Love Island 2021 review: Social media commentary is saving this year’s series

Villa life would be dull to watch without the analysis provided by viewers on Twitter

Annabel Nugent
Monday 19 July 2021 09:17
Love Island 2021 contestants revealed

Love Island has always leaned into social media commentary, but this year’s series is relying on it. Even the latest dramatic recoupling – which saw original islander Sharon Gaffka booted from the villa after new bombshell AJ shockingly chose Hugo – was dull without the added analysis supplied by Twitter’s finest. Seriously, ITV should pay these people.

It’s not just the funny memes and witty remarks, but also the ability to say what Love Island won’t. Before Friday’s episode (16 July), new boy Danny was forced to apologise from within the villa for posting a racial slur on Instagram in 2019. Further allegations of racism have surfaced since, but there’s not been a single reference to it on the series.

This is the same show that awoke 2019 contestant Sherif Lanre in the early hours of the morning and told him he had to get out of the villa without packing his bags or saying goodbye after accidentally kicking fellow islander Molly-Mae Hague in the groin during a play fight. While ITV remains quiet, Twitter is filling in the gaps. We’re often privy to knowledge that the islanders aren’t, but this one is leaving an uncomfortable silence hanging over the series.

In the most predictable of moves, despite initially choosing Kaz and Sharon for dates, Danny coupled with Lucinda. What ensued was 45 minutes of what the producers believed was an intriguing love triangle between Danny, Lucinda and Aaron, but was in reality a tiresome pissing contest between the two boys. It culminated in Danny bragging that he “beat Aaron to the kiss” after he snogged Lucinda during a challenge in which snogging was practically mandatory. On Lucinda’s end, the in-demand hottie appeared to just be enjoying the apparent novelty (“reallllly?”) of having two boys chase after her.

Of course, we had the customary, quote-unquote sexy, challenge. This time though, we were mercifully saved from watching the contestants pass masticated food between one another’s mouths. Instead, the producers dreamt up “Cattitude”.

The aim of the game was for the girls (dressed in usual bikini attire, only with fake whiskers, ears and a tail that looked like pantyhose stuffed with cotton balls) to erotically dunk themselves in a paddling pool of milk (?), give a five-second pole dance (??), and then free their partner (dressed like a mouse, obviously) from a prison cell (???) before pinning them down to a mouse trap and smooching them.

The questions are endless: Why free the mouse only to trap it again? What’s the connection between the cat and the jail? Where is the through-line? We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – bring back the Twitter challenge or don’t bother at all. Although, it must be said that it was nice to see Hugo be included this time. If anyone needs their ego stroked a little, it’s surely the villa’s resident PE teacher.

New boy Danny coupled with Lucinda in latest ‘Love Island’ episode

By this series’ standards, episode 18 was good, if not great. It featured a recoupling, a semi-confrontation, plus a handful of sweet moments (Liam and Millie may be dull to watch but the pair seem to be genuinely interested in each other away from the prospect of a Boohoo deal) Yet, the episode was still undeniably average. So far, even this series’ best instalments pale in comparison to past ones.

Is this year’s run doomed to rank three-stars eternally? Probably. Will I keep watching? Most likely.

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