To Binge or Not to Binge Episode 69: ‘Love Island’


Hannah Allred

(Graphic by Hannah Allred | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Arielle Gulley, Arts Writer


There are certain television shows that manage to challenge us intellectually, or require large amounts of thought and attention from their audiences in order to fully comprehend the storyline. While those intense political dramas or concentrated murder mysteries are exciting and hold a place in my heart, more often times than not, I can be found watching my ultimate genre of choice — reality television. Reality shows are perfect for any occasion. For the times when you need to fill the silence but don’t want to pay attention to a complex plot, or for when you’re needing some genuine entertainment, one of the best reality shows of our time is without a doubt “Love Island.”

The show began in the United Kingdom and has since had spinoffs in many countries, including the United States and Australia. The original is by far the best of them all, though. The show follows a similar layout to most of our favorite reality series. You have strangers living in a villa, brought together in the hope that they will find love and possibly even win a cash prize.

I began the show with expectations that I was going to get something similar to “Bachelor in Paradise,” but with British accents. The show surprised me, however. The concept differed from typical dating shows by having contestants become a couple with one another and then attempt to find love while already being coupled up. Drama unfolds as the days go on when new people come into the villa and new connections are made. If someone comes into the villa and decides they want to get to know someone who is already in a couple, they’re free to do so. Between the contestants forming connections and competing in challenges and the viewers voting people off of the island, the delicious chaos is never-ending.


To Binge or Not to Binge?

“Saturday Night Live” said it best when they performed a “Love Island” skit in October, “You will watch 50 hours of this. You think you won’t, but you will.” With an average season length of about 40 episodes, it’s as if the show was developed for the sole purpose of bingeing. The more you watch, the more you become engrossed in the lives of the people in the villa. There’s a connection that grows between viewers and the contestants and their well-being becomes important for those of us watching. They transcend from reality stars in our eyes to more distant friends who we just want to see happy and in love.

While having an emotional connection to the contestants makes for great television, a warning I would share to potential viewers is to be careful. Speaking as someone who has watched and gotten overly attached to these people, one episode could make or break your mood for the rest of the day. You’ll be watching an episode where your favorite couple is happy and fully committed to one another and life is good. Then, by the next episode, a new beautiful person will come into the villa and inevitably stir the pot, make everyone doubt their relationship and force you into emotional turmoil. The dynamic is constantly changing as relationships amongst the islanders are evolving and developing. It’s a show full of attractive people in a villa that is filled with an abundance of sexual tension, humorous banter and confrontation. It’s messy but absolutely fantastic.


Best Episode

This show is not one I would recommend watching out of order or starting in the middle. While there are certain episodes that may garner more emotion than others, the constant character developments and changing layout could be hard to follow if not watched in order. However, which season you choose to watch first shouldn’t matter. My favorite season, rather than an episode, is the fifth. The characters are loveable and endearing, even when they seem to make the worst decisions. Every episode seems to be filled with an influx of drama.


Similar Shows

“The Bachelor,” “Bachelor in Paradise,” “The Bachelorette,” “Big Brother,” “Ex on the Beach,” “Temptation Island” and “Are You the One?”


Trigger Warnings

This show has strong language and mature content.


4.5 out of 5 stars

Available to stream on Hulu

5 seasons, about 270 episodes, approximately 200 hours total


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