What Is ‘Love Island’, Why Is It All Over IG & Should You Watch It?

We here at Betches are no strangers to reality TV. The Bachelor franchise, The Real Housewives of any city, Vanderpump Rules—you name it, we’ve watched it, written about it, talked to the stars, and then inevitably offended them. Given that, I thought I’d seen it all. I was under the impression that the world of reality TV had nothing left to offer me. Man, have I never been more wrong in my entire life. It gives me sincere pleasure to introduce those of you who are unfamiliar to the UK’s single greatest export: Love Island.

Love Island is a British reality TV show currently in its fourth season that I started watching a couple weeks back while I was testing out a CBD drink. Needless to say, I was in the ideal headspace to embark on this adventure.

I only know about Love Island because I follow a hilarious girl on Twitter who talks about it nonstop, but you might know it from your Instagram explore page. On any given day, I feel like there are at least five memes about it, and I set out to find out why. My greatest regret is that I will never be able to truly repay the girl who introduced me to Love Island, but will spend the rest of my life trying. I will name my first child after her. I will bring her up in my wedding vows. Bolu, if you’re reading this, you have given my life renewed purpose. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The premise is this: Love Island is like if you combined Bachelor in Paradise (a bunch of hot single people stuffed into one vacation resort), Big Brother (because the audience gets to occasionally vote people off), and The Challenge (because the challenges are forced and unnecessarily sexual), but then you went one step further and gave everyone a British accent that range from Downton Abbey to the barely coherent ramblings of what I now understand to be someone from Liverpool. I physically cannot get enough of it.

The show is hosted by Caroline Flack, who, from my very limited understanding, seems to have a Ryan Seacrest-esque role in English pop culture. I only know who she is from the height of my One Direction days, because she was allegedly hooking up with a 17-year-old Harry Styles when she was 15 years his senior. I have nothing but admiration for the woman.

The Flack only shows up for the semi-regular occasions when Islanders are being voted off the show, a ceremony she presides over only after at least three people comment on how hot she is. It’s hard to watch people achieving your dreams, you know?

Me: Love Island is everything that Bachelor in Paradise wishes it could be.

I can’t speak to seasons one through three (yet), but season four started with 11 islanders who were forced to couple up and then immediately share a bed while they wrestled with their feelings (or lack thereof) for each other. But wait, it gets better—all the beds are in ONE ROOM. The only way to switch bedmates is to re-couple, a process that usually results in someone being sent home. New islanders are introduced throughout the course of the season which, wait for it, lasts all summer long. That may sound pretty par for the course for a summer dating show, until you find out that a new episode airs almost EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.

If Shakespeare were alive to experience the comedy of errors that is Love Island, he would immediately break into tears because he himself had not thought of it first. Love Island is a modern day Midsummer Night’s Dream, except it lasts an entire summer and instead of fairies we have alcohol and a spiteful narrator who exists solely to mock the contestants.

On the surface, Love Island may just sound like an absolute sh*t show made up of outrageously attractive people making uncannily poor decisions, but it’s so much more than that. Unlike The Bachelor, where someone goes on two dates over the course of six weeks and then declares themselves to be head over heels in love with a near stranger, the contestants on Love Island approach relationships in a way that is eerily authentic. Beware, spoilers ahead.

You could have your faith in love rocked when a couple like Wes and Laura, who have been solid from day done, immediately fall apart the second that a Margo Robbie look-alike expresses even the slightest bit of interest. You could have that faith restored as you watch Dani, the daughter of an actor, and Jack, a man with very white teeth who sells pens, fall in love on national TV before your very eyes! I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I would go to war for them.

You could find yourself sympathizing for Georgia when Josh abandons her for a girl he meets at Casa Amor, just days after she tells him she’s falling for him. You could then find yourself remembering why Georgia deserves almost zero sympathy as she turns on her friends and then yells “I’M G, I’M LOYAL, I AIN’T LIKE THAT BABES” into the camera for six straight hours.

You could find yourself screaming at your TV, wondering why the hot, well-spoken, kind, literal DOCTOR has found himself single week after week when the shitty personal trainer who has screwed over two different girls in the span of 11 days is still plowing through women. You could find yourself equally upset over the fact that the shining star of this show, Samira, is woefully under-appreciated amidst a sea of girls who are not as funny as her. Then you remember your own life and you’re like, wait, that adds up.

