I watched Love Island for the first time, and it’s basically secondary school pre-drinks on steroids
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I watched Love Island for the first time, and it’s basically secondary school pre-drinks on steroids

I'VE finally jumped on the bandwagon and started watching Love Island, and only partly because of the peer pressure. It was... interesting.

For clarity, I’m not one of those people who turn their noses up at reality shows – my flatmate and I are currently in the middle of binge re-watching Jersey Shore (we even have a Gym Tan Laundry sign in our sitting room) – it’s just one of those things. I never got around to succumbing to the Love Island fever.

That is, until last night.

So I settled myself in with ITV Player and a cupán tae, prepared for season 5 episode 15 with a half-reluctant eagerness to see what all the fuss is about (and yes, I am aware that I sound about eighty years old).

It's never too late

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Lads, don't fret if you've ever thought “I should start watching that but it’s too late in the game now.” I barely knew single thing going into last night's episode except to watch out for “that wagon Maura”, and this time she seemed to be on her best behaviour.

But despite never having watched before, a few aspects of the most-talked-about show on TV at the moment seemed strangely familiar to these Irish eyes... we may have cracked the reason why Love Island is so insanely popular on the emerald isle!

Are these people real?

So; the first and most noticeable thing is that, of course, they are all beautiful. And I mean beautiful. Made-in-a-lab-for-the-gaze-of-the-masses-type beautiful.

It's like secondary school pre-drinks

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The second most noticeable thing, for me at least, is that if Love Island took place in a semi-detached house in an estate in the Irish countryside, this show would basically be secondary school pre-drinks before trying to blag your way into a rural nightclub by claiming “I’m here all the time you must know me”, or “I showed you my ID last time,” or “My only ID is my passport and I’m not allowed to bring it out in case I lose it because I’m going on holidays next week”.

The most glaring similarity between this episode and Every 5th-Year Night Out Ever was the supportive, sympathetic conversations between the girls at the start of the episode, centering around Lucie who was trying and failing to hold back tears as she lamented the elimination of Joe.

Every Irish girl has had these tipsy, friendship-building conversations. In fairness, it usually takes place in the toilets of a nightclub rather than televised on an island in Majorca, but the point still stands.

It gave me flashbacks, and I don't know if that's a good thing

A mixed group then played “Yes or No”, which is like a more to-the-point version of “Never Have I Ever” – flashback to another awkward pre-drinks game that is equal parts embarrassing and exciting, and has the potential to become vengeful, especially when 99% of the time the game starts because someone has a specific question in mind.

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This time, it was Lucie being forced to admit that she would go on a date with someone new that night if he “ticked all the boxes”.

I could almost hear my mammy's disapproval

Speaking of, Amber and Michael’s date could easily have taken place at the end of the night over a romantic curry-cheese chip in Supermacs.
I found myself hearing my mammy’s voice in my head, adding to the commentary alongside Iain Stirling – things you’ve probably heard if you’ve ever watched this show with your own mother.

You know the ones: “Sure haven’t they got a tough life”; “She’s only slept with five people—sure isn’t that plenty!?”; “They’re about as real as your granddad’s teeth”; and the classic, “Now there is NO NEED to show that!”.

I’m late to the game but I can safely say I’ve got the Love Island bug now, whatever that is.

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I know I’ll tuning in to the next episode to see if Amber is wearing Michael’s Transition Year Hoodie – about as official as you can get!