lucky, get on TOWIE. The fact there are basically no convincing couples (Leanne and Mike at a push?) simply confirms that more solidly than ever.