the cost of entertainment value – Palatinate
By Chloe Hares
For eight weeks of summer, millions of us tuned in every night for an hour-long dose of this year the island of love – the game of love or money in which the life of the candidates is never the same after the villa. These singles come from an isolated background Big brother style villa in which they seek a romantic connection, to be sent back to the real world in which they are targeted by tabloids and spotted by brands on social networks. While many criticize the contestants as shallow airheads, they face a number of challenges as a contestant, which brings us to the question: how far can we allow reality shows for the entertainment when it costs people their sanity?
First, there is the struggle to adapt to villa life and manipulation by producers. This year contestant Liam Llewellyn made the decision to leave the villa after just three days, saying he was ‘not himself’, leading many to suspect it was due to interference against nature of the producers in how the islanders live their time. during the day. Former Islanders such as Amy Hart have shared that during the show no one has a sense of time as there is no clock anywhere. Shaughna Phillips also admitted that the producers suggested lines they wanted to film of her while conversing with her co-stars. It is likely that factors like this contributed to Liam leaving, realizing that his mental health could suffer if he were to continue in this environment.
Although the show seems very natural and some may be inclined to believe that my arguments are exaggerated, season four contestant Niall Aslam actually went into a stress-induced psychotic episode due to this lifestyle. of villa, to which he was much more hypersensitive. to his autism – which he revealed with ITV2 before appearing on the show. However, it appears producers are failing to acknowledge significant issues – such as Ofcom’s thousands of complaints this year about Luca Bish’s bullying of Tasha Ghori, or Woman Aid’s statement about Adam’s manipulative nature. Collard in season four. With all of that factored in, one wonders how well Love Island qualifies as a “reality” show, especially looking at its success rate of couples staying together.
There is a misconception among the general public of islanders and a stereotype that they have to be shallow airheads to compete in a competition like Love Island. This can be damaging because those who choose to be on the show have no power over how the audience perceives them. Again, the producers choose what we see and don’t see – many islanders have put out podcasts about many things that happened in the day that never made it into an episode of an hour for that day. Audiences constantly compare the new islanders to those from previous series, criticizing their judgment and sometimes even making fun of their appearance. This year, on the show’s weekly spin-off “Aftersun,” Laura Whitmore even encouraged viewers to keep tweeting Islander lookalikes, regardless of how Islanders might feel later upon seeing them. No matter how distant we are from these people; it’s still classified bullying that it doesn’t need – it’s another way sanity is shattered by the show. ITV2 seem to be fine with treating contestants like puppets, regardless of their feelings.
Life beyond the villa also proved damaging to the islanders, some unable to escape their previous mistakes made on the show, or who fell into a celebrity lifestyle that got them into trouble. Previous contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis both committed suicide shortly after appearing on the show. The two are thought to have turned to cocaine use and suffered significantly with their mental health, feeling they had no better options in life. They were both the subject of a lot of media attention in their later years, so we have to wonder if such would have been their fate if they hadn’t been on Love Island.
Alas, we live in an inherently prying society, and we’re all so quick to happily share our opinions across multiple public platforms. Love Island will continue to be relived for years to come because no matter what any of us have to say about it, we continue to connect so we can form those opinions. It feels like a circus, with the contestants in the ring doing their thing, while we sit as the audience and watch.
Image credit: Pexels