Prior to the new series of Love Island, ITV made proud pronouncements about all the extra measures in place to protect the mental well-being of contestants for the duration of the show and beyond.
All very laudable. But it did make me wonder whether anyone at ITV had looked at the situation and gone: “Hang on, if this show is so potentially damaging, wouldn’t it be safer to just not do it at all?”
Sadly, any such voices would have almost certainly been drowned out by the booming call of commercial necessity.
In simple terms, ITV could really do with Love Island’s revenue streams right now.
I’m guessing they call it taking care of the (bikini) bottom line. Well, Andi Peters can only run so many big money phone competitions in a day you know. Not that we should be too surprised to hear ITV talking the talk.
Pre-launch, we were even told:“We’re very mindful of inclusion and diversity and hopefully you’ll see that in the line-up.”
You can probably guess what happened next.
Monday night brought us 10 people who were roughly the same age as each other and who conformed to a physical stereotype you might call “beach body ready”.
Admittedly there were signs of diversity in bikini choice, with half the girls going for the underboob look.
Plus, some of the boys had hairy chests, while the others were silky smooth. Also, the inclusion manager was clearly hot on regional variations, so we had one bloke who sounded like Gazza and another who sounded like an extra from Poldark.
Elsewhere, though? I’m sorry to report that the villa still appears short on step-free access and there’s no obvious chair lift in the pool.
I could also mention that “logistical difficulties” have sadly meant no gay people have been invited.
But you get my general point… Instead of showering us with corporate BS why can’t ITV just be more honest about this show?
It’s cynical, horribly outdated, lowest common denominator, Club 18-30 party game trash, with ITV crossing its fingers and hoping for no major incidents.
The worrying thing is there is clearly an audience for it.
The even more worrying thing is ITV doesn’t appear to believe said audience deserves any better.
PS. Re: Monday’s getting-to-know-you session “suck your partner’s toes for 30 seconds” and “suck your partner’s earlobes for 30 seconds”.
With all the money ITV is making you’d think they’d throw in a decent caterer.