More than slowly roasting on the Central Line or drinking M&S tins in the park, Love Island has become synonymous with summer.
With millions of us tuning in at 9pm six days a week, making it ITV2’s most popular show, it only makes sense that they’ve decided to cash in on the show’s success by giving us, even more, Love Island with an extra season in winter.
But can there be too much of a good thing? Love Island already takes up two months a year for dedicated viewers, and as the show really doesn’t work as casual viewing, expecting people to give up their evenings for an extra eight weeks is a hell of a commitment.
There are plenty of examples ITV2 could learn from on the dangers of overkill – Netflix has drawn criticism for stretching out shows that would work better as mini-series well beyond their lifespan, and Drag Race has fallen victim to this with seasons that seem to get closer and closer together (plus All-Stars on top of that), making it difficult to remember who is who.
Closer to home, First Dates has gone from a programme that could spark conversation and quite a few viral video clips to being so ever-present between the frequent seasons and additions of a spin-off that it’s become relegated to background TV viewing.
Love Island is still fairly early on in its lifespan but, like most reality shows, it is likely to eventually run out of steam and putting out more of it in less time seems a surefire way to make the format stale prematurely.
Add to that the fact ‘twists’ like Casa Amor and even the constant random recouplings are already expected from viewers, and it’s hard to see what can be done to avoid people feeling a bit of fatigue.
As for the hopefuls who are considering applying, there’s the simple fact that being one of potentially 60 Love Island contestants in the course of a year sounds harder to turn into a lucrative career.
It’s well known that the opportunities post-villa can be even more enticing than the prize itself, but what are the chances of any longevity when you have double the amount of contestants entering the influencer arena every year.
Your moment of fame is shortened as new islanders are announced while the previous ones are just cashing their first Boohoo cheque. Celebs Go Dating and ITV2 panel shows can only have so many people on them, and it’s a big ask for audiences to emotionally invest in even more contestants when it was already a struggle to remember the new faces popping up in the villa this time around only to disappear a week later.
Beyond the formats, the twists, and the contestants, there are the viewers.
Episodes are pretty much every day of the week, and there’s the matter of whether any of us can really be bothered to give up that much time so soon after the last one.
By the time we get to the end of this summer’s season, it almost feels like having completed a marathon, as the final stretch drags out despite fans knowing Molly-Mae and Tommy are likely to win.
We keep watching to see if any drama kicks off by the fire pit, but it’s safe to say this season already feels like it has been on since January.
When you factor in the build-up, the reveal of contestants, and the post-final flux of interviews and appearances, two seasons will turn the show into a year-round experience.
As much as the nation loves Love Island, it needs a break to stay fresh, and we need some time to have a social life in the evenings.
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