island of love Season is officially in full swing. ITV treats us to this reality TV masterpiece six nights a week for two months every summer, and we’re just days away from the Season 8 finale.
Nothing says summer like a bunch of bottle-tanned beauties coveting each other from across a pool. If I can’t be on holiday in Spain and sip warm sangria from a plastic wine glass, at least I can watch someone else while Iain Stirling comments.
With this year’s Islanders starring none other than footballer Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma, audiences have been in for tears, tantrums and dramatic reunions all season long.
In the past seven seasons island of love has built its reputation around pure entertainment. The so-bad-it-is-good kind that’s become socially acceptable in recent years because it’s a citation-unquoted cultural phenomenon. Despite the final season sparking the most Ofcom complaints in the show’s history – is this the beginning of the end for what was once a beloved staple of British television?
As with everything, not all island of love Seasons are created equal, and only one can be crowned the best—and the worst.
7th season six
We were rightly skeptical. When Love Island announced it would be airing two seasons in one year with the launch of its winter 2020 edition, eyebrows were raised. Would that be too much of a good thing? The answer, it turns out, is yes. There were your usual tantrums and tears, and yet it all seemed a bit… boring. Aside from an intriguingly synchronized dance number from Luke T and Siannise Fudge (who are one of the few couples still together post-Villa), the season was lacking in memorable moments and contestants.
6. Season seven
Don’t get me wrong, I watched every episode of last year’s series — and I have the reviews to prove it — but island of love The seventh season was a flop. It stuck to the formula but lacked the magic that ultimately made the show unforgettable. So I’m going to refresh your memory with a few keywords: Jiberty, Faye’s brown lipstick, and just plain Toby. It was a shame, because if we ever needed reality TV escapism, it was last year, when travel was still a no-go and the idea of a poolside margherita was just a mirage for most people. This season also produced the most Ofcom complaints in the show’s history. As our island of love Critic Elise Bell asked, “Is this the start of the post-Love Island era?” And finally voting Kyler fourth? A national travesty.
5th season one
The first series was always a bit of an experiment and it’s natural that the show went through some teething before becoming the TV giant it is today. Although it was only released six years ago, times have changed and watching the first season now feels dated in a way that’s hard to ignore. The biggest problem, however, was that it felt like none of the contestants were there to find love. Obviously, a lot of heads are still turning over the past few seasons, but most islanders seem genuinely interested in finding a relationship today. Granted, the season had its moments (most notably Jon’s shock proposal to Hannah), but it just doesn’t compare to the reality hit we’ve grown accustomed to. That aside, with all that has come of it, we will forever be indebted island of love‘s terrible first season.
4th season four
When season three opens softly island of love‘s door to mainstream success, season four blew it off its hinges. Expectations were high – but fortunately fulfilled. Each series raises a few for the nation to catch up, but Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham were a step ahead of the rest. Though the pair have since split (RIP romance), watching them slowly — and sincerely — fall in love on screen remains one of them island of love‘s healthiest storylines yet. The audience also got not one, but two female contestants to cheer on: Samira Mighty and Laura Anderson showed everyone everywhere the true meaning of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Laura was so popular with fans that she won second place, paired with… what was his name again? Anyway, the antics of Georgia Steel and Megan Barton Hanson kept us entertained alongside Do Bits Society members Wes Nelson, Josh Denzel and Jack Fowler.
3rd season six
Two words: Chris and Kem. But while it’s true that the best friend duo wowed us all, their friendship was just a highlight in a series full of them. Namely, the introduction of Casa Amor – a plot device whose importance in the series simply cannot be overstated now. However, the most iconic moment of the season came courtesy of Theo Campbell. By the time Theo entered the villa on Day 32, most of the couples had found fairly solid ground, meaning Theo’s decision to pursue Tyla, who was dating Jonny at the time, had ruffled some serious feathers. The love triangle, which saw Theo eventually choose Tyla in a reconnection, also provided us with one of the show’s most iconic quotes, after Jonny was forced to choose Amber because, as he put it, “I didn’t have much of a choice thanks to a gigantic bell.” “
2nd season five
After a hugely successful fourth season, we were all braced for a disappointing dip in season five, however island of love rose to the challenge. There was enough heartache (Curtis and Amy), bombastic entries (Maura), shock feedback (Amber, Michael, Joanna) and really nice people (Yewande and Ovie) to keep drama-hungry viewers happy. Five seasons later, as a nation of television viewers, we were more invested than ever. Tears flowed as Amy left the villa with her head held high, and I doubt I’ll ever be as outraged as Michael was when he assaulted Amber and then begged for her back – it was ‘Chaldic’ what it was.
1st season two
It did not last long island of love to take his step. By season two, the show had evolved into the trash TV we know and love. It was the good old days: drama, sex, chain smoking and more sex. Watching now, these later seasons will be over island of love seem to be tame.. Back then it was one memeworthy moment after another: Malia pushed Kady into the pool, Rykard left the island in a grand gesture after Rachel was chased away. Jaws across the country dropped in unison at the first time an ex-partner was thrown into the mix. Although there is no Casa Amor to look forward to, island of love‘s second series still managed to dish up relationship drama on one record. Who could forget that Malin returns to confront Terry on national TV for cheating on her? Pure rating gold. The second series also drew attention to the double standards faced by female contestants. Viewers watched as former Miss Great Britain Zara was stripped of her title after spending the night in hiding with Alex, who emerged completely unscathed from the scandal.
island of love returns on ITV2 on Monday 6 June at 9pm.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/love-island-best-worst-series-b2094632.html Which season of Love Island was the best? All British series in the ranking