Basically, watching this show is just as painful and fascinating as watching your friends date, but in this case every single one of your friends is an Instagram model who says things like “bruv”.

Should you watch Love Island? Obviously. Will you love it? Maybe. Will you mock me in the comments for passionately ranting about it for almost 1,000 words? Undoubtedly. But that doesn’t matter, because I have Love Island, and honestly? That’s all I need.

Images: Courtesy of ITV; @BeeBabs/Twitter; we-kant-even/Tumblr

The One Show That Will Give You Life This Summer

Summer is (supposedly) right around the corner, which means the start of rooftop season, drinking rosé and not feeling extra about it, and generally just living your best life for the Insta. But the start of summer also means the loss of our will to live favorite TV shows for the next three to four months, because apparently we’re not allowed to have our cake and watch it too. Ugh. That said, Starz is releasing the solution to your summertime TV problem and its name is Sweetbitter. The show is based on Stephanie Danler’s 2016 novel (which we fucking loved) and follows twenty-two-year-old Tess as she moves to the city and takes a job at a fancy restaurant only to realize that she has no fucking clue what she’s doing there or with her life in general. Same.

Think all the partying in Sex & The City meets the realness of Girls. Every episode makes living in New York seem like a beautiful nightmare (trueeee) and it’s relatable AF. I’m already thinking that between the v realistic NYC setting and the amount of wine these people consume this might be the reason I’ve been looking for to stay inside during the nicest months of the year and plant my ass on my couch as Starz and God intended. So here’s all the ways Sweetbitter is going to give you life this summer:

The Restaurant Family Is More Batshit Than Your Family (But You Love Them Anyway)

If you think your family is crazy, then just you fucking wait because Tess’s coworkers are like your family, only more batshit. Instead of your mom asking you why you don’t ever have a boyfriend, sub in a coworker asking you why you don’t ever know the exact grape that went into making the wine you’re sipping on. Whether they’re forcing Tess to bus their own dinner plates or “forgetting” to tell her about the after work ragers, this restaurant fam will make you grateful for your own batshit relatives. The judgment and cattiness are way too real, but so is the love because in the end they always have Tess’s back. And by “have her back” I mean they are willing to share their coke and foot the bill at happy hour. And that’s all I ask for amongst my blood relatives, but for some reason, nobody ever takes me up on it?? Maybe I should start working in a restaurant.

There’s Some Hot AF Hookups

Hookups abound at this job and it is hot AF. Sweetbitter’s resident heartthrob comes in the form of a bartender named Jake because of course, it does. He immediately sparks a connection with Tess, showing her the ropes of the restaurant and flirting with her in between shifts. I make it a rule to never date guys with better hair than me or who know more about alcohol than I do, but whatever, to each their own, Tess! There’s a lot of eye-fucking each other in meat lockers, oyster slurping foreplay, and dry humping on a brick wall (srsly watch this trailer because it’s hot). Tbh I have a feeling that Tess and Jake’s relationship will go about as well as my last Hinge date (spoiler: it did not end well), but only time will tell.

There’s So Much Food Porn

The show takes place in a highly-rated NYC restaurant so obviously, the food is going to look amaze. Watching any one episode will make you want to treat yourself every goddamn day of the week and not think twice about it. It’s dangerous AF but also I’m not looking away so this is the life I’m leading now I guess.

There’s Even More Wine Porn

Seriously, if you think the food looks good on this show then wait until you see the wine porn that’s about to grace your television screen. I’d say, like, 80 percent of this show revolves around wine and drinking, which are numbers I can definitely support. Tess quickly realizes that her refined palate of boxed wine and malt liquor (or whatever the fuck people straight out of college and living in the suburbs drink for funsies) just ain’t gonna cut it anymore. And by “quickly realizes” I mean after she’s publicly shamed for guzzling wine after work because, as one of her coworkers so lovingly puts it: “it’s not a shot so don’t drink it like it’s one.” So sweet. And if you’re thinking that nothing’s wrong with taking a bottle of wine to the face exactly one minute after your shift ends then same you’ll probs be learning the ins and outs of grown-up drinking just like Tess.

Sweetbitter premiers on Sunday, May 6th. Be there or be sad that you can’t sit with us don’t know shit about what’s gonna be one of the best shows on TV this summer.

In partnership with Starz