In the early 20th Century, the Editor of the Listener, BBC’s cultural magazine, refused to look at his viewing figures for fear they might distort his sense of what was good content or not. He was so ingrained in the idea that he was superior because of what he classed as culture that he didn’t care what other people thought. The same people now pop up on my newsfeed with- “watched one episode an can feel my IQ dropping,” and “can’t believe this is what classes for good TV anymore.” They’re talking about Love Island, of course. Piers Morgan even described it as “brain dead TV for sex crazed, money grabbing, amoral wastrels.”
It’s the same attitude that existed from the Editor of the Listener 80 something years ago just in a modern form, and frankly, it comes from predominantly men who seem to think there’s some intrinsic value in not watching a TV show. As if their opposition to someone wearing a bikini on TV substitutes their lack of personality.
It’s hard to deny that Chris telling Olivia to sit down when she was already sat is anything other than the highest quality of British Television ever produced, so each night I will sit glued to my TV, hair unwashed, beans spilled on the clothes commenting that “Alex looks so out of shape next to Eyal” as I eat a Cheerio I found in my pocket.
Love Island is fun, simple, it doesn’t require you to put your heart and soul into it- and I for one am super excited that it’s back. But apparently, it’s also become cool to hate it, the same folk who got upset when Kim Kardashian showed a boob are now getting upset because Dani Dyer did the same.
So let’s look at the claim that it’s ‘brain dead TV for sex-crazed, money-grabbing, amoral wastrels’.
Brain dead TV- Okay. So I don’t watch Love Island and spend 30 hours thinking about its implications each week. I don’t sit there thinking about it for days, and it doesn’t hit me with those really deep feelings. I’m confused about why that’s a bad thing. I don’t want the stress, I like how I can do other things while I watch it and not have to rewind half an hour.
‘Sex crazed, money grabbing’- It’s fun. It really isn’t that deep, it’s just fun. It’s fun watching people try to make people like them, it’s fun to laugh and it’s nice when it goes well. It’s kinda like watching your friend try to flirt in a club, knowing he’s doing a terrible job. Maybe it is a bit sad, and maybe it’s a bit too ‘Truman Show’ for some people’s liking, but for a lot of us, it’s harmless fun.
Amoral wastrels- Piers Morgan’s Wikipedia page has 683 words dedicated to a section called “phone hacking allegations.” If irony isn’t dead, it’s certainly dying.
So I guess this kinda sums it up- people think they’re taking the moral high ground by not watching Love Island- they think they’re above it because it features people having sex (horror). When I go home in the next few days, and I and my friends all meet up to watch the re-coupling each week, it’ll be one of the better times we have this summer- everyone laughs, everyone drinks and everyone has a good time. No one posts about how much they think they’re better than everyone because of a TV show because we’re grown ass adults and not petty children. And if you are one of those people who thinks not liking a TV show is a substitute for a personality, well thanks for reading.