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Love Island (U.K.)

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Love Island (U.K.) TV Poster Image
Dating contest mixes innuendo with cursing, drinking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It sends very problematic messages about building relationships that last. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The cast is fickle, competitive, and have mixed views about the opposite sex and how to treat them. 

Violence

Discussions about threats to cast members on Instagram. Arguing is common. In one season a cast member was removed from the show after an altercation with another cast member. 

Sex

Strong innuendo, including blunt, hyper sexualized conversations about sexual relationships, body parts, etc. Lots of bare skin and torsos, as well as tight clothes, bikinis, and plunging necklines. Bare bottoms visible; bare breasts are partially covered. 

Language

There’s some strong cursing (including "f--k"). 

Consumerism

Jeep Wranglers are prominently visible. Apple phones are occasionally shown. References to social media outlets like Instagram. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, other alcoholic beverages consumed. Cigarette smoking is also visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the internationally popular Love Island is a British dating reality competition. It contains very strong sexual innuendo, partial nudity (bare bottoms, partially visible breasts), some argumentative behavior, and cursing. Drinking (wine, cocktails) and cigarette smoking is visible, too. Jeep Wranglers are prominently visible, iPhones are sometimes shown, and social media outlets like Instagram are discussed.

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What's the story?

LOVE ISLAND (2015-) is a British reality dating competition that gives audiences the chance to choose the winners and losers. Hosted by Caroline Flack, and humorously narrated by Iain Stirling, it features a select group of single men and women must couple up with one another in order to remain in their isolated villa in Mallorca, Spain. Sixty-nine strategically placed cameras follow the cast 24/7 as they flirt, party, and compete in challenges in exchange for prizes. They must also figure out who they want to continue pairing with, and who they want to swap. Meanwhile, television audiences use an app to vote on the couples that they think are the most (and least) compatible. Those with the least votes risk getting eliminated. During the final week of the season, the audiences get to choose who will win the £50,000 prize. 

Is it any good?

This internationally popular series, which is based on the earlier 2005 British reality competition of the same name, offers a look at the way men and women attempt to build some sort of relationship in a contrived setting. Not surprisingly, the conversations are filled with innuendo, and some of the exchanges and antics seem like they're coming from young teens instead of adults looking for a mature connection. But while this has proven entertaining for some audiences, the show is not without its controversies. One season led to a cast member being stripped of her beauty queen title due to her behavior on the show, while two other contestants died by suicide months after their seasons aired. Nonetheless, Love Island will appeal to viewers who are looking for a dramatic guilty pleasure. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons people choose to appear on reality dating shows. Do they expect find true love? Build a relationship that will last? Or is it for exposure and money?

  • What are the differences between the original British version of Love Island and the adaptations of the show in Australia and the United States? What are the reasons for these differences?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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