LOVE ISLAND SERIES 3
06/08/17 ZM + GDLP
Emoji summary: ➰ 🌴 🔗
LOVE ISLAND IS A FANTASTIC COMPLICIT REALITY TV SHOW IN WHICH MOSTLY STRAIGHT PEOPLE, HI-GLAM AND HI-MASC, HAVE TO QUICKLY, GENUINELY AND BY PURE CHANCE FALL IN LOVE W EACH OTHER OVER 7 WEEKS SPENT IN A VILLA 2GETHER TO TRY 2 WIN £50,000. It is on ITV2 and there are 6 episodes a week, so it’s pretty full on. kinda felt like it was a national event, all on the twitter couch together as if the programmers had requested our attention n dedication. In Spanish, the word for a ‘catchy’ song translates as sticky. Season 3 of Love Island was s0 sticky we are literally obliged to write why.
a month or so ago, Gab tweeted that some artist-led spaces should really be curator-led instead. While i am somewhere between agreeing/disagreeing/not knowing enough about the ins and outs to have a firm opinion, i understand her point. Curation is a skill that ppl take time to learn, it is a craft u must hone and fine tune; bc U gotta know what ur doing. curation is one of those jobs that’s like ducks on a pond.:.:.:.. gliding on top, calm & serene,, and under the water out of eyeline all wild thrashing paddling legs furiously survivin. We underestimate what it must take to be a good curator bc it is so slight/subtle/specific and actually good curation must be when u slip seamlessly through the gallery like a buttery seal, experiencing the art in the most perfect way without interference or noticing that ur doing it at all. YE, WELL THAT WAS WHAT SEASON 3 OF LOVE ISLAND WAS LIKE. AHAHAHAHA U THOUGHT I WAS RAMBLING ON WITHOUT A POINT, HERE’S MY POINT U BALLSACK:: with this season i didn’t realise i was caught up in the drama until i was watching Aftersun one evening (the debrief programme for Love Island), cackling hysterically after an in-joke about Chloe’s meme face. I was hooked without ever realising i cared. the show happened to me. originally i thought it was just another tv show to put on in the background while putting on foundation;;;;but no, it was not Kardashian-like, not passive;; i actually watched Love Island with rapture because its production demanded me do so - but not thru shock (see The Simple Life). In Love Island, the directors Big Brother-eye the activity from afar, plot, and then send the Islanders texts to instigate new challenges and states. But the challenges nearly always feel like a way to encourage certain budding relationships to get a move on, so it’s like the directors r nice benevolent gods who have watched their world so closely that they are truly invested in the specific dynamics of the relationships;; handling//holding their TV programme carefully with both hands and making sure the weather is always nice. (ofc it is not without its drama, but that drama comes from within, some men are inherently batshit - Johnny and Theo i’m looking @ you).
—- So, MTV producers take note from ITV: think about that difference in tone n quality between US and UK reality tv, specifically: the current season of ex on the beach was so harsh and forced compared to the subtlety and filling drama of Love Island. Ex on the Beach was a ready meal spag bol or those dry looking frozen apple pies/ large and crudely made, hodgepodged together/ going through the motions with no skill. giving u the ingredients and components it thinks u want:: carbs??? pastry?? do u want some custard??? u love custard!!! Love island was fucking gourmet, but made by ur mum;;; like if ur mum was a reaaaally good cook. wholesome and balanced and enough for u to be almost full, but not so full u feel it. I saw someone tweet 2 weeks into it all that love island was just white ppl whispering. They weren’t wrong. But there’s something about watching horizontal people living banal and having that inoffensive drama unfold that is utterly enthralling in the same way playing Sims is. when i was 14 i once stayed up until literal daybreak tryna get the wife from my family to have an adultery baby with Don Lothario. i can’t describe how delicious that kind of banality is. Idk why i get pure joy, or why it enthrals me. But Love Island does exactly that. it is definitely straight ppl nonsense, i fully recognise that - but in that it reminds me of the occasional times JustGirlyThings quotes and shit are actually spot on? like people say as if its law that after a breakup the girl is upset + the boy runs wild, and after a month or two they switch and the girl is celebrating n liberated and the boy crashes into a brick wall because he’s very sad and lonely. I thought about all those genericisms through Olivia and Chris’s relationship because they seemed to act them out like perfect, learnt cliches. it’s bizarre, it makes Love Island’s straightness into a cartoon or a game.
And for those of you who haven’t leant in to reality tv, who look down on this as populist opiate of the people kinda bullcrap, for those with little faith, little trust in its importance;;; it carries a weight. In defence of us writing this and having the audacity of calling it art criticism::: When i was in my second year at CSM we got to take a weird eclectic seminar of our choice. I chose World Cinema bc tbh what’s better than academicising bollywood #represent yissss. So me & my sweet friend Seema were sat in a seminar listening to the tutor talk about Shilpa Shetty one day, and then the tutor goes, ‘and not to mention her rise to global fame when she entered the Celebrity Big Brother House and was at the centre of a race scandal,’ and i fell off my chair. I had forgotten that one. I’m not one to forget. I still remember when Cheryl Cole attacked a black woman in a club toilet. But i forgot the importance of this CBB race scandal. I thought of it as just isolated racism. BUT as me and Seema fell deeper into the rabbit hole watching youtube replays of Jade Goody screaming SHILPA POPALOPADOM and Jo from S club and Danielle Lloyd snickering, i convinced myself that Big Brother positioned itself as a microcosm of wider society. The human in a petri dish. This was reflecting a mirror back at us and our behaviours and flaws. This Popadom scandal was scandal bc it pre-empted the British public’s intense xenophobia that it couldn’t quite locate, name or explain. I feel like this race scandal predicted Brexit and we were too blind to see it, and it harked back to P*ki-bashing in the 70s/80s;;;; Jade Goody represented the fury & rage of a disenfranchised white working class, manipulated into racist action by the strings of ruggedly individualistic capitalism and the media machine (she was in the CBB house after being in the normal BB house remember; her fame was precarious and the position of her celebrity in comparison to Shilpa was tenuous at best) but although beholden, still accountable for her misplaced and misdirected racism. She expected Shilpa to apologise for the space she inhabited, and Shilpa’s unwillingness to apologise for her presence and her position reflected a deeper seeded power dynamic of the well-educated immigrant coming to this country and slotting in immediately at the bottom of the social/economic ladder. When my Dada came to this country, fleeing genocide, he had a Masters. In his old age, after his time as a diplomat, he found himself in a civil service job where he was consistently correcting his white boss’s spelling and grammar mistakes. this exchange between Shilpa and Jade Goody meant something. This exchange proved to me (maybe a lil bit) that a body Othered by race can transcend/opt out of the rigid confines of the British class system. Just bc Shilpa was comfortably upper class in Mumbai, doesn’t mean she can come over here and live with the same class privilege as her white counterparts/equivalents. She is still fucking brown and we will all experience some degree of structural / institutional / personal racism. We still get the arse end of it, the money in our bank account won’t make the white ppl respect u any more (although, it might affect ur ability to be bothered by it/how much it impedes ur survival). This exchange represented something. I will not let anyone convince me this didn’t have weight. Reality TV means something. It isn’t just fluff. It can be the best in us, and the worst in us. I believe in the transformative honesty of it. I believe that when it is real, when it is true, it is honest. When it is scripted, our willingness or unwillingness to believe tells us something also. This shit is fucking important. This is some avant garde fucking narrative.
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