Love-Island

Why it's okay to unashamedly watch Love Island this summer

Caroline Flack has returned to our screens with a new group of singletons

hellomagazine.com

With the promise of creating "one big loved-up summer" by sending a group of single young men and women into a luxury Majorcan villa for seven weeks, it's safe to say that Love Island isn't exactly high-brow television. However the ITV2 show has attracted a huge – and incredibly diverse – audience since it returned to our screens in 2015. Over 1.3 million viewers tuned in to see the launch of the new season on Monday, with men and women of all walks of life settling down to see Caroline Flack welcome 11 singletons to their new home in the sun.

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So how did Love Island become TV's new ultimate guilty pleasure? To start with, it's escapism. With the terrible tragedies of the recent UK terrorist attacks and the general election campaign dominating the news, Love Island brings some light relief to TV viewers, who for 60 minutes can switch off from real life and focus on a villa where the most worrying concern is who is going to couple up with who, and who could be the next singleton to be voted off the island.

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It's strangely compelling viewing watching these groups of strangers form relationships within moments of meeting each other, with the intense environment meaning that within 24 hours they are referring to themselves as "power couples" or becoming oddly possessive over one another – traits that would leave most people running for the hills in real life.

The speed with which these relationships turn serious mean it is extra brutal when new Islanders are introduced to the villa, leading to wandering eyes, couples being split up and those left on the shelf ultimately being voted off the island.

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The show provides light-hearted entertainment, too, thanks to the often unintentional one-liners from the cast. One of the highlights of this year's series so far has been seeing former Blazin' Squad member Marcel Somerville bring up his claim to fame in almost every conversation to little reaction from his fellow Islanders – most of whom don't have a clue who he is.

He's just one of the interesting characters in the villa this year, including 27-year-old Camilla Thurlow – who was previously linked to Prince Harry – and has left many viewers (and her housemates) questioning why she auditioned to be on the show when she is so "classy" and conservative in comparison. With love, lust, drama and sheer escapism at its heart, Love Island will be keeping viewers around the UK gripped this summer. Will you be watching?

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