Love Island is back but why do we love it so much?

Written by on 5th June 2018

It’s back! Yesterday saw the return of reality TV show Love Island, the programme which has become a massive hit and has developed a large following.

Before, during and after each episode, fans take to social media in their droves and in 2017, the show, now on its fourth series, gave ITV2 its highest-ever audience.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Love Island sees a group of singletons living in isolation in a Mallorca villa, constantly under video surveillance. To survive in the villa the contestants must be coupled up, with the overall aim of winning £50,000.

The new group of contestants includes Danny Dyer’s daughter, a doctor who is taking some time away from the accident and emergency ward, a design engineer and a model.

Dr Alex George got off to a particularly rocky start in last nights first installment when none of the ladies stepped forward to indicate any interest in him.

He selected air hostess Laura Anderson – but she rapidly ditched him for Wes Nelson.

But what is the secret recipe behind the success of the programme? We asked gender expert and Professor of Language and Culture at the University of Sunderland, Angela Smith, to give us her view.

“Firstly, there are a lot of dating and relationship shows on TV at present.  Love Island falls into this category, but is a cross between dating shows and another TV genre, the public involvement game show, best known through Big Brother. Therefore it has a recognisable format which immediately connects with viewers.” – Professor Angela Smith, University of Sunderland

Professor Angela Smith also says Love Islands connects as it’s trying to be something different.

“It has a much younger selection of participants, all of whom are conventionally attractive, particularly ‘bikini-ready’ in the case of the women.  This makes the show engaging to watch – in a world where the bikini or beach body is used as click-bait in online news“ – Professor Angela Smith, University of Sunderland

Love Island continues at 9pm on ITV2.

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