How did that happen? How did I become a Love Island fan?
The whole Love Island experience has completely passed me by for the last three years. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I was the smug-faced one who smiled knowingly and commented that it didn’t interest me and it wasn’t the sort of thing I would watch. And it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to the lure of reality television but Love Island just didn’t appeal. Last summer, I was oblivious, I knew who Kem and Chris were afterwards as they seemed to appear everywhere but I didn’t feel as though I had missed out and I was very smug that my summer evenings were spent doing so much more interesting things.
This year, the boys starting talking about Love Island about a week before it started. There was lots of hype and a lot of their friends were discussing it in school. They are 12 and 14 and the thought of a program with scantily clad women appealed to them as much as keeping up with what their friends were talking about. I get it. They are male, they are starting to appreciate the female form and I wasn’t overly concerned and to be honest, I thought that they would get bored after a week.
They don’t watch hardly any TV now. I think that can be said of many of their generation. YouTube is their television They would rather watch their favourite YouTubers and it is very rare that they both sit down to watch something together that isn’t sport related. So in the spirit of spending some quality time with them, I decided to join in.
Four weeks in and the novelty hasn’t worn off and in fact, we were all on the edge of our seats last night waiting for love-rat Josh to walk in and break the lovely Georgia’s heart. You see, I have been well and truly sucked in too. I didn’t see it coming, I thought I could watch it and walk away. Not a chance. I am there with the boys berating the Adam for his womanising ways and Megan’s total lack of concern for anyone else’s feelings. We all think Alex is far too nice, to the point now that he is boring and we all applauded Dani and Jack when they were reunited last night.
We are invested. I am invested. I can’t quite believe it. But more than anything, I am enjoying sharing it with my sons. It is really interesting to see how they have moved on from seeing it as a great opportunity to see ‘fit women in bikinis’ to discussing the personalities and relationships.
It isn’t real life, of course, it isn’t. It is a game show essentially but what I like about it is that there these people have to talk to each other. There is no texting, no social media, so they have to deal with things face to face; the arguments, the breakups and everything else and I think that is good for these teens who live inside their phones to see. It is also a good opportunity to discuss with them how certain behaviour affects people, such as making comments, back-stabbing and cheating and I hope that they have gleaned something positive out of watching this side of things.
In the meantime, I can’t believe I am excited to watch it again tonight to see the fall-out from last night and I never thought I would say that. Who needs football when you have Love Island?