Love Island: does it represent British society?

Written by Jack Paul

There’s so much wrong with Love Island, Christ alive, but for some reason the only issue people seem to take with it is that it ‘isn’t representative of British society’ – that’s like taking fault with Hitler because he doesn’t recycle.

First of all, who is watching Love Island to get a sample of the British population? I think those professional individuals tasked with exploring British society might use more scientific means to gather their population sample than – say – using the contestants on a reality show. Funnily enough, the only thing you can find out about Britain from Love Island is that it is fucking doomed.

When has TV been a real representation of anything? Great British Bake Off doesn’t represent what it’s like to work in a Greggs you know. Naked Attraction doesn’t represent what it is like to go on a date, unless your date is an eccentric sex offender. Bargain Hunt might make antiques dealers out to be cuddly enthusiasts with a wealth of expertise but they are in fact drug-fuelled serial bigamists. My point is, why would anyone trust any television to depict any form of truth? Especially on a reality TV show, which resembles real life the way a dogshit-stained carpet might vaguely depict the virgin Mary.

The issues with Love Island are plentiful. Some have raised serious concerns about how the show is run, with such extreme manipulated techniques used as removing all clocks so contestants don’t know what time it is. Further issues over the mental health of past and current contestants were raised in the wake of Mike Thalassitis’ suicide, with some calls for the show to be cancelled altogether. Lest we forget what happened to Jeremy Kyle.

The show might have more flaws that the Burj Khalifa (a-thank you) but I actually don’t mind it. Not because I watch it, I don’t. In fact, I can’t. I recently tried but my body wouldn’t allow it. Like, you know when you know you really shouldn’t look at something, but your eyes flick over to that thing anyway? Well it was like the opposite of that, but my whole body left the room of its own volition. I genuinely don’t mind it thought, because, like visible tattoos, it’s a great way of knowing who to avoid.

I think the argument that Love Island isn’t a real representation of British life is, albeit the point of a moron, quite understandable. There is something poisonous about the idea of people copying behaviour they see on the show, or viewers having their reality warped by the ‘reality’ the show presents. However, if you are aware that what you are watching isn’t real then it is harmless. Like, I can watch Homer Simpson fall down Springfield Gorge because he’s a cartoon, but if I was watching a real man face the same fate I’d be completely insane.

For evidence that reality TV isn’t reality at all, here is Charlie Brooker demonstrating thus in a little educational video. Go on, learn something.